2133 Flint Hill Road
East Bend, NC 27018
(336) 699-4455

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The blog Triangle About Town named Flint Hill Vineyards as one of the top wineries in the Yadkin Valley. Click the link to read about us and we look forward to a visit from you this year.  Salute!


Things to See in North Carolina

contributor, Susan Beecher

In our last post, we talked about making the most of the vineyard experience regardless of expertise in wines, letting it be known that enjoyment is the most important part of savoring that sweet nectar of the gods. And indeed that isn’t hard to do in a place like Flint Hill Vineyards – a haven of sunshine, delicious wines and a hospitality which is so characteristic of the Southern spirit. As well as offering the perfect wine tasting experience, Flint Hill Vineyards provides a good ol’ excuse to visit the beautiful Tar Heel State and its myriad of attractions, from the breathtaking peaks of Appalachia to the Atlantic shores and the lush vineyards between.

Southern Towns: An Easy Way of Life

Open terraces, sweet tea, friend okra and a generous helping of bluegrass – these are a part of the everyday for North Carolina folks, whether it’s a one-horse village or bustling town. Flint Hill is ideally situated in the center of the state, slightly towards the north – so getting around to all your bucket-list attractions should be easy. Just 25 minutes away by car is Winston-Salem, which is brimming with things to do throughout the year from farmers’ markets to pickin’ festivals and more.

Further afield lies Greensboro, and should you venture east you’ll meet up with Raleigh, the “City of Oaks” and NC’s beautiful capital. A delightful blend of Southern tradition and cosmopolitan cool, Raleigh has an excellent selection of galleries, restaurants (make sure you pay a visit to the Angus Barn!), landmarks and other attractions, making it well worth the two hour drive. Budding with international and local events, the city oozes charm by embracing the new and celebrating the old. Further south from Flint Hill lays Charlotte, an hour and half ride away. This lively yet laid-back town is also worth a visit for its unique atmosphere and delectable cuisine.

Natural Wonders, Coastal Charms

Of course, a lot of NC visitors flock to the most visited national park in the United States – the Great Smoky Mountains. These magnificent peaks are perhaps among the most renowned of the Appalachian Trail, steeped in Cherokee legend. In just over three hours, travelers can revel in the smell of mountain laurel, hike the trails of Cades Cove, and even take a trip to Dollywood in Tennessee. North Carolina’s own Bryson City offers a quieter, more tranquil experience – unless you’re craving a vigorous whitewater rafting or ziplining experience!

In the same area is Cherokee, where travelers can experience an immersive and dramatic legacy as Native Americans recall the tales of their ancestors – and back towards Flint Hill lies Pisgah National Forest and Cherokee National Forest up north. All of these areas are perfect for hiking, mountain biking, camping, nature watching, and many other wonderful outdoor activities.

But North Carolina is as equally enticing on the shore as it is majestic in its mountains, and there are many coastal havens to choose from. Beaufort and Wilmington are just a few of the gorgeous seaside haunts greeting the ocean, while the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge offer a vast and fascinating marine experience that encompasses various aquatic ecosystems. Of course, travelers don’t have to venture far from Flint Hill to enjoy the quintessential California experience, with Pilot Mountain State Park just a ten minute ride away. One of the most picturesque parks in the state, it’s definitely worth the visit.

Tips for Travelers

With its warm and welcoming atmosphere, delicious food and plenty of wonderful places to say, visiting North Carolina is easier than ever. But it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead of time and get your shoes in order. As a generously sunny state, NC enjoys beautiful summers and mild winters, although snow hits the Smokies and other high altitudes. International travelers should ensure that their passport is up to date as well as their visiting visa or visa waiver, as well as requirements for driving a car with their license (in some cases, an international driver’s permit may be required). Always purchase comprehensive travel and health insurance when going abroad, and check in advance for the best deals in currency exchange rates. Most travelers will fly into Charlotte or Raleigh airports, and can take transfers from there as well as consider Amtrak (train) and Greyhound (coach) rides to the nearest town.

