Fourth Street, between Marshall and Spring streets, downtown Winston-Salem. 336-354-1500. www.salutencwine.com.
The ever-growing number of wineries in North Carolina has sparked a lively subgenre of tourism: Driving up to the Yadkin Valley – or to the coast or to the mountains – to walk the vineyards, sample vintages, sometimes have a bite to eat there and, on occasion, hear live music.
But with more than 100 wineries now in business, how can you filter to find the vintners whose product you’re sure to like?
An easy solution presents itself the afternoon of June 1 (a Saturday) in downtown Winston-Salem, where the centerpiece of Salute! The North Carolina Wine Celebration is an ultimate sampler. In tents along Fourth Street, approximately two dozen wineries will offer tastes of what they make. You’ll find familiar winemakers – like Asheville’s Biltmore Winery, or the Childress and Raylen vineyards from the Yadkin Valley – as well as ones you may never have heard of, but may wish to try. The list runs from Adams Vineyards, which makes muscadine wines in Willow Springs, to Westbend Vineyards, which makes reds and whites in Lewisville.
Here’s how it works: You buy a ticket – $20 advance, $25 the day of the event – and receive a wristband and commemorative wine glass. Then you stroll the rows of tents and sample what you wish. (This is an adults-only event; you must be 21 to attend.) There will also be vendors selling food.
Free entertainment will be offered: classic rock from Watt’s Left (noon-2 p.m.), country from Caleb Caudle and Haley Dreis (2:30-3:30 p.m., and the genre-crossing Below the Line (4-6 p.m.). At 9 p.m., the wine-and-music pairing continues at The Garage, with three bands ($10).
During the day, the “North Carolina Food Wine University” will offer five 45-minute presentations where chefs paired with wineries will help take some of the mystery out of the world of wine.
When: noon-6 p.m. June 1 (rain or shine).
Admission (adults only): $20; $25 day of event (if available).
Related events: Check the website for details on May 30-31 food-and-wine activities)
Distance from Charlotte: 90 minutes.
Directions: I-85 North to U.S. 52 (near Lexington); U.S. 52 North to exit 110-B in downtown Winston-Salem. Turn left on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, left on Marshall Street; continue south and park near Fourth Street.
JOHN BORDSEN, COMMUNITY NEWS STAFF