Archive for category Vineyards

Davie County Vineyards: Ideal Complement for the Holidays

GrapesDo you still need to buy for a Christmas gift for someone but loathe the thoughts of facing the throngs at a massive shopping mall or wandering around a big-box outlet hoping to find inspiration on its sterile shelves?

There’s no need to panic. Just head to one of Davie County’s wineries and pick up a bottle of wine or two for the yet-to-be-gifted adults on your shopping list. The diversity of offerings means you’re sure to find something to please their palate, and the soothing, pastoral settings of the vineyards that can be seen from the tasting rooms will give you a chance to cool your jets during this sometimes frantic time of year.

A couple of tips before you make your grape escape from the holiday crowds. If possible, try to find out what food the wine will accompany. Opinions vary, of course, but generally speaking a Pinot Noir or Syrah goes well with turkey, Malbec or Merlot are great matches for prime rib, and a stronger red such as Cabernet is called for with lamb. And as more than one critic has pointed out, you can almost never go wrong with a sparkling wine because the sound of the cork being popped is a siren call for celebration.

There’s one other advantage to following our advice: by shopping at these wineries, you’ll also be investing in Davie County, where many of you live and work. Every dollar spent in Davie County will help grow the community and give your friends and neighbors a chance to prosper in the coming year.

With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the spots you’ll want to check out.

Raylen Wines and VineyardRayLen Vineyards & Winery
3577 Highway 158, Mocksville
336-998-3100
Tasting Room Hours: 11AM – 6PM Monday-Saturday, Closed Sundays
Open Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve 11AM – 3PM, Closed Christmas and New Year’s Day

If you’re looking for the broadest selection of wines from which to choose, head to RayLen Vineyards and Winery in Mocksville. Established by Joseph and Joyce Neely in 2000 and named after their daughters, Rachel and Helen, RayLen’s production is headed up by longtime vintner Steve Shepard. RayLen produced just 2500 cases of five types of wines that first year; a dozen years later, production had soared by over 300 percent and now comprises 16 different varieties. The rapid expansion didn’t come up at the expense of quality, but rather because of it. RayLen has racked up numerous state and regional awards and is renowned as one of the top wineries in the Southeast.

If the large selection has you uncertain what wine to select, try one of RayLen’s wine flights, which gives you the opportunity to sample from a broad array of offerings. Both the Red Flight (six wines) and the White Flight (seven wines) are just $6.00, while the Complete Flight is $10.00 and comprises just about everything RayLen produces.

Besides producing top-notch wine, RayLen also hosts open houses, music festivals, and is available for private events such as weddings or birthday parties. Visit the Web site to learn more and sign up as a member of the “Cellar Club” to have wines delivered to your home on a regular basis.

Misty Creek Wine and VineyardsMisty Creek Vineyards
710 Wyo Road
Mocksville, NC 27028
336-998-3303
Tasting Room Hours: 4PM – 8PM Fridays, 10AM – 8PM Saturdays, 2PM – 6PM Sundays

Nestled a couple of miles off Farmington Road between Huntsville and Farmington is Misty Creek Vineyards, producers of numerous award-winning wines since 2001. But owner Barry Nichols, who enjoyed a 30-plus-year career in the aerospace industry, has been involved with wines much longer than that: he first started working with the fruit of the vine the same year that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. Now, he and wife Kathy oversee the production of five varietals (four reds, one white) and two blends (Barrel House Blend and Misty Rose).

But while it’s the wines that will bring you out Misty Creek, it’s the welcoming atmosphere that’s likely to keep you coming back. The winery is both family- and pet-friendly, and Barry encourages visitors to bring their own food—there’s a grill available for cooking—and enjoy a bottle of their prize-winning Chardonnay or Chambourcin at the outdoor pavilion that overlooks a pond in the midst of the vineyard. Or just stop by and try the Misty Creek Flight featuring samples of all seven wines for just $5.

Like RayLen, Misty Creek hosts special events throughout the year centered around food, music, artisans, and activities. Keep an eye on the event calendar to see what’s in store in the coming months.

Garden Gate Wine and VineyardGarden Gate Vineyards
261 Scenic Drive, Mocksville
336-751-3794
Tasting Room Hours: 12 Noon to 5PM Wednesday-Saturday

While North Carolina’s reputation as winemaking state has soared over the past decade, there’s no question that vintners here face special challenges when trying to make European-style varietals. But Garden Gate Vineyards’ owners Sonya and Bob Whitaker have come up with a solution: creating wines using local fruits such as blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries, as well as relying on indigenous grapes like the Scuppernong and Muscadine.

Grown without pesticides, all Garden Gate’s wines are priced at $12 bottle (a free bottle is thrown in when you purchase a case). In addition to its fruity wines and Scuppernong and Muscadine, the Whitakers have recently added a Zinfandel and a Merlot to the roster, along with a Sangria (based on the strawberry wine) and a specialty run called “Jitterbug.” Starting to feel the nip of winter? Sample the warm, soothing Dragonfly Wassail the Whitakers created for the holidays.

Those unfamiliar with fruity or sweeter wines will appreciate the fact Garden Gate offers free tastings, and everyone will enjoy the small winery’s friendly atmosphere. Get directions and learn more about the nutritional benefits of Muscadine grapes at Garden Gate’s little nook on the Web.

Lazy Elm Wine and VineyardLazy Elm Vineyard & Winery
523 Danner Road, Mocksville
336-909-4914
Tasting Room Hours: 12 Noon to 5PM, Saturday and Sunday

One of the newest arrivals on the Davie County wine scene is Lazy Elm Vineyard and Winery. The five-and-a-half-acre vineyard sits on a 43-acre farm in Mocksville about a mile east of Highway 601.

For its initial lineup, Lazy Elm has been purchasing grapes from a Surry County vineyard located within the Yadkin Valley American Viticultural Area to create three reds and a rose; it also has been producing a sweet apple wine. Last year marked its first plantings in the vineyard: Montepulciano, Petit Verdot, Mourvedre, and Malbec comprise the lineup of reds and Vermentino, a variety used in Italian wines, will be the flagship white wine.

While the tasting room is currently open only on weekends, you can also call to set up a time to stop by during the week. Just bring a couple of glasses and perhaps a picnic lunch, then grab a bottle of wine and relax in a peaceful setting. Find out more about Lazy Elm and keep up to date on their upcoming varietals by heading to their Web site.

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Taste Award Winning Wines From Three Davie County Vineyards!

Three Davie County vineyards are home to a variety of award winning wines available to suit any taste.  Spring and summer are a great time to experience the scenic beauty, enjoy tastings and take part in a variety of scheduled events.  Event schedules for each vineyard are available on the vineyard web sites.  A map of locations with driving directions are also included below.


