Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rock of Ages Winery & Vineyard

From Sarah C:

A short drive north of Hillsborough sits beautiful countryside full of farms and Rock of Ages Winery & Vineyards. Our friend, Stacey "S'Rich", and husband had visited pre-children days and suggested it as a weekend family event. Altogether 4 couples, 5 toddlers and 1 infant made the trip.


Admittedly, the idea of vineyards and wine tasting sounds more like a date. This would definitely work - find a sitter or the grandparents and run away for a few hours just the two of you. But it is also a great family adventure.

Tastings are offered every half hour and cost $5 + tax per person. We arrived in between tastings which actually worked out perfectly as it gave the toddlers a chance to run around the grassy lawn surrounding the winery. We all needed a little leg stretching. Depending where you are in the Triangle, expect a half hour (from north Durham) or more to make the drive. For our family the trip took about an hour.

When we headed inside for our tasting, we strapped toddlers into their lightweight strollers and handed them snacks & sippy cups. This along with socializing with one another kept them pretty well occupied while the adults enjoyed the wine and kept safe the many breakables on display. The winery offers white, red, sweet and fruit wines. Our group split pretty well evenly with half trying whites and half trying reds.

At the end we were all served a specialty wine - Cork & Pork. This particular wine deserves it's own mention and, yes, that is the official name. This wine was designed for pairing with BBQ. During the tasting, you take a sip of the wine. Eat a cracker with a bit of the Winery's own special BBQ sauce on it. Then finish the wine. Definitely the most unique wine tasting experience I've had. I give our friend, Kim A., credit here as she defined the taste as baked beans and I think that sums it up perfectly. If you could bottle baked beans as a wine, this is it. Only in North Carolina, folks. Rock of Ages Winery hosts an annual Cork-N-Pork Festival featuring the wine & sauce. This year the event takes place on Sat, May 14th. Check the website (listed below) for details.

Following our tasting, we gathered up our youngsters and headed outdoors to picnic. Our group split between blankets spread in a grassy area to a table in the shade beneath the balcony at the front of the winery. The kids had a great time eating, running around and playing with toys we brought (balls & trucks mainly) while the adults relaxed and socialized. Absolutely wonderful way to spend a gorgeous sunny spring day. All the fun and sun tuckered out the little ones who enjoyed naps on the drive home.

Whether as a family adventure or a date, take a drive north and explore this special place and be sure to sample the Cork & Pork wine!

Rock of Ages Winery & Vineyard
http://www.rockofageswinery.com/
1890 Charlie Long Road
Hurdle Mills, NC 27541
336-364-7625

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