E is for Elkin Creek Vineyard
This week’s letter assignment if the letter E~
North Carolina is home to more than 90 wineries~ quadrupling 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, which are planted in the Western and Piedmont regions of the state. Native muscadine grapes, also known as Scuppernongs, are relatively pest resistant and thrive in the hot sandy conditions of the Coastal region.
Not long after Sir Walter Raleigh landed in what would become North Carolina, the grape vine was first introduced and cultivated in the New World. In fact, by the dawn of the 20th Century, NC was the leading wine-producing region in the nation. It seemed nothing could stop us. But we hadn’t counted on an act of Congress. 1919. Prohibition.
Suddenly, products from distilleries in undisclosed locations in the Piedmont hills and dales were rather more lucrative than those from the gnarled grape orchards of yore. When we spoke of fruit, it was shriveled in white lightning. When we packaged, it was in Mason jars rather than Chardonnay bottles.
Other pursuits followed. Often at high speeds. The sudden professional interest of G-Men and revenuers gave rise to moonlit, midnight chases across the humble countryside, engendering a motorized pastime that became a sport that became NASCAR.
I have been remiss in visiting wineries in my own backyard. When my friend Annie told me about her experiences visiting some vineyards and handed me a map, we hopped in the car and headed out to visit three wineries~ within an hour and a half drive, this past weekend.
We visited one of the largest, one of the most scenic, and one of the smallest on our day’s excusion~ all three with their own unique characteristics and charm~ worth a return visit. For Mrs. Matlock’s class, I’ll focus on the smallest vineyard we visited~ Elkin Creek.
Perched atop a knoll overlooking Big Elkin Creek is a small winery worthy of attention. Hand-crafted with both native timbers & tradition is a rustic facility where you will find wines made from carefully tended estate vines expressing their ultimate potential, as well as the tranquility of an ageless waterfall.
Inspired by one man’s passion, along the foothills of the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina, Elkin Creek Vineyard with the hand-hewed beams of the winery and the hand-tendered estate vines sits waiting for your visit.
We had a relaxed and casual tasting at Elkin Creek, where with a glass of wine in hand, we were encouraged to stroll by the creek, old mill, and waterfall~ where time seems to have stood still.
The waterfall is down to a slow trickle due to an abnormally dry fall, bordering on moderate drought conditions. . .lack of rain is good for grapes, although this year’s crop has already been harvested.
Owner and winemaker Mark Greene, who grew up in the area, returned decades later to care for his father. When he bought the 1896 Elkin Mill and twenty-five acres of land along Elkin Creek, it was to rescue the mill, where he now lives. A visit to Shelton Vineyards where he admired the beauty of the vines prompted him to take classes in viticulture. Further research, and against some advise, he planted five acres of vinifera in 2000.
The Kitchen, at Elkin Creek is the perfect venue for a special event. Currently open only for weddings, receptions, special parties, private groups~ this FUN bus, reminiscent of the Partridge Family :-), is used to bring in groups from offsite due to limited parking.
Yes, I love this old truck :-)
I have wanted to do a NC wine tour forever. We have been to Napa and Sonoma, Italy and France. To say we love wine would be an understatement. Thank you for this post. Since we just live in Asheville a wine country weekend, would be easy for us. I am thinking next summer would be a great time! Maybe we could meet. That would be fun.
Looks like a fun place!!
Great post on the winery. I think it is fun to visit all the different wineries. 90 would take awile to visit. Thanks for sharing.
very nice photos! I didn’t realize there were so many wineries in NC. Nice to be a part of your day’s excursion!
Looks like a wonderful place to spend the day and taste wine! we have been to a few in our area – may have to drive to visit this one too.
oh you had a fun day! i love all your shots, so relaxing and fun to be off on a day trip~ who am i talking to, the boat queen de jour, face it girl, you live the good life be it land or water! such beautiful scenery and so much closer then napa for you :)
Elkin Creek is delightful. It was the site of our first date almost 4 years ago. I love it. I used to have a bed and breakfast in the area (closed it and retired after 20 years) and this was one of my favorite places to send my guests. North Carolina is an up and coming wine region—My guests who had visited Napa loved NC wine and they loved North Carolina hospitality much better.
I enjoyed the tour of a vineyard in NC.
Wonderful information, photos and mosaics on Elkin Creek. How beautiful it is there! Texas is also Wine Country with several Hill Country vineyards and a couple in West Texas that I have visited and enjoyed their variety of Texas named wines.
Oh, this is gorgeous, gorgeous. I am enchanted with Elkin Creek Winery.
My husband and I would both be in heaven visiting there. Me for the vignettes and lovely setting…him for the wine sampling.
Thanks for the sweet little trip today on our journey through Alphabe-Thursday.
This was really, really gorgeous.
Such a fun place ! Wonderful!
I LOVE this winery! It’s gorgeous and I totally love the location! I’m not a big wine drinker but wineries are a great place to go and just relax.
Your outdoors pictures are so beautiful. Especially the decorated buses.
This is beautiful! I love this since I am looking at starting a winery. Thanks!
How enchanting! I would love to visit this winery one day. Its different from the ones I have visited. Its not pretentious which is a good thing. I love the yellow truck. Imagine having a wedding there. Thanks or sharing.
I love the decorated bus. This looks like a wonderful place to visit.
What a wonderful post! I grew up in the southeast, and can certainly relate. Your photos are excellent!
What an amazing place. If I am ever anywhere near, I will be sure to visit! Your pictures are beautiful!
All of our collages are gorgeous. Loved how you shifted the focal images around. I love that old truck too. That shot of the wagon wheel leaning against the wall with part of the roof showing is one of my favorites.
Yeah, that would be YOUR not our. D’oh! Time for bed.
what a very pretty vinyard … and i am with you on the truck, it is just gorgeous!
It sounds like you had a wonderful time this weekend! Elkin Creek Vineyard looks like it is in an idyllic location. I love that old truck, too!
I’m in love with that vintage truck! Thanks for the tour!
How lovely! I am a big fan of vineyards and visit them all the time in Oregon, Washington & California. I think I may just have to make a visit to NC…
I’ve been scouring my memory, but I can’t remember ever visiting a vineyard. This one looks fantastic. Your montages are beautiful and I love the creek!
What a great spot. Interesting history, too!
What a charming place! I had no idea that North Carolina had wineries!
Wow I did not know this, and I did not know this was in North Carolina. What a beautiful place! ~Ames
I love that old bus and enjoyed this tour through your wine country! Anne
Mary, if I were a teacher and you the student, I’d give you an A+ for this amazing job of taking us through the NC vineyards, especially Elkin Creek. What a stupendous labor of love, the story, the photos, the montages. And what a lovely place! Enjoyed the tour through your lens! And that vintage truck… oooh, la, la!!
Well, I hope to visit Elkin Creek Winery one of these days. Nice post! This was my first visit and I love the boating with dogs photo.