RayLen Vineyards & Winery

3577 Highway 158 Mocksville, NC 27028 (336) 998-3100 http://www.raylenvineyards.com Monday-Saturday 11:00AM-6:00PM The first vines for RayLen Vineyards & Winery were planted in 1999 when Joe and Joyce Neely purchased the property. Until then, the property had functioned as a dairy farm for nearly a century. Today, the rolling hills and winding drive romance our guests as they drive through 35,000 European varietal grape vines. The distinctive cupola roof top of RayLen Vineyards & Winery is a beacon for the southern portion of the Yadkin Valley Appellation. Travelers from the highway and wanderers from the surrounding country roads are drawn to the Tasting Room to discover a new experience. Loyal customers return for the lush vista and a reliable favorite of RayLen’s award-winning wines. Vintner Steve Shepard has a long history in winemaking. His education and career began in Pennsylvania; since 1980, Shepard has been making wine commercially. Drawn south, Shepard’s North Carolina career began in 1989 at the first Yadkin Valley winery. The Yadkin Valley’s unique microclimate and soils have proven to be optimal for growing European varietals. From the date of RayLen’s purchase, Shepard helped design the vineyard for optimum growth for the 10 different European varietals grown. In its first three vintages, RayLen Vineyards & Winery won over 200 medals at various statewide, regional, and international competitions. Shepard has been recognized by Robert Parker for his 1991 vintage wines, while RayLen has been lauded by the Wine Spectator as one of the premier wineries in the Southeast.


Misty Creek Tasting RoomMisty Creek Farm and Vineyards

710 Wyo Road Mocksville, North Carolina 27028 336.998.3303 http://www.mistycreekwines.com Friday:  4:00-8:00 PM Saturday:  10:00 AM-8:00 PM Sunday:  2:00-6:00 PM Misty Creek’s vineyards and tasting room lie between the communities of Huntsville and Farmington near the Shallow Ford of the Yadkin River, an area used for centuries by Native Americans as a meeting ground and natural fish trap.  Later the Shallow Ford served as a safe place for travelers, wagons and stagecoaches to cross the Yadkin River on the Great Wagon Road (known locally as the Colonial Pike) from Philadelphia to Augusta, Georgia. A thriving community developed at the ford to serve passing wagon trains, and the deep cut of the Great Wagon Road is still evident today on both sides of the Yadkin River.  By 1770, a road cut from this area to Mulberry Fields (near Wilkesboro) later became known as the Daniel Boone Trail, named after Daniel Boone who married and built a cabin on the Sugar Creek, approximately two miles east of Farmington, in 1756.   On October 14th, 1780 during the American Revolution a large group of Tories crossed the Shallow Ford to be defeated by Whig forces.  Fourteen Tories were buried in a small plot west of the crossing, and almost immediately the brash colonials built a pig lot over their final resting place to commemorate forever this event.  Later in 1781 Lord Cornwallis crossed the Shallow Ford in pursuit of General Nathaniel Green’s “Green Mountain Boys”, the two forces meeting at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in Greensboro. After the war in 1792, Charles Hunt purchased 250 acres and began to lay out 111 half-acre lots to establish the city of Huntsville.  Local history suggests that Huntsville narrowly missed being the state capital for North Carolina.  In April 1865 Union General George Stoneman’s cavalry crossed the Shallow Ford and routed the Confederacy’s Yadkin Home Guard, subsequently ransacking the town of Bethania and looting the town of Huntsville as one of the last acts of the Civil War. The Nichols family purchased this land in early 2001, naming it Misty Creek after the natural spring that bisects the property. They immediately began a series of improvements that included a lake, roads and irrigation, and planted the first four acres of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Chambourcin.  The following year an additional 10 acres were planted, and Syrah was added to the vineyard.  Finished in June 2009, the tasting room sits directly on the site of a pioneer cabin originally built in 1800 as a mule barn, and overlooks the old road bed.  The deep well and original entry road are very evident in the topography, and they continue to find hand made bricks, pottery shards, spear points and other evidence of long habitation. Misty Creek Vineyards are located in Davie County, named for William R. Davie who was a revolutionary war leader, minister to France and later governor of North Carolina.


Garden Gate Vineyards

261 Scenic Drive Mocksville, NC 27028 336 751-3794 or 336 941-7721 http://www.gardengatevineyards.com Wednesday through Saturday 12:00-5:00 PM Sunday 1:00-5:00 PM Garden Gate Vineyards, owned by Bob and Sonya Whitaker offers free tastings Wednesday through Saturday, 12:00 to 5:00 PM and Sundays from 1:00-5:00 PM.  A cozy and inviting winery, with exceptionally friendly hosts, Garden Gate produces home-style fruit wines including Scuppernog, Muscadine, Blackberry, Blueberry, Strawberry and other varieties including Sangria and “Jitter Bug.”  Garden Gate uses no pesticides on their grapes, relying instead on the large number of resident blue birds lured to their countryside setting.  In addition to the wines, Garden Gate also offers a fine selection of hand-made pottery created by the hosts. Davie County ~ Time Well Spent!  Use the map below to get driving directions.


grapevines-H120A Brief History of Viticulture in North Carolina
Sir Walter Raleigh had no idea that the vine his sailors stumbled upon when they reached the Outer Banks would be so beneficial to North Carolinians. His men reported that the coast was “so full of grapes as the very beating and surge of the sea overflowed them.” Perhaps what his mates spotted was the MotherVine on Roanoke Island, still growing and producing scuppernong grapes since explorers first sighted it in 1584. The vine has a trunk two-feet-thick, and its tendrils stretch along wooden arbors that support their tremendous weight across almost an acre of land. The scuppernong is a type of muscadine grape. grape leaf and vines1 (2)In the early 1800s, Thomas Jefferson noted North Carolina taking the lead with wine culture, estimating its “wine would be distinguished on the best tables in Europe, for its fine aroma, and chrystalline transparence.” The 1840 Federal Census listed the state as the number one wine producer in the U.S.; it remained one of the highest-ranked until Prohibition in the early 1900s. Today, the state’s industry is enjoying a vigorous resurgence, shared this time with the imported European-style vinifera.

Facts about North Carolina Wines
North Carolina is home to more than 80 wineries. The number of wineries has more than tripled since 2001. The industry has two focuses – native muscadine grapes and European-style vinifera grapes.

  • Commonly planted vinifera grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Viognier. They are planted in the Western and Piedmont regions of the state.
  • Plantings of native muscadine grapes, also known as Scuppernongs, are relatively pest resistant and thrive in the hot sandy conditions of the Coastal region. Muscadines contain high levels of Resveratrol and other health-enhancing antioxidants. Some wineries even sell grape skins to nutraceutical companies.
  • Scuppernong is the first grape cultivated in the United States and is the official fruit of North Carolina. The Mothervine in Manteo on Roanoke Island, North Carolina is a 400-year old Scuppernong vine and is the oldest known cultivated grapevine in the nation.
  • North Carolina ranks 10th for grape and wine production in the United States.
  • More than 400 individually owned grape vineyards are spread across the state, covering 1,450 acres.
  • According to a recent study, the annual economic impact of the North Carolina wine and grape industry is $813 million with 5,700 jobs created.
  • The Yadkin Valley is North Carolina’s first federally recognized American Viticultural Area (AVA). It is located in northwestern North Carolina, and there are currently more than 20 wineries and 400 acres devoted to vineyards in the Yadkin Valley.
  • Asheville is home to the Biltmore Estate Winery, which receives more than one million visitors annually and is the most visited winery in the United States.
  • Medoc Vineyard in the town of Brinkleyville in Halifax County was the first commercial winery established in North Carolina and led the country’s wine production in 1835.
  • At the turn of the century, 25 wineries operated in North Carolina, making it one of the most productive wine states in the U.S. The industry closed with the onset of Prohibition.
  • A 2007 national survey sponsored by the Travel Industry Association (TIA) in partnership with Gourmet magazine and the International Culinary Tourism Association (ICTA), cited North Carolina as one of the top five state destinations for wine and culinary tourism activities in the United States.
  • Duplin Winery, the largest and oldest winery in the state, is the world’s largest producer of Muscadine wine.

