NC Yadkin Valley Getaway: Shelton Vineyards and Grassy Creek Vineyard and Winery (Part 2)

NC Wine Getaway on HinesSightBlog; perfect for a girl's getaway. Yadkin Valley Wine Region.

Surry County, which consists of the towns, Mt. Airy, Elkin, Dobson, and Pilot Mountain, is located in the Yadkin Valley Wine region, a federally recognized American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the Northwestern part of North Carolina. My friend, Michelle, and I spent two nights in the town of Elkin exploring a few wineries without our kids. It is what I would describe as a perfect girlfriend’s getaway that wasn’t too far from home.

Neither one of us had been to this region of North Carolina nor did we know one thing about wines produced in this area. It was certainly an outstanding education for our taste buds and turned us into Yadkin Valley region wine fans. For this post, I am continuing our story with Day 2 of our Yadkin Valley Wine adventure. If you are just joining us, you need to catch up here.

NC Wine Girlfriend's Getaway in the Yadkin Valley Region, Brushy Mountain Vineyard and Fairfield Inn and Suites in Elkin, N.C.

NC Yadkin Valley Wine Region (Part One) contains the history of the grape in North Carolina, and how this area grows grapes comparable to vineyards in California, Oregon, Washington, and France. On our first night in town, we visited Brushy Mountain Winery, a sophisticated, urban winery in downtown Elkin, N.C.

10:30 am Parkway Wine Tours Meets Us for Wine Tours

NC Yadkin Valley Getaway to tour wine region. Get a driver. We used Parkway Wine Tours

After breakfast at the Fairfield Inn and Suites, our wonderfully-located base in Elkin for the weekend, we were greeted by Billy, our driver with Parkway Wine Tours. By using a service like Parkway, you can visit several wineries in one day safely. With an entire fleet of vehicles, Parkway's cost depends on how many hours you will need a driver, and how many people are in your party. Typical rates are $60 to $100 per hour. It, of course, is a more costly option for just two people, but unless you have a designated driver, I recommend using Parkway or arranging some type of wine tour where transportation is included. Surry County has all of this information available on its website. At each winery, you are tasting four to five wines for each tasting. It can sneak up on you if you aren’t careful. There are some curvy country roads in this area. We were glad to have Billy with us for the day, and he treated us like queens. 

Yadkin Valley Wine Girlfriend's Getaway

Wine Tasting at Shelton Vineyards in Dobson, N.C.

For our first winery, Billy took us about 15 minutes away from the hotel in Elkin to the town of Dobson in Surry County, which is home to Shelton Vineyards, North Carolina's largest-family owned estate. As you drive up to the estate which was established 15 years ago, the gates are impressive.

Shelton Vineyards in Dobson, N.C. Yadkin Valley Wine Region

This is when you think to yourself, “Am I still in North Carolina or did I somehow transport myself to  California’s wine country?”

Shelton Vineyards in Dobson, N.C. Yadkin Valley Wine Region

Michelle and I both agreed that if you only have time to visit a few wineries in the area, you definitely need to add Shelton Vineyards on your agenda because it’s so grand and the landscape is so beautiful.

Shelton Vineyards in Dobson, N.C. Yadkin Valley Wine Region; Very large tasting room.

The tasting room is large, opulent, and more commercial than any of the other vineyards we visited.

Shelton Vineyards sells its wine in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia so if you fall in love with a particular wine, there is a good chance you can buy it at Harris Teeter or another grocery store when you buy your chicken for the week. That's one of the nice things about discovering a wine that you like at one of the state's larger wineries. You know you can get it again easily. 

Shelton Vineyards in Dobson, N.C. Yadkin Valley Wine Region. Perfect winery for families to visit because there is so much land.

With its award-winning restaurant, Harvest Grill on site, and a Hampton Inn and Suites, also owned by the winery less than a mile away, Shelton Vineyards, has certainly positioned itself as a tourist destination in the heart of Yadkin Valley’s wine region. It’s a great place for concerts, picnics, and just relaxing with your family. This is a great kid-friendly winery because there is so much space for your kids to roam.

Shelton Vineyards in Dobson, N.C. Yadkin Valley Wine Region

Shelton Vineyards produces wines that are affordable enough to buy often and incorporate into your lifestyle. I drink wine while cooking dinner at times and Shelton’s 2014 Bin Chardonnay priced under $15 is perfect for that type of occasion.

Shelton Vineyards in Dobson, N.C. Yadkin Valley Wine Region

The Bin Chardonnay, a Gold winner in the NC Commercial Wine Competition, is an unoaked Chardonnay with focused citrus notes with honeydew melon and tropical fruit. It’s perfect for a hot, Southern day. It was probably my favorite there as well as the Sauvignon Blanc, a gold winner in the Pinehurst Wine Competition. My friend prefers to drink white wines in general, and I prefer reds, but she fell in love with the Estate Merlot at Shelton Vineyard, a Gold/Best of Show in the Wines of the South Wine Competition. I, of course, fell in love with the white wines at this winery.