At Flint Hill, we’ll do everything we can to make you feel at home and let you know which places to visit while staying here. Whether there’s a bluegrass jam in town (what we call pickin’) or a new food joint opening or simply the best time to catch the stars at night, we’ll let you know about it – as well as how to keep away from black bears. And maybe we’ll share a thing or two about wine.

 


Enjoy The Experience - Tips For Visiting A Vineyard

contributor, Susan Beecher

Places like Flint Hill Vineyards provide a wonderful, enjoyable opportunity to learn about wines and winemaking. It’s a great experience, which most people would thoroughly relish. However, many are put off by wine’s reputation as a ‘snobbish’ drink. They worry that their visit to a vineyard will be tainted by the judgmental attitudes of more experienced wine aficionados, and that the place itself will be somewhat pretentious. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. While the wine world may once have been dominated by haughty wine buffs, it is now a much more open, accepting, obliging, and tolerant place. Most vineyards would far prefer that people had a good time on their premises and enjoyed their wines than that they did everything by the sommelier’s handbook! However, if you are new to vineyard visits and are looking for a few pointers, here are some tips to ensure that you get the absolute most out of your visit: 

ENJOY YOURSELF

This is perhaps the most important of all our rules! If you aren’t enjoying yourself, then you are certainly not in the right frame of mind to truly get the most out of your experience! Many people head into vineyards feeling a great sense of inadequacy regarding what they perceive as their ‘inferior’ wine knowledge. They worry that they will be looked down upon, and judged if they conduct themselves in a manner unsuited to the professional wine-buff. This will absolutely not happen. The wine world has opened up, expanded its borders, and warmly welcomes people of all walks of life. Forget the complex rules of the old-fashioned wine clubs, all that matters in the modern wine world is that people enjoy and have an interest in wine. This new, friendly and inclusive attitude has had benefits all round, both for consumers and producers. The modern mode of wine appreciation has been in part inspired by the efforts of the tourist industry (and inclusive vineyards like Flint Hill) to encourage people to drink the local wines in the areas they visit, thus getting the fully integrated cultural cuisine experience. Cruise vacations with an emphasis on culinary exploration in particular have proved an inspirational turning point in wine tourism and wine appreciation. Through sailing the world and getting to understand wine as it is understood by those who drink it in its European cultural heartlands, as well as learning about its production and history, wine and the appreciation of wine has been brought to a much wider, much less elitist audience. Wine tourism is on the rise in all parts of the world as people embrace the non-elitist attitude of the modern sommeliers with enthusiasm.

EXPERIMENT

You may be asked what kind of wines you like at the start of a tasting session. Do not worry if you are not sure – many people do not know. Not knowing what kind of wines you like can in fact be a boon, as it means that you will be more likely to sample a far greater range of wines than you may otherwise have, had you already mentally restricted yourself to one ‘preferred’ wine genre. If you do have a preference, do not be afraid to experiment with sampling some of the other choices on offer. You may be surprised at what you discover yourself to like! There are many different types of wine, and each type complements or contrasts with different food flavors in different ways. Try tasting each wine with a recommended complementary food. While you may hate a chardonnay on its own, you could find that, when eaten with some cheddar cheese, the two flavors combine to become something quite wonderful!

ASK QUESTIONS

Winemaking is an ancient and highly refined craft. Winemakers think of themselves as artists, and are very proud of what they do. They will be delighted, therefore, to observe you taking an interest in their art. If you have any questions, please do ask them – they will be answered with great pleasure, and you will undoubtedly come away with your curiosity fully sated (although, hopefully, your taste for wine merely piqued!)

DO NOT PUT BOTTLES IN THE TRUNK

If you don’t have insulated bags with which to keep your wine at a steady temperature when you travel, it is absolutely imperative that you do not place any bottles you buy in the trunk of your car on a hot day. Heat is very bad for wine – something which has led many a vineyard visitor to believe themselves conned upon returning home from a day of tasting divine wines, and uncorking a bottle of what turns out to be heat-addled vinegar. Wines should be kept at just below room temperature – so try stowing them on the back seat, perhaps under a blanket to keep them in the shade.


Wine Press Magazine (page 20) - Winter, 2010
"Are You Cab Savvy?" - Ed Williams

 

 

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