Appropriate that I showed off my wedding dress on Friday because Carolina Husband and I are celebrating 5 years of being married next Friday. We were not going to be able to celebrate alone next weekend so I planned a little surprise for this past weekend.
I kept my plan for us to head to two Carolina vineyards secret until Friday night. Early Saturday we headed first to Childress Vineyards in the NC Piedmont, then traveled north to Shelton Vineyards in the Yadkin Valley.
We started early with a tasting in the Childress tasting room about 10:45am. It may have been a little early for wine, but at least it wasn't to crowded. I tasted Childress' Classic Wines and confirmed the fact that I still am not a fan of the NC Scupperdine Wines, but their other classic red and whites were great. They also have a very yummy Riesling for those summer evenings on the back patio. Carolina Husband went with Childress' speciality and reserve tasting, where he found (not surprising) lots to like. We both tried each of Childress' Dessert wines, then snagged a bottle of their Blueberry Port to take home with us.
After a listening to a bit of music on their lawn and taking a tour of the vineyard and facility we were on our way to our next spot.
Music on the lawn.
Carolina Husband in front of Malbec grapes at Childress.
The obligatory "self-portrait" in front of the fountain a Childress Vineyards.
I planned a picnic for lunch, another surprise of the day. After we got to Shelton, we found a small pond with a little island and a picnic table on the grounds for lunch.
Our island picnic spot under the willow tree.
Our initials carved into the picnic table where we ate lunch (we didn't do the carving, they were already there).
We started a tour of Shelton almost as soon as we walked into their tasting room. Similar to our earlier tour we saw several steps of the wine making process and the equipment used. The vineyards are both pretty large scale operations compared to other NC wineries. As part of the tour we tasted both a Chardonnay, fermented only in stainless steel tanks compared to the Estate Chardonnay, fermented in the traditional oak barrels. I am not usually a fan of the "oaky" Chardonnay, but the Estate was a nice mix.
The crush pad; fermentation tanks and barrel room at Shelton Vineyards.
Our day finished with a tasting of the Shelton Reserve Wines where I learned a little tip about NC red wines. Because of the NC soil, reds produced in NC are generally lighter bodied (making them perfect for me). From the tasting we found several of the Shelton wines that we wanted to add to our collection.
The hubby in mid-tasting.
In the grapes just before heading back for some rest.
After a short rest back at our hotel, we headed back to Shelton for a romantic dinner at the winery restaurant. The wine was as good as it was all afternoon and the food was perfect-grilled romaine salad, scallops, a filet for me, rib eye for him followed by light fruity desserts. The company wasn't half bad either:) Love you J, what a perfect weekend to end our first five years; here's to what the next five years bring.
Before dinner at the Harvest Grill at Shelton Vineyards.