[The introduction and facts above are from www.visitncwines.com – Used with permission]

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Taste Award Winning Wines From Three Davie County Vineyards!

Three Davie County vineyards are home to a variety of award winning wines available to suit any taste.  Spring and summer are a great time to experience the scenic beauty, enjoy tastings and take part in a variety of scheduled events.  Event schedules for each vineyard are available on the vineyard web sites.  A map of locations with driving directions are also included below.


RayLen Vineyards & Winery

3577 Highway 158 Mocksville, NC 27028 (336) 998-3100 http://www.raylenvineyards.com Monday-Saturday 11:00AM-6:00PM The first vines for RayLen Vineyards & Winery were planted in 1999 when Joe and Joyce Neely purchased the property. Until then, the property had functioned as a dairy farm for nearly a century. Today, the rolling hills and winding drive romance our guests as they drive through 35,000 European varietal grape vines. The distinctive cupola roof top of RayLen Vineyards & Winery is a beacon for the southern portion of the Yadkin Valley Appellation. Travelers from the highway and wanderers from the surrounding country roads are drawn to the Tasting Room to discover a new experience. Loyal customers return for the lush vista and a reliable favorite of RayLen’s award-winning wines. Vintner Steve Shepard has a long history in winemaking. His education and career began in Pennsylvania; since 1980, Shepard has been making wine commercially. Drawn south, Shepard’s North Carolina career began in 1989 at the first Yadkin Valley winery. The Yadkin Valley’s unique microclimate and soils have proven to be optimal for growing European varietals. From the date of RayLen’s purchase, Shepard helped design the vineyard for optimum growth for the 10 different European varietals grown. In its first three vintages, RayLen Vineyards & Winery won over 200 medals at various statewide, regional, and international competitions. Shepard has been recognized by Robert Parker for his 1991 vintage wines, while RayLen has been lauded by the Wine Spectator as one of the premier wineries in the Southeast.


Misty Creek Tasting RoomMisty Creek Farm and Vineyards

710 Wyo Road Mocksville, North Carolina 27028 336.998.3303 http://www.mistycreekwines.com Friday:  4:00-8:00 PM Saturday:  10:00 AM-8:00 PM Sunday:  2:00-6:00 PM Misty Creek’s vineyards and tasting room lie between the communities of Huntsville and Farmington near the Shallow Ford of the Yadkin River, an area used for centuries by Native Americans as a meeting ground and natural fish trap.  Later the Shallow Ford served as a safe place for travelers, wagons and stagecoaches to cross the Yadkin River on the Great Wagon Road (known locally as the Colonial Pike) from Philadelphia to Augusta, Georgia. A thriving community developed at the ford to serve passing wagon trains, and the deep cut of the Great Wagon Road is still evident today on both sides of the Yadkin River.  By 1770, a road cut from this area to Mulberry Fields (near Wilkesboro) later became known as the Daniel Boone Trail, named after Daniel Boone who married and built a cabin on the Sugar Creek, approximately two miles east of Farmington, in 1756.   On October 14th, 1780 during the American Revolution a large group of Tories crossed the Shallow Ford to be defeated by Whig forces.  Fourteen Tories were buried in a small plot west of the crossing, and almost immediately the brash colonials built a pig lot over their final resting place to commemorate forever this event.  Later in 1781 Lord Cornwallis crossed the Shallow Ford in pursuit of General Nathaniel Green’s “Green Mountain Boys”, the two forces meeting at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in Greensboro. After the war in 1792, Charles Hunt purchased 250 acres and began to lay out 111 half-acre lots to establish the city of Huntsville.  Local history suggests that Huntsville narrowly missed being the state capital for North Carolina.  In April 1865 Union General George Stoneman’s cavalry crossed the Shallow Ford and routed the Confederacy’s Yadkin Home Guard, subsequently ransacking the town of Bethania and looting the town of Huntsville as one of the last acts of the Civil War. The Nichols family purchased this land in early 2001, naming it Misty Creek after the natural spring that bisects the property. They immediately began a series of improvements that included a lake, roads and irrigation, and planted the first four acres of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Chambourcin.  The following year an additional 10 acres were planted, and Syrah was added to the vineyard.  Finished in June 2009, the tasting room sits directly on the site of a pioneer cabin originally built in 1800 as a mule barn, and overlooks the old road bed.  The deep well and original entry road are very evident in the topography, and they continue to find hand made bricks, pottery shards, spear points and other evidence of long habitation. Misty Creek Vineyards are located in Davie County, named for William R. Davie who was a revolutionary war leader, minister to France and later governor of North Carolina.


Garden Gate Vineyards

261 Scenic Drive Mocksville, NC 27028 336 751-3794 or 336 941-7721 http://www.gardengatevineyards.com Wednesday through Saturday 12:00-5:00 PM Sunday 1:00-5:00 PM Garden Gate Vineyards, owned by Bob and Sonya Whitaker offers free tastings Wednesday through Saturday, 12:00 to 5:00 PM and Sundays from 1:00-5:00 PM.  A cozy and inviting winery, with exceptionally friendly hosts, Garden Gate produces home-style fruit wines including Scuppernog, Muscadine, Blackberry, Blueberry, Strawberry and other varieties including Sangria and “Jitter Bug.”  Garden Gate uses no pesticides on their grapes, relying instead on the large number of resident blue birds lured to their countryside setting.  In addition to the wines, Garden Gate also offers a fine selection of hand-made pottery created by the hosts. Davie County ~ Time Well Spent!  Use the map below to get driving directions.


grapevines-H120A Brief History of Viticulture in North Carolina
Sir Walter Raleigh had no idea that the vine his sailors stumbled upon when they reached the Outer Banks would be so beneficial to North Carolinians. His men reported that the coast was “so full of grapes as the very beating and surge of the sea overflowed them.” Perhaps what his mates spotted was the MotherVine on Roanoke Island, still growing and producing scuppernong grapes since explorers first sighted it in 1584. The vine has a trunk two-feet-thick, and its tendrils stretch along wooden arbors that support their tremendous weight across almost an acre of land. The scuppernong is a type of muscadine grape. grape leaf and vines1 (2)In the early 1800s, Thomas Jefferson noted North Carolina taking the lead with wine culture, estimating its “wine would be distinguished on the best tables in Europe, for its fine aroma, and chrystalline transparence.” The 1840 Federal Census listed the state as the number one wine producer in the U.S.; it remained one of the highest-ranked until Prohibition in the early 1900s. Today, the state’s industry is enjoying a vigorous resurgence, shared this time with the imported European-style vinifera.

Facts about North Carolina Wines
North Carolina is home to more than 80 wineries. The number of wineries has more than tripled since 2001. The industry has two focuses – native muscadine grapes and European-style vinifera grapes.

