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Nestled alongside Elkin Creek, the Elkin Creek Vineyard and winery has some of the most beautiful scenery I have experienced so far during my exploration of North Carolina wineries. What’s left of a more than 100-year-old mill still sits next to the creek. A statue of St. Francis of Assisi watches over the vines which include plantings of Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier.

Entering the tasting room, we’re greeted by wood-beam ceilings, dark wood furniture and rustic wood floors, all combined to give a comfortable and European appeal to the space. Also there to welcome us were the Louis Jeroslow and his wife who, with another couple, purchased the vineyard from its previous owners.

In addition to the décor having a European flavor, so do the wines. Varietals include a French Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese single varietal and several blends incorporating the classic Chianti grape. The single varietal has bright cherry and raspberry notes with a touch of earth on the finish. It would pair well with rustic pasta dishes with red sauce and pizza.

Continuing with the European influence, Louis pointed out that the Yadkin Valley AVA shares the same Latitude as Sicily, Italy, which has produced wine for thousands of years. Additionally, the climate of the Yadkin Valley is very similar to that of Bordeaux. With characteristics shared by world-renowned wine producing regions, I’m hopeful that the North Carolina wine industry will continue to grow!