Golden Road Vineyards
Golden Road Vineyard and Winery is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. It is part of the Yadkin Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA). North Carolina has 6 designated areas and Yadkin Valley AVA was the first one to be federally recognized in 2003. Chad and Crista Guebert became the owners of Golden Road in 2017, moving from Alexandria, Virginia. The next year they took over the management of the vineyard. While working full time as consultants to the Department of Defense and the VA Healthcare System, they began to move the vineyard into a winery as well. Their goal was to not just grow grapes to sell to other wineries, but to produce their own wine. In 2018 they kept the red grapes and worked with a winery in the area to produce its 2018 vintage. In 2019 they kept the entire harvest to produce and sell in their own tasting room. Their tasting room is cozy and with an inviting atmosphere. You are greeted when you walk in the door. They have wine related items for sale, but they don’t overwhelm you. Outside they have several firepits, picnic tables and adirondack chairs to enjoy the live music on most weekends. Joe Matthews was performing the afternoon we went. He stopped by and introduced himself. He played hits from the 70s and 80s. The tasting room is open Thursday and Friday 2-7, Saturday and Sunday 12-6. They are dog and children friendly.
Golden Road offers 2 levels of wine club membership depending on your preference of 3 or 6 bottle quarterly pick up. A percentage off, complementary Riedel glasses and free tastings are a few of the advantages of being club members.
I first met Chad and Crista shortly after they opened their tasting room. They both were gracious and talked with us at length about their journey. I ran into Crista at the Digital Media Summit this summer where she spoke on diversity and inclusion. She is a great speaker and had great insight on the topic and how to alleviate problems before they start. She, like many other vineyard owners at the summit, brought bottles of their recently released wines.
On a recent weekend to the Yadkin Valley we stopped by to try their newly released sparkling Traminette, Emergency Blow, named after a submarine maneuver. An Emergency Blow when a sub uses high pressure air to empty its ballast tanks and rapidly ascend to the surface. This is done in the event of flooding. Chad was a submarine officer. He served on the Los Angeles out of Pearl Harbor and then shore duty in Naples Italy.
I also enjoyed the Petit Manseng and their lightly sweet Traminette. Charles enjoyed the Nebbiolo and the 2019 Merlot. Chad and Crista grow 5 varieties of grapes. Since beginning our winery visit we have met some great people. It was good to catch back up with Chad and Crista.
When I reached back out to Crista about visiting she without hesitation responded with a yes can’t wait to see you. She even told me about a project that was underway on the property. Once we arrived Chad welcomed us and introduced us to Cleve and Margie Stoy, Crista’s mom and her husband. Cleve and Margie are overseeing the construction of 2 cabins located just behind the tasting room. They were absolutely delightful. They took us down to the creek. The path is being cleared for easy access to the perfect proposal spot or strolling along the creek. The path follows the creek and back up the cabins. When we visited the footers had been dug. One cabin will be 480 sq. feet and the other 1080 sq. feet. As we talked about their plans for the construction you could tell they are extremely proud of the project and their daughter and son-in-law. Once we made our way back to the tasting room we were ready for lunch. Cleve and Margie joined us for Lobster Dogs. When Lobster Dogs is an option I have their Southwestern Stuffed Avocado. As always it was delicious.
Golden Road is truly a family affair. I can’t wait to get back and see the progress of the cabins and to spend a weekend when they are completed. Live music and food trucks are scheduled most weekends. Be sure to check their website or FaceBook page for the latest details. They are a proud member of the Farmer Veteran Coalition and are a certified Homegrown by Heroes farm. Farmer Veteran Coalition is an organization with the mission to Mobilize Veterans to Feed America.