  • Commonly planted vinifera grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Viognier. They are planted in the Western and Piedmont regions of the state.
  • Plantings of native muscadine grapes, also known as Scuppernongs, are relatively pest resistant and thrive in the hot sandy conditions of the Coastal region. Muscadines contain high levels of Resveratrol and other health-enhancing antioxidants. Some wineries even sell grape skins to nutraceutical companies.
  • Scuppernong is the first grape cultivated in the United States and is the official fruit of North Carolina. The Mothervine in Manteo on Roanoke Island, North Carolina is a 400-year old Scuppernong vine and is the oldest known cultivated grapevine in the nation.
  • North Carolina ranks 10th for grape and wine production in the United States.
  • More than 400 individually owned grape vineyards are spread across the state, covering 1,450 acres.
  • According to a recent study, the annual economic impact of the North Carolina wine and grape industry is $813 million with 5,700 jobs created.
  • The Yadkin Valley is North Carolina’s first federally recognized American Viticultural Area (AVA). It is located in northwestern North Carolina, and there are currently more than 20 wineries and 400 acres devoted to vineyards in the Yadkin Valley.
  • Asheville is home to the Biltmore Estate Winery, which receives more than one million visitors annually and is the most visited winery in the United States.
  • Medoc Vineyard in the town of Brinkleyville in Halifax County was the first commercial winery established in North Carolina and led the country’s wine production in 1835.
  • At the turn of the century, 25 wineries operated in North Carolina, making it one of the most productive wine states in the U.S. The industry closed with the onset of Prohibition.
  • A 2007 national survey sponsored by the Travel Industry Association (TIA) in partnership with Gourmet magazine and the International Culinary Tourism Association (ICTA), cited North Carolina as one of the top five state destinations for wine and culinary tourism activities in the United States.
  • Duplin Winery, the largest and oldest winery in the state, is the world’s largest producer of Muscadine wine.

[The introduction and facts above are from www.visitncwines.com – Used with permission]

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Enjoy the Holiday Weekend in Davie County

The Labor Day holiday is upon us and Davie County is a great place to be.  Farmer’s Markets, Hot Rods, a sunset musical flight, an old fashioned ice cream social and a classic car show are all on tap this weekend in Davie County.

Farmer’s Markets Friday & Saturday
The Peachtree Farmer’s Market is open from 4-8 pm tonight.  The Peachtree Farmer’s Market is located at 111 Peachtree Lane, on the corner of Peachtree Lane and NC Highway 801 in Bermuda Run (behind the Wells Fargo Bank Building).  The Peachtree Farmer’s Market will be open each Friday from 4-9 PM through October.

The Farmington Farmer’s Market is open will be open from 8 am to 1 pm at the Farmington Community Center located at 1723 Farmington Road.  This farmer’s market provides locally grown produce, honey, jellies and local homemade items and will be open from 8 am to 1 pm each Saturday through October.

Farmington Dragway  – Friday and Saturday
Friday Night Thunder at Farmington Dragway, “The Farm!”  Gates open at 5 PM on Friday night for “Test-n-Tune” runs!  Bring your street cars, race cars, motorcycles, or any motorized vehicles and take a run down the raceway!  $5 general admission and only $10 to run down the track!

On Saturday, The Farm will host 2 big races in one day.  Gates open at 8 am for the 2012 Finale ET Bracket Points Races #11 and #12.  Admission is $10 for adults and kids 12 and under get in free.

Friday ~ Sunset Musical Flight at Raylen
On Friday night from 6:30 – 8:30 PM RayLen Vineyards will host the end of summer Sunset Musical Flight.  Raylen is known for its wine AND its vista for sunsets. Enjoy great wine, music, and socializing. Gracing the Raylen stage once again will be Leah Shaw & the Band of Winos for an evening of local entertainment

Monday ~ Ice Cream Social and Classic Cars Cruise-In
On Monday, historic downtown Mocksville will host an old fashioned ice cream social in conjunction with the classic cars cruise in from 5-8 PM on the square.  Come out and enjoy ice cream and hot dogs from Carvel.  All proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Davie County. Sponsered by, F. Mac Bond and Piedmont CARS Association.

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Taste Award Winning Wines From Three Davie County Vineyards!

Davie County is home to three wonderful vineyards with a variety of award winning wines available to suit any taste.  Spring and summer are a great time to experience the scenic beauty, enjoy tastings and take part in a variety of scheduled events.  Event schedules for each vineyard are available on the vineyard web sites.  A map of locations with driving directions are also included below.


RayLen Vineyards & Winery

3577 Highway 158 Mocksville, NC 27028 (336) 998-3100 http://www.raylenvineyards.com Monday-Saturday 11:00AM-6:00PM The first vines for RayLen Vineyards & Winery were planted in 1999 when Joe and Joyce Neely purchased the property. Until then, the property had functioned as a dairy farm for nearly a century. Today, the rolling hills and winding drive romance our guests as they drive through 35,000 European varietal grape vines. The distinctive cupola roof top of RayLen Vineyards & Winery is a beacon for the southern portion of the Yadkin Valley Appellation. Travelers from the highway and wanderers from the surrounding country roads are drawn to the Tasting Room to discover a new experience. Loyal customers return for the lush vista and a reliable favorite of RayLen’s award-winning wines. Vintner Steve Shepard has a long history in winemaking. His education and career began in Pennsylvania; since 1980, Shepard has been making wine commercially. Drawn south, Shepard’s North Carolina career began in 1989 at the first Yadkin Valley winery. The Yadkin Valley’s unique microclimate and soils have proven to be optimal for growing European varietals. From the date of RayLen’s purchase, Shepard helped design the vineyard for optimum growth for the 10 different European varietals grown. In its first three vintages, RayLen Vineyards & Winery won over 200 medals at various statewide, regional, and international competitions. Shepard has been recognized by Robert Parker for his 1991 vintage wines, while RayLen has been lauded by the Wine Spectator as one of the premier wineries in the Southeast.


Misty Creek Tasting RoomMisty Creek Farm and Vineyards

710 Wyo Road Mocksville, North Carolina 27028 336.998.3303 http://www.mistycreekwines.com Friday:  4:00-8:00 PM Saturday:  10:00 AM-8:00 PM Sunday:  2:00-6:00 PM Misty Creek’s vineyards and tasting room lie between the communities of Huntsville and Farmington near the Shallow Ford of the Yadkin River, an area used for centuries by Native Americans as a meeting ground and natural fish trap.  Later the Shallow Ford served as a safe place for travelers, wagons and stagecoaches to cross the Yadkin River on the Great Wagon Road (known locally as the Colonial Pike) from Philadelphia to Augusta, Georgia. A thriving community developed at the ford to serve passing wagon trains, and the deep cut of the Great Wagon Road is still evident today on both sides of the Yadkin River.  By 1770, a road cut from this area to Mulberry Fields (near Wilkesboro) later became known as the Daniel Boone Trail, named after Daniel Boone who married and built a cabin on the Sugar Creek, approximately two miles east of Farmington, in 1756.   On October 14th, 1780 during the American Revolution a large group of Tories crossed the Shallow Ford to be defeated by Whig forces.  Fourteen Tories were buried in a small plot west of the crossing, and almost immediately the brash colonials built a pig lot over their final resting place to commemorate forever this event.  Later in 1781 Lord Cornwallis crossed the Shallow Ford in pursuit of General Nathaniel Green’s “Green Mountain Boys”, the two forces meeting at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in Greensboro. After the war in 1792, Charles Hunt purchased 250 acres and began to lay out 111 half-acre lots to establish the city of Huntsville.  Local history suggests that Huntsville narrowly missed being the state capital for North Carolina.  In April 1865 Union General George Stoneman’s cavalry crossed the Shallow Ford and routed the Confederacy’s Yadkin Home Guard, subsequently ransacking the town of Bethania and looting the town of Huntsville as one of the last acts of the Civil War. The Nichols family purchased this land in early 2001, naming it Misty Creek after the natural spring that bisects the property. They immediately began a series of improvements that included a lake, roads and irrigation, and planted the first four acres of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Chambourcin.  The following year an additional 10 acres were planted, and Syrah was added to the vineyard.  Finished in June 2009, the tasting room sits directly on the site of a pioneer cabin originally built in 1800 as a mule barn, and overlooks the old road bed.  The deep well and original entry road are very evident in the topography, and they continue to find hand made bricks, pottery shards, spear points and other evidence of long habitation. Misty Creek Vineyards are located in Davie County, named for William R. Davie who was a revolutionary war leader, minister to France and later governor of North Carolina.


