Back in March, I bought a LivingSocial voucher for wine tasting at Adams Vineyards in Willow Spring, located in Wake County but just a stone’s throw from the Johnston County line. And like most of the other folks who bought one, I waited until the month it was to expire to make my tasting reservation.
But no worries – the Adams family who own the vineyard were very accommodating, so one Saturday in May, me and about 80 of my “closest friends” gathered to taste Adams’ wines paired with cheese and chocolates.
Quincy Adams (full name: John Quincy Adams — that’s right), who directed the winery tour and tasting, is the eighth generation of his family to farm on the land where the winery and vineyard now stand. Like a number of North Carolina winery owners, the Adams got into the wine business as they were getting out of growing tobacco.
The winery is a true family affair. Chocolates for the tasting were made by Quincy’s mother, Joyce. Cheese from the tastings is sold in the winery store, but the chocolates – with flavors like white chocolate Oreo and chocolate amaretto cherry — are only for the wine pairings.
In this part of the state, you grow native grapes: Muscadines. The weather is too hot and humid to grow vinifera varietals.
Muscadine wine lovers may want to visit Adams and three other wineries – Gregory Vineyards, Hinnant Family Vineyards and Enoch Winery – that have formed the Muscadine Heritage Wine Trail. Guests who hit all four wineries (with tasting and wine purchase) within six months and have their wine trail brochure stamped receive a t-shirt.
The tasting room is open daily – call for hours. 919.567.1010
Because it’s only a few miles from Interstate 40, Adams Vineyards is a popular stop to pick up local wine on the way to the beach.