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