Garden Gate Vineyards

261 Scenic Drive Mocksville, NC 27028 336 751-3794 or 336 941-7721 http://www.gardengatevineyards.net Wednesday through Saturday 12:00-5:00 PM Sunday 1:00-5:00 PM Garden Gate Vineyards, owned by Bob and Sonya Whitaker offers free tastings Wednesday through Saturday, 12:00 to 5:00 PM and Sundays from 1:00-5:00 PM.  A cozy and inviting winery, with exceptionally friendly hosts, Garden Gate produces home-style fruit wines including Scuppernog, Muscadine, Blackberry, Blueberry, Strawberry and other varieties including Sangria and “Jitter Bug.”  Garden Gate uses no pesticides on their grapes, relying instead on the large number of resident blue birds lured to their countryside setting.  In addition to the wines, Garden Gate also offers a fine selection of hand-made pottery created by the hosts. Davie County ~ Time Well Spent!  Use the map below to get driving directions.


grapevines-H120A Brief History of Viticulture in North Carolina
Sir Walter Raleigh had no idea that the vine his sailors stumbled upon when they reached the Outer Banks would be so beneficial to North Carolinians. His men reported that the coast was “so full of grapes as the very beating and surge of the sea overflowed them.” Perhaps what his mates spotted was the MotherVine on Roanoke Island, still growing and producing scuppernong grapes since explorers first sighted it in 1584. The vine has a trunk two-feet-thick, and its tendrils stretch along wooden arbors that support their tremendous weight across almost an acre of land. The scuppernong is a type of muscadine grape. grape leaf and vines1 (2)In the early 1800s, Thomas Jefferson noted North Carolina taking the lead with wine culture, estimating its “wine would be distinguished on the best tables in Europe, for its fine aroma, and chrystalline transparence.” The 1840 Federal Census listed the state as the number one wine producer in the U.S.; it remained one of the highest-ranked until Prohibition in the early 1900s. Today, the state’s industry is enjoying a vigorous resurgence, shared this time with the imported European-style vinifera.

Facts about North Carolina Wines
North Carolina is home to more than 80 wineries. The number of wineries has more than tripled since 2001. The industry has two focuses – native muscadine grapes and European-style vinifera grapes.

  • Commonly planted vinifera grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Viognier. They are planted in the Western and Piedmont regions of the state.
  • Plantings of native muscadine grapes, also known as Scuppernongs, are relatively pest resistant and thrive in the hot sandy conditions of the Coastal region. Muscadines contain high levels of Resveratrol and other health-enhancing antioxidants. Some wineries even sell grape skins to nutraceutical companies.
  • Scuppernong is the first grape cultivated in the United States and is the official fruit of North Carolina. The Mothervine in Manteo on Roanoke Island, North Carolina is a 400-year old Scuppernong vine and is the oldest known cultivated grapevine in the nation.
  • North Carolina ranks 10th for grape and wine production in the United States.
  • More than 400 individually owned grape vineyards are spread across the state, covering 1,450 acres.
  • According to a recent study, the annual economic impact of the North Carolina wine and grape industry is $813 million with 5,700 jobs created.
  • The Yadkin Valley is North Carolina’s first federally recognized American Viticultural Area (AVA). It is located in northwestern North Carolina, and there are currently more than 20 wineries and 400 acres devoted to vineyards in the Yadkin Valley.
  • Asheville is home to the Biltmore Estate Winery, which receives more than one million visitors annually and is the most visited winery in the United States.
  • Medoc Vineyard in the town of Brinkleyville in Halifax County was the first commercial winery established in North Carolina and led the country’s wine production in 1835.
  • At the turn of the century, 25 wineries operated in North Carolina, making it one of the most productive wine states in the U.S. The industry closed with the onset of Prohibition.
  • A 2007 national survey sponsored by the Travel Industry Association (TIA) in partnership with Gourmet magazine and the International Culinary Tourism Association (ICTA), cited North Carolina as one of the top five state destinations for wine and culinary tourism activities in the United States.
  • Duplin Winery, the largest and oldest winery in the state, is the world’s largest producer of Muscadine wine.

[The introduction and facts above are from www.visitncwines.com – Used with permission]

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Taste Award Winning Wines From Three Davie County Vineyards

Davie County is home to three wonderful vineyards with a variety of award winning wines available to suit any taste.  Spring and summer are a great time to experience the scenic beauty, enjoy tastings and take part in a variety of scheduled events.  Event schedules for each vineyard are available on the vineyard web sites.  A map of locations with driving directions are also included below.


RayLen Vineyards & Winery

3577 Highway 158 Mocksville, NC 27028 (336) 998-3100 http://www.raylenvineyards.com Monday-Saturday 11:00AM-6:00PM The first vines for RayLen Vineyards & Winery were planted in 1999 when Joe and Joyce Neely purchased the property. Until then, the property had functioned as a dairy farm for nearly a century. Today, the rolling hills and winding drive romance our guests as they drive through 35,000 European varietal grape vines. The distinctive cupola roof top of RayLen Vineyards & Winery is a beacon for the southern portion of the Yadkin Valley Appellation. Travelers from the highway and wanderers from the surrounding country roads are drawn to the Tasting Room to discover a new experience. Loyal customers return for the lush vista and a reliable favorite of RayLen’s award-winning wines. Vintner Steve Shepard has a long history in winemaking. His education and career began in Pennsylvania; since 1980, Shepard has been making wine commercially. Drawn south, Shepard’s North Carolina career began in 1989 at the first Yadkin Valley winery. The Yadkin Valley’s unique microclimate and soils have proven to be optimal for growing European varietals. From the date of RayLen’s purchase, Shepard helped design the vineyard for optimum growth for the 10 different European varietals grown. In its first three vintages, RayLen Vineyards & Winery won over 200 medals at various statewide, regional, and international competitions. Shepard has been recognized by Robert Parker for his 1991 vintage wines, while RayLen has been lauded by the Wine Spectator as one of the premier wineries in the Southeast.


