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Grassy Creek Vineyard & Winery
by
Kathy Sullivan

Grassy Creek Vineyard and WinerySummary: Grass Creek Vineyard & Winery offers a comfortable, laidback winery experience. The focus of the owner is old world-style winemaking techniques. The winery is a member of North Carolina’s Surry County Wine Trail.

Approaching along the driveway to the Grassy Creek tasting room, visitors will see vineyards on the left and a pond on the right. Grassy Creek Vineyard & Winery is located just outside Elkin, North Carolina. Cabins on the property were built for a retreat for vacationing and hunting.

At one time the property was owned by the Hanes family. Hanes’ sister, Lucy, married Thurmond Chatham. These two families began converting the cabins into the retreat. Later, Chatham Manufacturing Company, a textile company, bought the Klondike Farm from the Hanes family. Thurmond Chatham became friends with Mr. J.C. Penny and the Klondike Farm became a dairy farm.

Jim Douthit, who is the owner and winemaker, has always been interested in winemaking. However his primary career was with Chatham Manufacturing Company. Eventually, as sometimes happens in the corporate world, after the company downsized several times, Jim needed to look for other work. After Jim left Chatham Manufacturing Company, Klondike Farm and property were put up for sale. Jim and Cynthia Douthit along with Derrill and Lori Rice obtained the property and founded Grassy Creek Vineyard & Winery in 2003.

Grassy Creek Vineyard and WineryThe tasting room is located in a renovated horse barn.  In addition to the numerous wines to taste, visitors will see many horseshoes decorating the tasting room. Displays of giftware can be browsed including shirts, paintings, and wine related gifts. A central fireplace offers warmth on cooler days.

Grassy Creek Vineyard and WineryJim named the vineyard and winery Grassy Creek for the creek that runs through the property. The Grassy Creek winery building is in a two-story barn on the property.

The vineyard was started in 2003. Today Grassy Creek has 20 acres of vineyards. Varieties include Pinot Gris, Tempranillo, Semillion, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Jim also leases 10 acres at Lake Norman Troutman where he has Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Chambourcin, Mourvedre, Sangiovese, and Cabernet Sauvignon. He noted that these ten acres are not in the Yadkin Valley AVA.

Jim renovated a large horse barn with 12 horse stalls and opened the tasting room in 2005. In the winery, Jim wants the grapes to express themselves and the terroir of each year. He noted that his single variety wines are 100 percent the variety. Grassy Creek wines are not filtered.

Grassy Creek Vineyard and WineryWhite Wines

Barrel Chardonnay 2008 was a gold color. The grapes were left on the skins for three days. The aroma was of apple. The taste also had apple notes with pear and carame hints. The crisp finish had a touch of tannins with fruit and caramel notes. Pinot Gris was a light yellow with notes of pineapple on the nose. The taste was dry and crisp with hints of pineapple and citrus.

Grassy Creek Vineyard and WineryRed Wines

The best selling wine at Grassy Creek Vineyard is the Klondike Farm Guernsey Red that is bottled in old-style milk bottles. This wine is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Merlot, Noble and Carlos.  The aroma and taste was of a sweet red wine. Red Barn Blend 2010 was a blend of Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese. This ruby colored wine offered dark fruit notes and the taste had a touch of leather hints. Suggested pairings included port, beef and poultry. Chambourcin 2008 was a dark ruby color. The aroma was of dark fruits while the taste had plum and blackberry notes. The finish with mild tannins and fruity notes was delicious. Ruby Slippers 2009, a semi-sweet wine, was a bright red color. The aroma was fruity with strawberry hints. The taste was smooth. Suggested pairings include soft cheeses and fresh fruit.

Events at the Winery

Grassy Creek Vineyards offers several events throughout the year. They also participate in the Surry County Wine Trail events. The winery has a Second Saturday Music and Wine Series as well as an annual Valentine’s Day Dinner.
Grassy Creek Vineyards offers a country, quiet and laid back experience that visitors are sure to appreciate. Enjoy a comfortable warm atmosphere while visiting the tasting room.

Grassy Creek Vineyard & Winery           
235 Chatham Cottage Circle
State Road, North Carolina 28676

GPS: N36º 17.652’ W80º 51.732’

 

Article written in December 2012


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