Let’s face it, northeast North Carolina is not known as a hotbed of wine production, yet there are a couple of wineries in our area turning out some very decent wines. Just because local wineries are few and far between, doesn’t mean we don’t have wine tasting tours. There are a number of opportunities on the Outer Banks to tour the world in a one ounce pour.
We’ll start our wine tasting tour at Trio because it’s the only true wine bar on the Outer Banks. For those in your group who appreciate specialty beers, Trio offers a great selection of brews.
Trio has one of the largest wine selections around and they offer reserved tastings year round on Saturdays, and more often during the summer season. What is particularly nice is they have 36 wine dispensers where a choice of 1oz., 2oz, or 4oz. pours are offered. Personally, I always go for the 2oz. pour–it’s enough to get a good taste of the wine and I can try three or four samples without having to worry about the ride home.
Just down the road in Kill Devil Hills, Chip’s Wine and Beer has a wine selection that is every bit as big as Trio’s–and their beer selection is probably a bit larger. They also have wine dispensers, although their choices are not quite as extensive. What Chip’s does offer, which is unique and a lot of fun, is the “Wine University.” It’s a wine tasting with a bit of a twist . . . lots of laughs and very informative.
The village of Duck is also in the wine tasting club. On Saturdays, Sweet T’s offers flights of wine for tasting. It’s a wonderful setting . . . back from the road a bit, providing a porch with seating and a very nice selection of wine and beer. Oh, and the espresso concoctions are outstanding.
If there is a hotbed of wine tasting on the Outer Banks it has to be Corolla–although this does come with a caveat. Call ahead–especially in the off season months. Things really slow down in Corolla during the shoulder seasons and hours of operation and activities change quickly, almost daily, during the off season.
The biggest wine tasting event in Corolla is held at the Whalehead Club. Through October 9th, from 3-7pm, Sanctuary Vineyards, Vineyard on the Scuppernong and Corolla Wine, Cigar & Gourmet offer tastings. The tasting fee is $20, you receive a free souvenir glass and the setting is sublime.
It’s a wonderful combination of local, international and national wines. Sanctuary Vineyards is across the Currituck Sound in the town of Jarvisburg and Vineyard on the Scuppernong is in Columbia on the Scuppernong River.
The folks at Vineyard on the Scuppernong are doing some really interesting work with dry muscadine wines (that’s a local grape). The muscadine grape almost always makes a sweet desert wine, but these wines are worth checking out.
Also in Corolla, Bacchus Wine & Cheese in the Food Lion Shopping Center offers daily wine tastings. Great sandwiches, too.
Finally-and at long last–Sanctuary Vineyards at the Cotton Gin in Jarvisburg. Sanctuary Vineyards is the only winery in close proximity to the Outer Banks (Vineyard on the Scuppernong is a good 30 miles to the west), and luckily vineyard manager, John Wright, takes his work seriously. They are producing some remarkable wines–much of it from their own grapes, although they do bring in some out of region grapes.
It’s worth a trip to the Cotton Gin to check this out. They also feature live music on Thursday evenings through September and on September 29, 2013 the Great Currituck Grape stomp is coming up–which is a marvelous celebration of the harvest.