Misty Creek Tasting RoomMisty Creek Farm and Vineyards

710 Wyo Road Mocksville, North Carolina 27028 336.998.3303 http://www.mistycreekwines.com Friday:  4:00-8:00 PM Saturday:  10:00 AM-8:00 PM Sunday:  2:00-6:00 PM Misty Creek’s vineyards and tasting room lie between the communities of Huntsville and Farmington near the Shallow Ford of the Yadkin River, an area used for centuries by Native Americans as a meeting ground and natural fish trap.  Later the Shallow Ford served as a safe place for travelers, wagons and stagecoaches to cross the Yadkin River on the Great Wagon Road (known locally as the Colonial Pike) from Philadelphia to Augusta, Georgia. A thriving community developed at the ford to serve passing wagon trains, and the deep cut of the Great Wagon Road is still evident today on both sides of the Yadkin River.  By 1770, a road cut from this area to Mulberry Fields (near Wilkesboro) later became known as the Daniel Boone Trail, named after Daniel Boone who married and built a cabin on the Sugar Creek, approximately two miles east of Farmington, in 1756.   On October 14th, 1780 during the American Revolution a large group of Tories crossed the Shallow Ford to be defeated by Whig forces.  Fourteen Tories were buried in a small plot west of the crossing, and almost immediately the brash colonials built a pig lot over their final resting place to commemorate forever this event.  Later in 1781 Lord Cornwallis crossed the Shallow Ford in pursuit of General Nathaniel Green’s “Green Mountain Boys”, the two forces meeting at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in Greensboro. After the war in 1792, Charles Hunt purchased 250 acres and began to lay out 111 half-acre lots to establish the city of Huntsville.  Local history suggests that Huntsville narrowly missed being the state capital for North Carolina.  In April 1865 Union General George Stoneman’s cavalry crossed the Shallow Ford and routed the Confederacy’s Yadkin Home Guard, subsequently ransacking the town of Bethania and looting the town of Huntsville as one of the last acts of the Civil War. The Nichols family purchased this land in early 2001, naming it Misty Creek after the natural spring that bisects the property. They immediately began a series of improvements that included a lake, roads and irrigation, and planted the first four acres of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Chambourcin.  The following year an additional 10 acres were planted, and Syrah was added to the vineyard.  Finished in June 2009, the tasting room sits directly on the site of a pioneer cabin originally built in 1800 as a mule barn, and overlooks the old road bed.  The deep well and original entry road are very evident in the topography, and they continue to find hand made bricks, pottery shards, spear points and other evidence of long habitation. Misty Creek Vineyards are located in Davie County, named for William R. Davie who was a revolutionary war leader, minister to France and later governor of North Carolina.


Garden Gate Vineyards

261 Scenic Drive Mocksville, NC 27028 336 751-3794 or 336 941-7721 http://www.gardengatevineyards.net Wednesday through Saturday 12:00-5:00 PM Sunday 1:00-5:00 PM Garden Gate Vineyards, owned by Bob and Sonya Whitaker offers free tastings Wednesday through Saturday, 12:00 to 5:00 PM and Sundays from 1:00-5:00 PM.  A cozy and inviting winery, with exceptionally friendly hosts, Garden Gate produces home-style fruit wines including Scuppernog, Muscadine, Blackberry, Blueberry, Strawberry and other varieties including Sangria and “Jitter Bug.”  Garden Gate uses no pesticides on their grapes, relying instead on the large number of resident blue birds lured to their countryside setting.  In addition to the wines, Garden Gate also offers a fine selection of hand-made pottery created by the hosts. Davie County ~ Time Well Spent!  Use the map below to get driving directions.


grapevines-H120A Brief History of Viticulture in North Carolina
Sir Walter Raleigh had no idea that the vine his sailors stumbled upon when they reached the Outer Banks would be so beneficial to North Carolinians. His men reported that the coast was “so full of grapes as the very beating and surge of the sea overflowed them.” Perhaps what his mates spotted was the MotherVine on Roanoke Island, still growing and producing scuppernong grapes since explorers first sighted it in 1584. The vine has a trunk two-feet-thick, and its tendrils stretch along wooden arbors that support their tremendous weight across almost an acre of land. The scuppernong is a type of muscadine grape. grape leaf and vines1 (2)In the early 1800s, Thomas Jefferson noted North Carolina taking the lead with wine culture, estimating its “wine would be distinguished on the best tables in Europe, for its fine aroma, and chrystalline transparence.” The 1840 Federal Census listed the state as the number one wine producer in the U.S.; it remained one of the highest-ranked until Prohibition in the early 1900s. Today, the state’s industry is enjoying a vigorous resurgence, shared this time with the imported European-style vinifera.

Facts about North Carolina Wines
North Carolina is home to more than 80 wineries. The number of wineries has more than tripled since 2001. The industry has two focuses – native muscadine grapes and European-style vinifera grapes.

  • Commonly planted vinifera grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Viognier. They are planted in the Western and Piedmont regions of the state.
  • Plantings of native muscadine grapes, also known as Scuppernongs, are relatively pest resistant and thrive in the hot sandy conditions of the Coastal region. Muscadines contain high levels of Resveratrol and other health-enhancing antioxidants. Some wineries even sell grape skins to nutraceutical companies.
  • Scuppernong is the first grape cultivated in the United States and is the official fruit of North Carolina. The Mothervine in Manteo on Roanoke Island, North Carolina is a 400-year old Scuppernong vine and is the oldest known cultivated grapevine in the nation.
  • North Carolina ranks 10th for grape and wine production in the United States.
  • More than 400 individually owned grape vineyards are spread across the state, covering 1,450 acres.
  • According to a recent study, the annual economic impact of the North Carolina wine and grape industry is $813 million with 5,700 jobs created.
  • The Yadkin Valley is North Carolina’s first federally recognized American Viticultural Area (AVA). It is located in northwestern North Carolina, and there are currently more than 20 wineries and 400 acres devoted to vineyards in the Yadkin Valley.
  • Asheville is home to the Biltmore Estate Winery, which receives more than one million visitors annually and is the most visited winery in the United States.
  • Medoc Vineyard in the town of Brinkleyville in Halifax County was the first commercial winery established in North Carolina and led the country’s wine production in 1835.
  • At the turn of the century, 25 wineries operated in North Carolina, making it one of the most productive wine states in the U.S. The industry closed with the onset of Prohibition.
  • A 2007 national survey sponsored by the Travel Industry Association (TIA) in partnership with Gourmet magazine and the International Culinary Tourism Association (ICTA), cited North Carolina as one of the top five state destinations for wine and culinary tourism activities in the United States.
  • Duplin Winery, the largest and oldest winery in the state, is the world’s largest producer of Muscadine wine.
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Enjoy a Davie County Sunset Musical Flight this Friday at Raylen Vineyards and Winery

Free Event ~ Come out to RayLen Vineyards and Winery in Davie County for the springtime Sunset Musical Flight on Friday, April 13th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.  Pack a picnic and bring your friends.  This is a free event so come on out to enjoy great wine, music, and socializing.

Picnic baskets and lawn chairs are permitted, but no pets or coolers for this event.

Musical Entertainment by “Lean In”
Accompanying the award winning wines from Raylen Daniel Seriff’s band “Lean In” will provide entertainment for the evening.  A rich tapestry of melody, rhythm and harmony, “Lean In” musical selections will include soulful tunes by Van Morrison and Sam Cooke and more.

