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Old North State Winery
by
K.L. Sullivan

Summary: Old North State Winery is located in Mt. Airy, North Carolina made famous by Andy Griffith of the well-known Andy Griffith television show. Old North State Winery is an urban winery that also offers a restaurant with entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. It is the first location in North Carolina to have both a winery and a brewery on the premises.

Old North State WineryOld North State WineryFinding Old North State Winery was easily accomplished as a large sign was on the red brick side of the building and public parking was at the side of the building. The winery began as a co-op opening in 2002. Eventually the winery was changed from a co-op to ownership by two families. Today Ben Webb is both owner and winemaker. Two of the current owners have acreage of Muscadine grapes and the other grapes used to make wine are sourced from the local area.

The winery and restaurant are located in a restored 1890’s mercantile building. Research has discovered that prior to being a mercantile the building had been a hardware store. The building is located on a site that was believed to be the location of a saloon.

Upon entering the winery/restaurant, we were greeted and directed towards the tasting bar. The granite tasting bar is long and has comfortable stools to sit at while tasting. A tour of the winery led us downstairs where the bladder press, barrels, bottling machine and stainless steel tanks are located. A large door opens to a side street for deliveries of grapes and other materials. A large room also holds cases of wine and barrels. Small wall lights decorate the walls. Occasionally private parties are held here.

Old North State Winery     Old North State Winery

While in the barrel room we had the opportunity to taste Tannat from a barrel. Ben is considering making the Tannat into a varietal wine. Even though it was still barrel aging, the Tannat had a dark almost black color. It had a raspberry and plum aroma and taste. The finish was fruity and extremely tannic. This wine is already good and will only get better with age.

Back upstairs on the main level, we passed by several framed paintings decorating walls; all were for sale. Tables for the restaurant extend from the front of the building to the back of the building where the kitchen is located. On the side, in the center of the large room is a small stage for entertainment.

Old North State WineryAt the tasting counter, we tasted several wines including dry reds and sweet Muscadine wines. Captain’s Choice, a blend of Carlos and Chardonnay offered a wine with a floral and grapy aroma and a smooth sweet grape taste. The finish, which was long, starts sweet and then becomes dry. Carlos is a Muscadine grape. Riesling had a peaches and floral nose with a smooth fruit salad taste. The finish was fruity and long. Prelude was a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine offered a nose and taste of red cherries. The finish was crisp and long with a cherry finish. Restless Soul was a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chambourcin. The aroma had blackberry notes and a smooth fruit taste. The finish was crisp with good tannins. Afternoon Delight Red Muscadine was produced with a bit of Chambourcin to give it color. The result was a light red wine with a Muscadine aroma. The taste was sweet. The wine dried on the long finish.

The Old North State Winery and Restaurant has a comfortable ambience to it. Enjoy stopping for a tasting and consider staying for lunch or dinner.

Old North State Winery
308 N. Main Street
Mt. Airy, North Carolina

N 36° 50.214' W080° 60.856'

 


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