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  • Delayne Martin

Carolina Heritage Vineyard

Carolina Heritage Vineyard and Winery is family owned and operated. It is a small batch facility that produces the first and only certified organic winery in North Carolina. Located in the heart of the Yadkin Valley AVA owners, Pat and Wendy grow French hybrid and muscadine grapes. Their estate wines are a mixture of dry and sweet. Carolina Heritage is 18 years old. Pat and Wendy purchased the 33-acre property last August and have hit the ground running. 9 acres are devoted to grapes and 2.5 acres to blueberries and elderberries. Chambourcin, Cynthiana, and various muscadine grapes are grown. They continued with the organic farming methods and their goal is to be a totally sustainable farm in the future. Growing organically is a mission they both believe in. Improving the water supply, utilizing solar power and planet-friendly packaging are just a few of their practices. On our recent visit, we saw a sample of the paper wine bottle. It is an amazing step to improve our environment. Carolina Heritage Vineyards and Winery is proud to be 100% veteran owned.

Pulling up the tasting room we were greeted with live music on the porch of the original farmhouse, which was recently remodeled into a perfect getaway cabin. More about that later in the blog. The tasting room is rustic and open. Wendy was conducting tastings at the bar while also serving several tables. She is truly a multi-tasker. We each did a tasting to enjoy everything they offered. Our favorites were the Cynthiana, a dry red wine from the Norton grape; the Chambourcin, an off-dry red with smooth tannins perfect with food; and their holiday classic Glogg, a mixture of mulled wine, spice, and everything nice. I can’t wait to try this hot during the cold weather. We brought home a bottle of the Apple Pie, their best seller, made from fermented North Carolina apples. We plan on introducing it to our guests at an upcoming family celebration. You are welcome to bring in picnics, but they also have snacks, including Ashe County cheeses. They offer local craft beers for purchase and non-alcoholic drinks. They are extremely family and dog friendly.

When Pat came back from dad duty he joined us and talked about all their new releases coming soon and how creating their own wines is going. For their first harvest, they worked with winemaker Michael McGeary, of Eudawines, to teach them more about the winemaking process. They are no longer working with him. Everything in production now is all them. The recent new release, The Hiker, is their first original wine. It is released in partnership with Explore Elkin. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Explore Elkin, an organization that encourages local hiking trails. The Hiker is a Traminette-based sparkling white wine sangria. It will be available in 12 oz cans, which are easy to pack. Perfect to share while exploring the outdoors or by the pool.

Other releases coming soon are “The Paddler”. This bottle will be released in collaboration with Yadkin Riverkeeper’s annual river paddle and party on July 15th. The Thin Blue Line release will honor fallen police officers and be a Chambourcin and blueberry blend. There is also a sweet Rose made with Noble grapes in the works. Being a white wine fan I am looking forward to the Paddler, a Niagara grape wine. Not a wine fan? Pat has you covered. He has added bees to his farm and will add Mead and beer in the future.

As you can see, underestimating this small-batch winery is a mistake. There is so much going on. Everything coming out of their winery is more natural and will be their own blends.

Carolina Heritage is one of the few wineries open late. Once a month they host a movie night. Their summer hours are Friday 5-9. Saturday and Sunday 12-9. Check out their website and sign up for their emails to keep informed of all the events and new releases coming soon.

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