Vineyard Road Trip to Flint Hill & Divine Llama
When the dump truck unloaded the topsoil on our baron front yard, we went to work. At the time (only in our imaginations), we thought it would be a simple task to spread out the good earth. After three days of back-breaking labor (and a job well-done), we decided to reward ourselves with a mini-road trip to a couple of new wineries.
We picked a beautiful sunny day to zip up the road to East Bend, and a stop at Flint Hill Vineyards. We got there just as they were opening the doors at the restored 1800s historic farmhouse they call home. The house was divided up into mostly seating areas
with tables for the weddings, meetings and special events hosted at the facility. Many pictures of the Flint Hill family hang throughout, some recent and others dating back to the farms earlier days. Around the house, gardens still looking spry for this time of year provided a classic country home feeling. Just beside the farmhouse, covering a couple of acres of land are the vineyards. Flint Hill grows all their own grapes for all their award-winning wines.
We both did the tasting – ($10 with souvenir glass, $9 without) – which included all 9 Flint Hill selections. As a husband and wife team we have very different palettes, and so after a leisurely tasting we settled on the following three wines:
- 2015 Crimson Crush. It has a wide range of uses, but we have found it to be an excellent dessert wine.
- 2016 Olde Yattken Semi-Sweet White. As Riesling fans, we both enjoyed this wine.
- Finally, Flint Hill had their 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon packaged with Mulling Spices to create a mulled wine for those cold winter evenings. Flint Hill has won awards in 2015 and 2014 for the aged (in French Oak barrels) Cabernet Sauvignon.
Following our stop at Flint Hill, it was time for lunch. We had to backtrack a little to find a place. We had remembered the Feedbag (name of a restaurant) but got to Battle Creek Diner first. The service was fine, and the food was good.
Back on the road, we retraced some of our steps until we got to a new highway and steered our ship to the Divine Llama Vineyards.
Started in 2006, on 77 acres in the Yadkin Valley Appellation, Divine Llama would open its tasting room in 2009. It is a charming facility surrounded by trees, perfect to sit outside on the porch and meditate while sipping your wine. Although llamas are a South American animal, I confess the grounds of the tasting room kind of had that outback vibe. I excepted someone to G’day to me at any moment.
Llamas are a central theme to the establishment, and just a short walk from the tasting room takes you to the twenty-acre pasture where llama and miniature horses roam. Most of the herd had gathered in the feeding shed when we arrived, but many of the other guests talked about how friendly the llamas were, allowing some folks to pet them.
The tasting fee ($9 each) included a very cool logo glass and 10 samples. We found two wines we both agreed on:
- The semi-sweet 2017 Traminette.
- Merlina, the semi-dry, red wine with blackberry flavors.
Like Flint Hill, Divine Llama grows all their own grapes. The vineyards can be viewed as you walk, with wine in hand, to see the llamas.