5 Yadkin Valley Wineries to Visit this Summer

Summertime is the season of beach trips, amusement parks, and exploring new areas. For the wine lover, it is also a time to explore new vineyards. North Carolina is home to over 200 wineries and vineyards, making it one of the country’s leading largest wine producers. One of the most concentrated areas of wineries in the Tarheel State is the Yadkin Valley Wine Region. Tucked away in the Piedmont of North Carolina, the Yadkin Valley region is situated nicely between the mountains, the Triad of Winston-Salem, High Point, and Greensboro, and just north of Lake Norman. The Yadkin Valley wine region is home to close to 50 wineries and vineyards. Below are 5 of those 50 to visit this summer. Whether you are a local to North Carolina or visiting for a summer respite, these wineries will surely not disappoint.

1) Childress Vineyards – Lexington

Childress Vineyards is the product of legendary NASCAR owner Richard Childress. Since 2004, the winery has grown to over 70 acres and offers 30 wine varieties. Childress has been named by Wine Enthusiast as one of the Top 25 Tasting Rooms in America and the bistro on site has been named of the Top 100 Scenic Restaurants in America by OpenTable. Childress Vineyards is a must for the NASCAR fan-turn wine aficionado and a North Carolina wine staple. It is in Lexington, just north of Charlotte and a short drive south from Winston-Salem and Greensboro.

2) Medaloni Cellars – Lewisville

Medaloni Cellars is one of those small, local wineries wine lovers will enjoy! The 22-acre winery is located 10 minutes west of Winston-Salem and offers an intimate wine tasting room, a venue for weddings, and even cabins couples can book for the weekend. Weekends at Medaloni include live music and local food trucks that make for a casual yet intimate ambiance. Try any of their 13 wine varieties while relaxing in a wooden Adirondack chair while taking in the Yadkin Valley scenery.

3) Divine Llama Vineyards and Farm – East Bend

Just west of Winston-Salem on State Route 67 is a small 5-acre vineyard within a 22-acre farm called Divine Llama Vineyards. Creating 11 wines out of 4 grape varieties that have been winning awards since 2007, a visitor to Dive Llama Vineyards can sip a glass while watching the llamas that reside on the farm. There are even opportunities to go on a casual hike with a llama, known as llama trekking. The small vineyard mixed with the llamas make for a unique and personal experience at this winery.

4) Stonefield Cellars Winery – Stokesdale

Nestled just north of Greensboro, Stonefield Cellars offers a casual wine tasting experience even the most novice of wine lovers will enjoy. What makes Stonefield a unique winery is not the award-winning wines, but the specialization in wine-making education. Stonefield holds educational events for those who seek to learn more about the winemaking industry and the viticulture regarding wine. Stonefield also has venues on site to hold weddings, corporate events, birthdays, and other various events.

5) Old North State Winery – Mt. Airy

Many people take to Mt. Airy during the summer time to pop a Coke, rock on a porch, and think back to simpler times of Mayberry and visit sites associated with the Andy Griffith Show and Andy Griffith himself. After pretending to be taken to the jail by Barney Fife, visit Old North State Winery. The tasting room is unique in Mt. Airy style by being housed in a former hardware store built in 1890 on Main St. This winery will be sure to deliver quality on its wines and creating a feeling of old times. Old North State is a must in Mt. Airy and in the Yadkin Valley.

The Yadkin Valley wine region offers many varieties of wines and winery experiences. During your summer travels to the North Carolina Piedmont, visit a local Yadkin Valley winery, purchase a case or 2 of wine, and store them at your nearest Bee Safe Storage and Wine Cellar location!

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Essentials to Starting A Wine Collection

Wine collecting has become a poplar hobby in the last several years. Statistics from Live-Ex show investment type wines, bottles that are listed at $25 and above, have aged better than most equity and fixed-income indexes. Some wine collectors get into the hobby purely for investment purposes while others love wine and want to hold onto bottles they pick up at various wineries. Why should you have a wine collection? If you call your self a vino enthusiast, love to frequent local wineries and wine bars, turning your interest into a hobby may be perfect for you. If you want to begin your vino collection, here are a few steps to begin with.

Begin Your Collection with What You Like.

Wine collecting sounds like it could get confusing fast. However, there is no need to jump into the wines and blends that you have no idea what they are or even how to pronounce the names. If you’re a Cabernet Sauvignon fan, start off your collection with various Cabs from different wineries and different vintages. If you enjoy a fruitier wine, get a collection started with Zinfandels, Pinot Grigio, and other fruity wines. You want your wine collection to reflect you, so you do you!

Set a Budget – You Don’t Have to Break the Bank!

Set a monthly or annual budget as you begin to collect your wines. You may want to start off with bottle coming only from your favorite wineries, or a local region even. Investment or collection- type wines are considered bottles that are $25 and up, which are easily found in local wine shops. There is no need to dive deep and purchase a $1,000 bottle on your first buy. Set a budget and ease into it.

Keep Track of Your Collection.

It is good practice to document your wines; where you purchased a bottle, when, from whom, and what was the price. It is also good practice to have your collection appraised annually by a certified wine appraiser, someone who can tell you the current value of your vintages.

Find a place to store your Collection.

Bee Safe has a wine cellar at every location.

You may want to begin a collection at your home initially, but if you want a collection worth having and showing off, you will need to find a good place to store your bottles. There are many wine cellar manufacturers who will retrofit your home with a custom-made wine cellar. Bee Safe also has a wine cellar at every location. For a list of our locations, you can click here.

Keep Learning.

Like any new hobby, the more you learn about it, the more fun you will have. Wine is one of the oldest drinks in the world, comes from may different areas of the world, and wine makers are still innovating new ways to create new blends. Become a wine club member at your local wine shop, engage in wine tastings, listen to podcasts, read books, and always be learning. Wine collecting can be one of the most fun hobbies you pick up!

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