Shelton Vineyards in Dobson, N.C. Yadkin Valley Wine Region;  Bin 17 Chardonnay was a favorite.

Our guide, Angela Hooker, told us that you should drink what your palate wants, and I guess before noon, I like white wine. I think that may be the earliest I have ever had wine in the day. Shelton Vineyards is located at 286 Cabernet Lane, Dobson, NC.  This winery is open daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Lunch at Harvest Grill at Shelton Vineyards

Lunch at Harvest Grill at Shelton Vineyards is a culinary experience.

Harvest Grill is a culinary treat, and a fabulous spot to have an upscale lunch or dinner. Under the
culinary leadership of Executive Chef Paul Lange, the restaurant specializes in a menu using fresh and local ingredients. I ordered the Harvest Grill Field Green Salad with a Crabcake. It came with cornbread croutons that were absolutely delicious. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. This restaurant is probably one of the more expensive ones in the area, but it is fabulous upscale dining. Treat yourself. You’ll love it.  I enjoyed  my lunch with a glass of Bin Chardonnay.

Wine Tasting at Grassy Creek Vineyard and Winery in Surry County, N.C.

Grassy Creek Vineyards in Surry County

Billy was waiting for us when we got back in our town car, and he took us about 20 minutes away from Shelton Vineyards to Grassy Creek Vineyard and Winery, which is just outside of Elkin in an unincorporated area of Surry County. This vineyard is located about six minutes from our hotel base, and the tasting room is an attractive old barn that used to be a horse stable. It’s quite a different experience from Shelton.  It’s smaller, but has a lot of sophisticated charm even though you are tasting wine in an old horse stable.

The Tasting Room for Grassy Creek Vineyards and Winery is an old horse stable on historic Klondike Farm.

The tasting room was busy with a bachelorette party for a bride and her friends from Winston-Salem, and later a 40th birthday party entourage of about three couples from the Charlotte area, joined us for our tasting.  They walked in, and immediately said, “This is our favorite so far.” Turns out, it was really their first stop, but we all felt at ease and our tasting guide guided us through either a red or white wine tasting.

Interior view of Grassy Creek Vineyard and Winery in Surry County

There is a lot of history on this property, and most of it, from an upscale origin. The Hanes Family of the Hanes Hosiery Mill fame bought this property in the early 1920s. When one of the Hanes daughters later married into another prominent North Carolina family, they turned this area into a stylish hunting vacation retreat, known as the Klondike Cabins. The Klondike Farm eventually became a working dairy farm, and produced some of the best chocolate milk in the state. The Grassy Creek Vineyard and Winery, established by two couples in 2003, sits on a property with a rich history. All wine is made and bottled in the old, white dairy barn, which is tucked away on property away from the tasting room. 

Grassy Creek Vineyard rents a few luxury cabins on property to vacationers who want to immerse themselves in the laid-back vineyard lifestyle for a few days. Grassy Creek produces white wines, red wines, and semi-sweet wines. The Klondike Farm Golden Guernsey and the Klondike Farm Guernsey Red, are the winery’s best sellers. Both of these are semi-sweet table wines made with a nod to the Klondike Dairy Farm past. Bottles are shaped like milk jugs.

Grassy Creek Vineyard and Winery wines in a milk jug in an honor to its dairy farm past.

The 2013 Barbera, a medium body wine full of cherry, plum, and prune flavors was memorable at $30 a bottle. Grassy Creek has a cozy tasting room that makes you want to stay awhile and live a simpler yet chic life.

For me, the semi-sweet red wine at Grassy Creek won me over this time, and I took two milk jugs filled with wine home.  Grassy Creek Vineyard and Winery is located on Tasting Room Drive off of Klondike Road, 235 Chatham Cottage Circle, State Road, NC 28676 (an unincorporated community in Surry County).

Grassy  Creek Vineyard and Winery in Surry County

Well, we’re just getting started on this wine tour and we still have three more wineries to visit on this girlfriend’s getaway. We’ll be heading to nearby McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks, Jones vonDrehl, and Elkin Creek Vineyard in our future posts. 

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For your trip planning:
Surry County Tourism

My thanks to Surry County Tourism for partnering with me on curating this special Yadkin Valley Wine Trip. Some expenses were my own and as always, so are my opinions

Be sure to read our other Yadkin Valley Posts
Part 1 (Fairfield Inn and Brushy Mountain Vineyard)
You are now reading Part 2 (Shelton Vineyards and Grassy Creek Vineyard and Winery) 
Part 3 (McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks, Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery, Elkin Creek Vineyard)

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