It’s always a treat to find a little piece of home when you’re out of town. Tarheel Taps & Corks recently found a winery with North Carolina roots just across the state line in Galax, Va.
Mt. Vale Vineyards owners Noel and Peggy Belcher retired from Cary to open this vineyard and winery. And they are experiencing success, with the help of North Carolina-trained winemaker Mary Simmons.
Noel and Peggy had a vacation home in nearby Fries, Va., but when Peggy wanted to develop a vineyard and winery, Noel knew he had to find another place with the right slope, elevation and directional facing for growing wine grapes. The land they purchased for their operation was just the right fit.
The winery and tasting room are set on a beautiful hillside, with panoramic views of the vineyard below and the mountains beyond. In addition to the tasting room, there are covered gazebos tucked along the top of the vineyard where visitors can relax with a glass of wine and enjoy the scenery.
For $5, we tasted six wines at Mt. Vale. Always partial to reds, I really liked their full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chardonnay (white) was also a treat, with a robust oak finish. Mt. Vale’s Misty Mountain (white blend) is a state prize winner for Virginia, fruity with hints of spice
We bought a bottle of Table for Two, a red table wine, that the winery describes as, “Refreshing, rich, fruit forward, and perfectly balanced Beaujolais style red wine. Loaded with notes of dark red cherries and plums.”
Another perk of this winery is a guest house, with its own porch, Jacuzzi tub and continental breakfast. The winery also provides complementary bicycles and transportation to the nearby New River Trail, a 50+ mile rail trail that begins in Galax.
Maybe the best thing of all about this vineyard is that it adds another fun thing to a region already bursting with fun things to do, at an elevation that provides a cooler place to play when temperatures here below are boiling.
From biking (New River Trail State Park or Virginia Creeper Trail) to bluegrass music (Blue Ridge Music Center, Rex Theater and the Crooked Road Music Heritage Trail) to hiking, camping (Grayson Highlands State Park) or paddling on the New River, there’s so much to do in southwest Virginia. And fall is coming…
So when you’ve had enough activity for the day, visit Mt. Vale – or other nearby Virginia or NC wineries – for a glass of good wine and a bit of relaxation.