About Raylen Vineyards and Winery
The first vines for RayLen Vineyards & Winery were planted in 1999 when Joe and Joyce Neely purchased the property. Until then, the property had functioned as a dairy farm for nearly a century. Today, the rolling hills and winding drive romance our guests as they drive through 35,000 European varietal grape vines. The distinctive cupola roof top of RayLen Vineyards & Winery is a beacon for the southern portion of the Yadkin Valley Appellation. Travelers from the highway and wanderers from the surrounding country roads are drawn to the Tasting Room to discover a new experience. Loyal customers return for the lush vista and a reliable favorite of RayLen’s award-winning wines.

Vintner Steve Shepard has a long history in winemaking. His education and career began in Pennsylvania; since 1980, Shepard has been making wine commercially.  Drawn south, Shepard’s North Carolina career began in 1989 at the first Yadkin Valley winery. The Yadkin Valley’s unique microclimate and soils have proven to be optimal for growing European varietals. From the date of RayLen’s purchase, Shepard helped design the vineyard for optimum growth for the 10 different European varietals grown. In its first three vintages, RayLen Vineyards & Winery won over 200 medals at various statewide, regional, and international competitions. Shepard has been recognized by Robert Parker for his 1991 vintage wines, while RayLen has been lauded by the Wine Spectator as one of the premier wineries in the Southeast.

Visit Raylen Vineyards and Winery and see why Phil Lambert announced on the Today Show in March 2008, “Napa is out, North Carolina is in.”

Resources:
Raylen Vineyards and Winery
Lean In

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Free Event Tonight ~ Movie Night at Misty Creek

On Friday evening, March 9 th from 6:30-9:30 PM, Misty Creek will host a showing of “The Great Escape” starring Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, James Garner and Richard Attenborough.  This is a free movie and includes hot pop corn.  Wine will be available for purchase by the glass or bottle.

The Great Escape
 In 1943 the Germans opened Stalag Luft III, a maximum security prisoner of war camp designed to hold even the craftiest of escape artists, and in the process unwittingly assembled the finest escape team in military history.  This true story is the largest prison breakout ever attempted.

Misty Creek Farm & Vineyards is located at 710 Wyo Road in Mocksville.  Questions, visit them on the web or feel free to call Misty Creek at (336) 998-3303.

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Congratulations to RayLen Vineyards and Winery and Misty Creek Farm and Vineyards

Congratulations ~ 2011 “Best of Show” Medal Awarded to RayLen Vineyards and Winery
RayLen Vineyards & Winery claimed the N.C. Winegrowers Cup (Best of Show) for the first time with its Cabernet Sauvignon.  In addition to this top award, RayLen also won awards for its Cabernet Franc, Carolinius, Shiraz, Merlot, Eagle’s Select, Category 5 and South Mountains Vineyard Chardonnay wines.

Misty Creek Farm and Vineyards Also Wins Several Awards
Another popular Davie County Winery, Misty Creek Farm and Vineyards won awards for its Merlot 2008, Misty Rose and Syrah 2008 wines.

The commercial competition was open to all North Carolina wineries and there were 444 entries for the 2011 Winegrowers Cup!  Judges awarded 1 best of show, 28 double gold, 26 gold, 128 silver, and 161 bronze medals.

Award Winning Local Wines Make Great Christmas Gifts
Whether you prefer white or red, Merlot or Muscadine, Davie County’s wineries and vineyards will have the perfect pairing for your taste buds.  Award winning local wines make great Christmas gifts and Davie County Wineries are wrapping up a terrific 2011 season.  .  Both RayLen and Misty Creek are open on Christmas Eve ~ visit their respective web sites for additional details on special hours and events for Christmas Eve!

Additional Resources:
RayLen Vineyards and Winery
Misty Creek Farm and Vineyards

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Enjoy This Beautiful Weekend in Davie County!

War Eagles Football ~ Homecoming and “Touchdowns for Education”
Your Davie County War Eagles will are celebrating homecoming with a home game against Reynolds High School at 7:30 Friday night.   Since 2007, businesses and individuals from across the county have joined the “Team” to raise more than $30,000 for college scholarships!  Read more about the Davie Community Foundation and Touchdowns for Education!

Cooleemee Recreation Department 1st Annual Golf Tournament
The Cooleemee Recreation’s 1st Annual Golf Tournament at Lake Louise (Hickory Hill) Golf Course is Saturday, October 1st at 9 AM with registration beginning at 8 AM.   There may still be time for you to join in on the fun.  Contact the Cooleemee Recreation Department at (336) 343-9977 or 284-2141.

The Davie County Arts Council 2011 Festival of Books
Come out and enjoy a day with books and their authors.   Meet and hear Cecilia Budd Grimes, Cindy Holby, Sharyn McCrumb, Ann Ross, Randy Russel, Laura S. Wharton, and many more.  Authors for children: Linda Green Dean, Kim Underwood, and Garnet Goldman.  Special appearances by Professor Albus Dumbledore, Little Critter, and Amelia Bedelia.  Special activities planned for children.

RayLen Vineyards Harvest Festival
Come help RayLen celebrate! The last grape has been harvested and each is nestled in the cellar, ready for aging over the long winter.   Purchase tasty BBQ from Bennett’s Smoke House and enjoy the smooth jazz of Charlene Williams.  Bring your friends and lawn chairs, chat and enjoy an afternoon of great wine, music, & food.

Troubadours in Concert at Junker’s Mill Outdoor Theater
A fundraiser for Davie High Junior Civitan Club hosted by the Mocksville Civitan Club. The concert is featuring the Troubadours. Nick Jones and Heather Foster will open for the band.  There will be plenty of food, baked items, face painting, a 50/50 drawing with prizes and more. Bring your lawn chairs. No alcohol allowed at this family event.

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Taste Award Winning Wines From Three Davie County Vineyards!

Davie County is home to three wonderful vineyards with a variety of award winning wines available to suit any taste.  Spring and summer are a great time to experience the scenic beauty, enjoy tastings and take part in a variety of scheduled events.  Event schedules for each vineyard are available on the vineyard web sites.  A map of locations with driving directions are also included below.


RayLen Vineyards & Winery

3577 Highway 158 Mocksville, NC 27028 (336) 998-3100 http://www.raylenvineyards.com Monday-Saturday 11:00AM-6:00PM The first vines for RayLen Vineyards & Winery were planted in 1999 when Joe and Joyce Neely purchased the property. Until then, the property had functioned as a dairy farm for nearly a century. Today, the rolling hills and winding drive romance our guests as they drive through 35,000 European varietal grape vines. The distinctive cupola roof top of RayLen Vineyards & Winery is a beacon for the southern portion of the Yadkin Valley Appellation. Travelers from the highway and wanderers from the surrounding country roads are drawn to the Tasting Room to discover a new experience. Loyal customers return for the lush vista and a reliable favorite of RayLen’s award-winning wines. Vintner Steve Shepard has a long history in winemaking. His education and career began in Pennsylvania; since 1980, Shepard has been making wine commercially. Drawn south, Shepard’s North Carolina career began in 1989 at the first Yadkin Valley winery. The Yadkin Valley’s unique microclimate and soils have proven to be optimal for growing European varietals. From the date of RayLen’s purchase, Shepard helped design the vineyard for optimum growth for the 10 different European varietals grown. In its first three vintages, RayLen Vineyards & Winery won over 200 medals at various statewide, regional, and international competitions. Shepard has been recognized by Robert Parker for his 1991 vintage wines, while RayLen has been lauded by the Wine Spectator as one of the premier wineries in the Southeast.


