I love wine......so I sacrificed (laughing) a day and went to visit the vineyard a couple weeks ago to check out their wine selection and property. It is located in Midland, NC (up I - 485 past Mint Hill, about an hour from Fort Mill, SC) and has wine to accommodate all tastes, events for everyone (see their website:www.rockyrivervineyards.com for their upcoming Mother's Day celebration), and a beautiful venue for gatherings (weddings, family reunions, etc.).
The first thing I thought when we turned into the drive was "yup, I am ready to sit on the porch with a glass of wine and enjoy the breeze". I went the beginning of April so the vines were just beginning to leaf as you will see in the pictures, but I loved the view and the well manicured wide open spaces. One of the owners Kim (who graciously gave me a tour) told me they even have a walking trail for visitors with a guide as to what you may see on the trail.
I was so excited to try 4 different wines (as my daughter was running around being fairly good and my husband was entertaining my son outside) that Kim served me in their beautiful tasting room. And I will say there are a lot of places inside and outside to linger over your glass of wine and relax (something so many of us need to do!).
I asked Kim what type of grapes they grew - Muscadines! "Yay!" I thought I love muscadines! She also told me that the muscadine is the state fruit of North Carolina! Now how did I not remember that from my 4th grade NC History class? Muscadines actually have a lot of health benefits - "Muscadine grapes are a leading food source for a potent cancer-fighting substance called resveratrol"..................
Further information about the health benefits of wine and Muscadine grapes can be found on this page of their website: http://rockyrivervineyards.com/wine-health/
So on to the good stuff: the wine! Their most popular is the White Gold - it was served chilled and I must say I only bought one bottle but wished I had bought 6! Oh well I will be back! It was a light, sweet - but not overly sweet, wine that left a nice fresh and thirst quenching finish on the palate.
The next wine that is popular and made from their own grapes is the Rockin' Red (pictured at the very top) which was the official wine of the 2009 Muscadine Festival. It is made with blackberries and cherries (both my favorite flavors). I personally found it to be sweet but light enough to enjoy any time, not syrupy like some sweet wines can tend to be. I purchased a bottle of this as well and yes it was consumed in the first two days after I bought it home!
I also love a dry red, so Kim had me try the "Scarlett", it is a blended wine that I first tasted the merlot, but the finish was more the cabernet sauvignon finish. I thoroughly enjoyed and was ready to sit down with my favorite meal with this wine! For me that would be chicken and pasta!!
I then explored the rest of the vineyard and grounds - a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon or an evening. There is a huge pavilion set up for events with a view of the vineyards. For the brides and grooms to be out there, they also have a room above the winery that is available to change and prepare up to 10 hours before the wedding that is very nicely laid out!
Worth the trip! Head out there, grab a glass of wine and enjoy meandering over the property or just sitting on the front porch!!
April of Running Mom Photography LLC