An Amazing Agricultural Transformation in the Yadkin Valley
Every wine, and wine region, has a story. But the head turning, palate pleasing, fine wines being produced at Shelton Vineyards in North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley are crafting a narrative that is attracting international attention and turning skeptics into believers.
In 1999 the vision was grand, but the mission of founding brothers Ed and Charlie Shelton was clear and heartfelt; Convert a 400 acre dairy farm into a vineyard, be good stewards of the land, and create a lasting legacy by producing high quality, fine wines using traditional vinifera grape varietals grown on the estate. For the past 19 years, the Shelton Family has worked hard to achieve that mission and the result is a word class winery experience that makes guests say “wow”!
From the moment visitors pull through the large, S marked gate, they are immersed in a true vineyard experience. Long, continuous rows of neatly trained grapevines line the drive on both sides and work their way up and over the rolling hills surrounding the property. Those vines provide more than just a serene and majestic view, they are the lifeblood of the operation. Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are among the 11 different grape varietals planted on the property. The winemaking team, along with mother nature’s helping hand, carefully craft these varietals into a range of wine styles that fit a broad spectrum of preferences and are true to the traditional characteristics of a given varietal. Crowd favorites include a soft, yet spicy Cabernet Franc; A full bodied and bold Tannat (91 points from wine critic James Suckling); Chardonnays made in both the oaked and unoaked style; and a vibrantly bright sweet Riesling with incredibly complimentary acidity.
Located just off of Interstate 77 and halfway from Ohio to many southeastern beach destinations, Shelton Vineyards offers travelers a relaxing adventure and culinary experience that comes with a healthy serving of southern hospitality. After an informative tour and tasting at the winery, guests typically find themselves sipping their favorite find in the rocking chairs out front, or strolling the grounds (glass and bottle in hand naturally), and ultimately landing at the vineyard’s restaurant for a delicious meal in a cozy and ambient setting. Chef Paul at The Harvest Grill (recently ranked 4th best winery restaurant in the country by USA Today) regularly curates fresh seasonal menus with a variety of bistro style upscale comfort foods made to impress.
Of course, after a little wining and dining, you’ll need a place to rest your head, and the Hampton Inn and Suites at Shelton Vineyards hits the mark. Situated less than a mile from the vineyard, visitors have the option to take a shuttle to and from the vineyard, or…for those looking to get their blood circulating, beach cruiser bicycles can be borrowed. The day draws to a close with a nightcap at the hotel’s wine bar and great night of sleep.
From concerts to car shows, events are happening throughout the year, and there is something new to be uncovered at each visit. So…next time you’re travelling on 77, stop at exit 93 to sip, savor and stay. Cheers!