Misty Creek Tasting RoomMisty Creek Farm and Vineyards

710 Wyo Road Mocksville, North Carolina 27028 336.998.3303 http://www.mistycreekwines.com Friday:  4:00-8:00 PM Saturday:  10:00 AM-8:00 PM Sunday:  2:00-6:00 PM Misty Creek’s vineyards and tasting room lie between the communities of Huntsville and Farmington near the Shallow Ford of the Yadkin River, an area used for centuries by Native Americans as a meeting ground and natural fish trap.  Later the Shallow Ford served as a safe place for travelers, wagons and stagecoaches to cross the Yadkin River on the Great Wagon Road (known locally as the Colonial Pike) from Philadelphia to Augusta, Georgia. A thriving community developed at the ford to serve passing wagon trains, and the deep cut of the Great Wagon Road is still evident today on both sides of the Yadkin River.  By 1770, a road cut from this area to Mulberry Fields (near Wilkesboro) later became known as the Daniel Boone Trail, named after Daniel Boone who married and built a cabin on the Sugar Creek, approximately two miles east of Farmington, in 1756.   On October 14th, 1780 during the American Revolution a large group of Tories crossed the Shallow Ford to be defeated by Whig forces.  Fourteen Tories were buried in a small plot west of the crossing, and almost immediately the brash colonials built a pig lot over their final resting place to commemorate forever this event.  Later in 1781 Lord Cornwallis crossed the Shallow Ford in pursuit of General Nathaniel Green’s “Green Mountain Boys”, the two forces meeting at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in Greensboro. After the war in 1792, Charles Hunt purchased 250 acres and began to lay out 111 half-acre lots to establish the city of Huntsville.  Local history suggests that Huntsville narrowly missed being the state capital for North Carolina.  In April 1865 Union General George Stoneman’s cavalry crossed the Shallow Ford and routed the Confederacy’s Yadkin Home Guard, subsequently ransacking the town of Bethania and looting the town of Huntsville as one of the last acts of the Civil War. The Nichols family purchased this land in early 2001, naming it Misty Creek after the natural spring that bisects the property. They immediately began a series of improvements that included a lake, roads and irrigation, and planted the first four acres of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Chambourcin.  The following year an additional 10 acres were planted, and Syrah was added to the vineyard.  Finished in June 2009, the tasting room sits directly on the site of a pioneer cabin originally built in 1800 as a mule barn, and overlooks the old road bed.  The deep well and original entry road are very evident in the topography, and they continue to find hand made bricks, pottery shards, spear points and other evidence of long habitation. Misty Creek Vineyards are located in Davie County, named for William R. Davie who was a revolutionary war leader, minister to France and later governor of North Carolina.


Garden Gate Vineyards

261 Scenic Drive Mocksville, NC 27028 336 751-3794 or 336 941-7721 http://www.gardengatevineyards.net Wednesday through Saturday 12:00-5:00 PM Sunday 1:00-5:00 PM Garden Gate Vineyards, owned by Bob and Sonya Whitaker offers free tastings Wednesday through Saturday, 12:00 to 5:00 PM and Sundays from 1:00-5:00 PM.  A cozy and inviting winery, with exceptionally friendly hosts, Garden Gate produces home-style fruit wines including Scuppernog, Muscadine, Blackberry, Blueberry, Strawberry and other varieties including Sangria and “Jitter Bug.”  Garden Gate uses no pesticides on their grapes, relying instead on the large number of resident blue birds lured to their countryside setting.  In addition to the wines, Garden Gate also offers a fine selection of hand-made pottery created by the hosts. Davie County ~ Time Well Spent!  Use the map below to get driving directions.


grapevines-H120A Brief History of Viticulture in North Carolina
Sir Walter Raleigh had no idea that the vine his sailors stumbled upon when they reached the Outer Banks would be so beneficial to North Carolinians. His men reported that the coast was “so full of grapes as the very beating and surge of the sea overflowed them.” Perhaps what his mates spotted was the MotherVine on Roanoke Island, still growing and producing scuppernong grapes since explorers first sighted it in 1584. The vine has a trunk two-feet-thick, and its tendrils stretch along wooden arbors that support their tremendous weight across almost an acre of land. The scuppernong is a type of muscadine grape. grape leaf and vines1 (2)In the early 1800s, Thomas Jefferson noted North Carolina taking the lead with wine culture, estimating its “wine would be distinguished on the best tables in Europe, for its fine aroma, and chrystalline transparence.” The 1840 Federal Census listed the state as the number one wine producer in the U.S.; it remained one of the highest-ranked until Prohibition in the early 1900s. Today, the state’s industry is enjoying a vigorous resurgence, shared this time with the imported European-style vinifera.

Facts about North Carolina Wines
North Carolina is home to more than 80 wineries. The number of wineries has more than tripled since 2001. The industry has two focuses – native muscadine grapes and European-style vinifera grapes.

  • Commonly planted vinifera grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Viognier. They are planted in the Western and Piedmont regions of the state.
  • Plantings of native muscadine grapes, also known as Scuppernongs, are relatively pest resistant and thrive in the hot sandy conditions of the Coastal region. Muscadines contain high levels of Resveratrol and other health-enhancing antioxidants. Some wineries even sell grape skins to nutraceutical companies.
  • Scuppernong is the first grape cultivated in the United States and is the official fruit of North Carolina. The Mothervine in Manteo on Roanoke Island, North Carolina is a 400-year old Scuppernong vine and is the oldest known cultivated grapevine in the nation.
  • North Carolina ranks 10th for grape and wine production in the United States.
  • More than 400 individually owned grape vineyards are spread across the state, covering 1,450 acres.
  • According to a recent study, the annual economic impact of the North Carolina wine and grape industry is $813 million with 5,700 jobs created.
  • The Yadkin Valley is North Carolina’s first federally recognized American Viticultural Area (AVA). It is located in northwestern North Carolina, and there are currently more than 20 wineries and 400 acres devoted to vineyards in the Yadkin Valley.
  • Asheville is home to the Biltmore Estate Winery, which receives more than one million visitors annually and is the most visited winery in the United States.
  • Medoc Vineyard in the town of Brinkleyville in Halifax County was the first commercial winery established in North Carolina and led the country’s wine production in 1835.
  • At the turn of the century, 25 wineries operated in North Carolina, making it one of the most productive wine states in the U.S. The industry closed with the onset of Prohibition.
  • A 2007 national survey sponsored by the Travel Industry Association (TIA) in partnership with Gourmet magazine and the International Culinary Tourism Association (ICTA), cited North Carolina as one of the top five state destinations for wine and culinary tourism activities in the United States.
  • Duplin Winery, the largest and oldest winery in the state, is the world’s largest producer of Muscadine wine.

[The introduction and facts above are from www.visitncwines.com – Used with permission]

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