After a hectic day shopping at Tanger Outlets in Mebane, think about stopping by Iron Gate Winery for glass of wine on the outdoor patio or step inside to sample some of their North Carolina wines.
Just three miles outside of Mebane, the winery feels like light years away from the interstate and all the outlet shopping. On a recent Sunday afternoon, the tasting room was filled with guests, including a Chapel Hill family celebrating the dad’s birthday and a couple from Dallas visiting Raleigh for a family wedding.
The Dallas couple caught my attention. A recent study showed that the majority of visitors to NC wineries are from around here, not out of state. This couple said they didn’t know NC had a wine industry until they saw a card in their hotel about the Haw River Valley Wine Trail.
Before arriving at Iron Gate, this couple had visited GlenMarie and Grove wineries nearby. The trio of wineries are part of the Haw River Valley Wine Trail, which also includes Benjamin Vineyards and Winery near Saxapahaw. Both Iron Gate and Benjamin wineries are featured on the Piedmont Farm Tour, April 27-28.
Iron Gate hosts events that you’ll find on the website, including a free Music in the Courtyard series — Sundays 2-4 p.m., May through October. You can find the May schedule online now.
The dry reds were good, and I bought a bottle of Iron Gate’s Chambourcin, one of the grapes that seems to do well in North Carolina. There was a sweeter version, Sweet N’ Sassy Cherry, a Chambourcin sweetened with cherries. For a sweeter wine, it wasn’t bad, and would be great with dark chocolate, I’ll bet.
Mebane is a quaint little town – green lawns, mill houses, a Kingsdown factory, downtown shops across from the railroad tracks. Reminded me of so many other small North Carolina towns, maybe with a new lease on life, thanks to the nearby wineries.
The Winery at Iron Gate Farm
2540 Lynch Store Road