If you know anything about North Carolina you know it’s riddled with the smallest towns you’ve ever driven through, making you buckle your seatbelt, roll up the windows and re-lock the doors (just to be sure). Before GPS, you’d have asked yourself if your final destination was worth it and “maybe we should turn back?” After GPS, you’re still wondering if your iPhone isn’t just playing a joke (certainly this road isn’t a highway?). However, if we had turned back we would have missed a little gem situated amongst cow pastures and corn fields; Grove Winery and Vineyards – Gibsonville, NC.
Though I didn’t know it until now, I’m a sucker for those real North Carolinian events; the ones that make me proud to live here, maybe even to be called ‘Southern’ *gasp*. Wondering what constitutes a “real” North Carolinian event?
- Beards (there were many, see photo above)
- BBQ (a smoker full of ribs and chicken, collards and hushpuppies on the side)
- Music (any instrument with strings)
- Tasty Beverages (Wine, beer, shine? not here)
- Outdoor Venues
The Red, White and Blues Festival at Grove Winery though an hour and a half’s drive from Raleigh opened before us with grape vines, seating area, tasting room and the best weather we could ask for. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, Grove Winery is actually the winery I volunteered for during the Great Grapes festival in Cary 3 years ago. Grove Winery has great wine and they have won loads of awards for them! We sat down to listen to Blues music from some terrific artists, drink a couple bottles and eat some local snacks. Some folks brought their own food items, including cheeses, fruit and a whole
lasagna… Yea, that happened.
We tried Roanoke River Red and Haw River White. The Roanoke River Red is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo and Merlot – tannin-y dark fruits with a hint of spice on the palate, nice with cheese to soften. The Haw River White was 100% Chardonel – an interesting varietal tasting more like Viognier than what you may think would have been Chardonnay. Full and heavy mouthfeel, with a medium-high sugar content. It was a nice aperitif to begin with because it was chilled and easy to drink on its own.
We finished the evening with Traminette (Riesling-esque) flavoured sorbet. Dumping the last of the red in our glasses on top of the sorbet was like icing on the cake! What a brilliant evening with my parents and sister. Chalk up another point for North Carolina wine/wineries!