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  • Delayne Martin

Childress Vineyard and Winery

Childress Vineyard and Winery is one of the most established wineries in the state of North Carolina. Richard Childress, owner and NASCAR legend developed a love of good wine from his early racing days in California. He dreamed of growing that same quality of wine and provide the same winery experience in North Carolina. His dream became a reality when he purchased prized farmland in Lexington, close to his racing headquarters. The location caused the vineyard and winery to become the gateway to the Yadkin Valley American Viticulture Area (AVA). Yadkin Valley is North Carolina’s first federally designated grape-growing region. We now are home to 5 AVAs. Childress was instrumental in North Carolina’s reemerging wine industry. Most people don’t know that North Carolina was the leading wine-producing state until 1920 and the onset of Prohibition.

Childress Vineyards cover over 70 acres and 15 grape varieties. North Carolina's long growing season, humid climate, and red clay soil help to produce over 30 wines that are sure to satisfy both novice and wine enthusiasts. Childress’s wines have and continue to win numerous wine competitions. With a vineyard, winery, restaurant, and shop, Childress is the whole package.

We have made several trips to Childress Winery. Our first tip is to plan on spending several hours if not the entire day. The grounds are spacious and there are lots to see and do. Plan to arrive early and enjoy a meal and sangria at their Bistro restaurant. The menu is designed and created by chef Hanna Jones. Her menu options change seasonally. We enjoyed the Honey Walnut Chicken Salad Croissant and Richard’s Reuben. Bistro offers a weekday menu and additional brunch items on weekends. Reservations are suggested during the week and required on the weekends. Celebrating a special occasion? No need to bring dessert they offer amazing sweet treats to culminate the perfect meal.

After our meal, we had a reservation for a Lux tasting. There are various levels of tasting, but we would highly recommend the top-tier tasting experience. The Lux tasting is conducted on the Lux Terrace and is a leisurely tasting experience led by a knowledgeable host. Olga was phenomenal in her presentation. The tasting lasted about an hour and we tasted 9 wines. Beginning with their Jewel Rose White, a sparkling wine with a hint of peach. The 2 other whites were Angel’s Wrath and Three White. The reds included Barrel Select Sangiovese, reserve Montepulciano, and a 5-grape blend. We brought home Angel’s Wrath and their reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. You may also purchase savory and/or sweet snacks to accompany your tasting. No food or beverages are allowed. We would suggest a wine tasting several times a year because offerings change monthly. Next, we moved to our winery tour. Tours are offered twice daily during the week and 3 times on weekends. You must be 21 years old to enjoy the tour. This includes children in a stroller. We highly suggest taking the tour. Roxanne was our guide and it was more like having a conversation with a friend, rather than someone telling us information. On our tour, we met Sharri and as with everyone we have met at Childress she was a pleasure to talk to about wine. Our tour included an underground barrel room that would make an amazing private dinner party area. That was our favorite part.

We were there recently in January and enjoyed their January event held every Friday night during the month. Live music, food, and great wine available 5-8 pm. Once our winery tour was completed we bought a bottle of Three White and sat inside the spacious Champion tasting room area. When the weather is warmer there are an abundant amount of areas outside. The patio offers tables or if you prefer to be closer to live music you can sit at a table in the courtyard. If you want to stay on the property there is a hotel that is within walking distance. Before you leave, check out the winery gift shop. You will find many North Carolina brand items that will commemorate your day or make a special gift for someone.

Be sure to check their website to get the most up to date events.

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