Dining At The Wineries
Food & Wine Make for a Perfect Pairing
It’s no secret that food and wine are a match made in Tar Heel heaven. However, North Carolina wine lovers may not know that several wineries and vineyards offer a variety of dining options that make for a perfect pairing during a visit. Here are several tasty options:
Biltmore Winery in Asheville remains America’s most visited winery for good reason. Pair its award-winning wines with a variety of dining options and visitors will feel like a Vanderbilt for the day. Biltmore’s Antler Hill Village encompasses the winery, farm, and kitchen garden. Dining options at the Village include the Bistro, with seasonal menus featuring the bounties of Biltmore’s own fields, farms, and vineyards (including tasty wood-fired pizzas and homemade pastas); light fare as a perfect complement to tastings at the Wine Bar; hearty meals like braised short ribs, tavern sandwiches, and fish and chips at Cedric’s Tavern for robust pub fare; and sweets that celebrate Biltmore’s history in the dairy business at the Creamery. Further afield, Stable Café near Biltmore House features estate-raised Angus beef burgers and seasonal salads in a charming 19th century stable-turned café, while Deerpark offers bountiful buffets and an expanded Sunday brunch. Finally, The Dining Room at the Inn is the choice for fine dining and highlights estate-raised beef and lamb, freshly-picked vegetables, and other local fare.
Sanders Ridge Vineyard & Winery
Sanders Ridge Restaurant at Sanders Ridge Vineyard & Winery in Boonville features lunch (called “dinner” in Yadkinese) and supper in the new Southern style for which Chef Starr Johnson is known. Her menu highlights seasonal produce from Sanders Ridge Organic Farm and features homemade soups, a wide selection of hearty sandwiches, savory entrées, and North Carolina fresh fish. The family-style “Thursday Night Supper” (including local bluegrass music) is also worth the drive.
RagApple Lassie Vineyards
The Back Door Café at RagApple Lassie Vineyards near Boonville serves up light fare for lunch on Saturdays and Sundays, including sandwiches, cheese and fruit plates, fresh breads, and signature dessert shooters (like the wine-infused brownie)—all paired with RagApple Lassie’s award-winning Yadkin Valley wines.
Located just down Cabernet Lane, The Harvest Grill at acclaimed Shelton Vineyards near Dobson in the Yadkin Valley features stunning vineyard views and lunch, brunch, and dinner menus from Executive Chef Paul S. Lange that focus on creative bistro cuisine, artisan cheeses, and world-class wines. The “Petite Vintners’ Dinner” (typically four courses paired with Shelton wines) is highly recommended.
Old North State Winery & Brewery
Situated in a 1890s mercantile building in downtown Mount Airy, Downtown Deli at Old North State Winery & Brewery offers up gourmet sandwiches, unique hot dogs, salads, and more for lunch Monday to Saturday. A bar menu is also available after 5 pm from Thursday to Saturday, including a meats and cheese tray, fruit and cheese tray, sliders, quesadillas, and more.
The Bistro at Lexington’s Childress Vineyards furthers NASCAR legend Richard Childress’s passion for wine—and food. Executive Chef David Thomas offers interesting lunch options seven days a week on the enclosed terrace, which is adjacent to the tasting room and sprawling shop and overlooks the rolling hills of the vineyard. From Barbecue Sliders (this is ‘cue country, after all) to Richard’s Roast Beef Sandwich (paired with his Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon or a tasting flight), life in the slow lane is good.
The Country Squire
Located between the historic Duplin County towns of Warsaw and Kenansville, The Country Squire Restaurant, Vintage Inn, Winery and Gift Shop is open for dinner nightly and serves lunch every day except Saturday. Lunch is a casual affair, with soups, salads, sandwiches, and creative lunch-sized entrées, while dinner is more elaborate and romantic—including “Squire’s Royal Choice for Two,” with about 20 ounces of cast iron-sizzled tenderloin of beef, tableside Caesar salad, broccoli spears or chef’s choice of vegetable, broiled tomato with mushroom caps, choice of potato, and fresh bread. All dinner entrées come with Squire cheese, relish tray, salad, varied potato choices, and more. The Country Squire operation is family-owned and operated and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011.
With a focus on fresh and local ingredients, native muscadine grapes, and Duplin wines, The Bistro at Duplin Winery in Rose Hill offers lunch Monday to Saturday, including fun burgundy wine cheese ball platters, gourmet soups and sandwiches, fresh salads, and made-from-scratch desserts (like Mama Ann’s Grape Hull Pie). The popular Duplin Winery Dinner Theater provides the opportunity to enjoy wine, dinner, and a show during a tasty and entertaining Duplin visit.
By Lynn and Cele Seldon
added: January 2, 2009
updated: March 7, 2012
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