childress winery

One might ask, am I in some quaint Tuscan countryside or am I in the Piedmont area of North Carolina in the USA?

Well, at the Childress Winery near Winston-Salem, NC that confusion can well be understood. There's a very serious attempt to bring old Italy into the New World here. Not surprisingly it fails at least on some counts.

As you can see from the main building, over there to the left, the window dressing is quite attractive. Seen up close, the stone work is way too regular so I presume that it's simply stone veneer over a stick built building. Still looks nice but that Old World atmosphere is lacking. Seems too much like someone trying to pretend to be old money.

This is a press release from when they first broke ground on the Childress Vineyard. Many people are familiar with the Childress name due to Richard Childress' short race car driving career and his long career as a NASCAR team owner. His major claim to fame is having the late Dale Earnhardt as his foremost driver.

The inside of the Vineyard building is even prettier than the outside with water fountains and Mission architectural details like a beautiful skylight with the appearance of a bell tower and furniture that look like it'd be at home in a 17th century Californian mission. There's even wonderful oak plank floors in the gift shop and marble flooring in the picture on the left, but like the walls I talked about above, these floors also are of veneer and not even high quality at that.

Sure does look pretty though, especially with the Christmas decorations in place.

Below is my girlfriend trying to grab one of the empty wine barrels. Eventually she decided they were too bulky and left them there. The winery sells their wine both in a store on the premises as well as on the Internet. I didn't try any of their better wines but the less expensive Serendipity wines, made with local grapes, were pretty good. I suspect that they aren't made at Childress since the winery doesn't grow any local varietals, only European grapes.

By the way, I was just kidding about my girlfriend trying to steal a wine barrel. She'd never do that. They weren't the right color.

For anyone not familiar with grapes, muscadines are the grapes native to NC. They're also sometimes called scuppernongs just to confuse folk. LOL While the wine season is at an end now, you can get a feel for what happens in NC by looking at this table of Winery Events from 2005.


Teresa said…
How did you post this tomorrow? That's some trick, Dave!

I've visited some of the local wineries around here. Conditions in PA aren't all that predictable during the growing season, so the wines vary a lot from year to year. Some of the wineries don't use only grapes they grow though, so some of it is more consistant.

I can't purchase wine online as PA is one of the states that don't allow inter-state sales to consumers, so unless you send me some I won't be tasting this winery's wares. :-(
netchick said…
Hey Dave!

Looks like a very neat adventure. I love visiting wineries... As described last May in my blog.

Thanks for sharing the photos! They're neat!

ps: Very funny about the comment yesterday... LOL
Lisa M said…
All the local wine I've been forced to drink so far tastes like Welch's grape juice. It looks like you have better local wine despite that phoney facade. Count your blessings, right?
Michelle said…
Dave are you down under and not telling me (re date)??? LOL.
Wow, this place looks so ornate...take me take me take me!! I don't care about the color, i'll take em!
utenzi said…
Michelle, not a chance--if I was close by I'd have begged a visit with you! I just cheated a bit on the posting date. As for a winery visit with you, anytime!

Lisa, like I commented a few weeks back, you have better taste in wine than I do. There's a number of wines from the finger lakes region that I like. I've not seen them sold down here in NC so it's been a while since I've tasted any of them. I had a nice Reisling-like wine last year from a winery near Lake Champlain but I don't remember the name of the winery...but all the NY wines were on the sweet side, it's true.

Tanya! I wasn't reading your blog back in May. I'll go look later today at your archives.

Teresa, I'm not sure I want to see you when you've got a bit of wine in you. Are you safe in that condition?
jane said…
those are fascinating photographs.
the winery is very interesting. i don't drink alcohol so i have no clue about wine. but i liked the pics. :)
Thanks for taking us all on your tour Dave! :-) You must have an eye for design, to know the materials used were not authentic or of high quality. (I wouldn't have known that) Gorgeous landcsape photo as well.
Do you go to a lot of Winery events Dave? I have toured one winery in WA state. It was interesting haearing how they made it. Are you a wine connoisseur?
I don't drink much wine other then a pinot grigio, seems to give me a head ache, but once in a while, a friend who knows about wine will give me a nice dry red that isn't as heavy as most I've tried, that I love! (And never remember to get the name of. Maybe I should quit after one glass?);-) Do you have any recommendations for a dry red wine? Seems hard to find. (Or I don't know what I'm looking for)

PS.I'm not as jealous or insecure as I let on in my last post. (I was trying to be funny, and as usual, it feel flat! lol)
utenzi said…
Jane, thanks!

Teri, not much of an eye for design here. I just spend enough time in Lowe's and Home Depot to know what laminates look like. They're pretty good these days but the patterns are limited whereas the real thing varies continually. If you see a similar pattern on a wall or floor emerging then it's a clue that manufactured products were used. In the case of the winery it was probably more to speed construction than to save money.

I'm the last person to be asking about wine choices, Teri. My favorite beverages are Pepsi and apple juice. I like sweet and uncomplicated flavors. Quality dry wines are anything but that! And as a result, it's no surprise that I prefer white wine over red. Less taste!
Uisce said…
ahh tuscany, you're giving me a tear of memory. but no kidding, North Carolina? thanks for the tip!!
No_Newz said…
So the building really did nothing for me, but you got me craving a good old fashioned drunken stuper at 11 am. :P
Lois Lane
Diane Mandy said…
Wine... I've got the hankering to plan a wine and cheese event. The farmer's market (along with many a scuppernong) is about 1 mile from where I reside.
RenaRF said…
Utenzi - thanks. Like your blog. Can you run over to my blog and tell me if my changes are causing it to display properly in Firefox? I see it correctly now but want to check from an outside person. Much appreciated!!
utenzi said…
Be right over, Renarf

Diane, there is just something about wine and cheese that is so good. But not that nasty red wine. LOL Like they said in the 50s--better dead than red.

Lois, whoa! It's way too early to be thinking like THAT!

Uisce, yep. NC and wine. They do go together!
Ditsy Chick said…
Well, I would imagine it should look pretty snazzy Childress has enough money. I loved seeing the grapes grow in NC, it beets the kudzu.
poopie said…
psst...Big E is still alive and well. I see his number on at least one pickup a day.
buffi said…
How cool. There is a good chance of us getting stationed in NC again in June. If so, we will definitely be going there in our way to base. Thanks for the tip!

Michele sent me tonight. Have a good weekend.
Nicole said…
That first picture is gorgeous. I need a glass of wine while I blog.

Here via Michelle tonight.
JoeC said…
Hello, Michele sent me. Hey, nie bit of post there. Yep, I love the art of wine making. I learn the otherday about ice wine, totally facinating. Have a nice weekend. Cheers!
Deana said…
I couldn't believe it when I heard about the Childress winery. I need to go see it. We love all the winery events....we do Shelton's in Dobson, NC alot....they have great bands in the summer and its always a good time. Plus I like their Merlot.

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