To preface my remarks, one of our favorite pastimes is to visit various wineries and fine-dining establishments throughout North Carolina. On many an occasion, we've found that some of the best of each can be found in some of the small towns that pepper the countryside. Of the current (as of this writing) 117 wineries that are operational in this great state, we've managed to visit 44 of them so far. I doubt if we can ever catch up though because approximately 4-5 new wineries are coming on line every 3 months.
One of the smaller, yet rustic/quaint wineries that we've visited is the Iron Gate Vineyards in Mebane, NC. When you first arrive, you are greeted with a rustic, quaint winery building - very country-like, yet boasting a contemporary and very warm interior. As I've always said in my previous reviews, for those folks who regularly make it a habit of seeking out various wineries, for most - the experience involves 3 phases: 1) anticipation of what is to come, and...2) The ambiance of the environment - buildings, scenery, and general atmosphere, and... 3) of course, the taste and complexity of the wines offered at that locale.
Since our first visit to this winery, we were impressed - not only with the warm atmosphere of the locale, but also the superb offerings of traditional reds and whites, along with the likes of the American/French influence such as their gorgeous Chambourcin's. In fact, the first time we visited, we purchased 3 cases of various wines - and that's not something we do often (at any winery, save perhaps for a few locations). The wine tasting area is an intimate setting, along with a little gift shop that sells knick-knacks and wine-related items. The folks doing the wine tasting are exceptionally pleasant - very disarming with their country warmth and willing to please. As a result, we've been back 3 times since - especially since it's only an hour's drive from where we live just south of Raleigh, NC.
In addition, the Winery at Iron Gate hosts a variety of activities throughout the year to include local musical events, dinners, etc. They have a lovely pond area where you can just relax and get your thoughts together.
All in all, the Winery at Iron Gate in Mebane is one of the better smaller wineries - but make no mistake about it, their charm, ambiance, and quality of wines combine to make for a pleasant experience. We enjoyed ourselves and that reminds me that soon it will be time to head back and pick up some more wine.
I've uploaded a variety of photos taken of the winery, interior, and pond area, which should give you a good ideas as to how everything looks.
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