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“Unassuming Outside - Nice & Friendly Inside”
Review of SilkHope Winery

SilkHope Winery
Ranked #3 of 21 things to do in Pittsboro
Attraction details
RALEIGH
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Unassuming Outside - Nice & Friendly Inside”
Reviewed July 10, 2013

I bought a deal on LivingSocial for a full tasting and 2 bottles of wine since I like trying new wineries. When you pull up - it looks very unassuming (the tasting room is in a Quansset Hut - and I am not even sure I am spelling that right) and were it not for the signs, you might wonder if you had the directions right. Open the door and step inside and they have done something different for their tastings.

Guests sit at a long table and are able to look across at each other and they come around to you and pour the wines (generous too I might add!)

The winemaker (Wally) happened to be there that day and he was very comfortable answering questions we had - the gentleman leading the tasting was knowledgeable about the wines and had a sense of humor

Some of the other folks had brought crackers and cheese along with them and even shared with us (not something I had seen done before but a trick we will add to pay if forward to others along the way)

The website is not accurate - they have more than twice the amount of wines shown and there was not a single muscadine grape in the bunch !

Without a LivingSocial voucher - there is a nominal charge for the tastings ($5 for any five of the whites and/or $5 for any of the reds. The reserves are $1 each)

All-in-All - SIlkHope was a really great find and we hope to visit them again soon.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Betty W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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27 reviews from our community

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English first
Graham, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“A pleasant surprise”
Reviewed June 3, 2013

What a fun place, and delicious wine to boot! If you are looking for an upscale winery to impress your friends- this is not the place for you. However, if you're looking for decent wine and good 'down to earth ' people and surroundings- then you have found a gem. We spent a wonderful Sunday afternoon with LaLa and Wally and will defiitely return for more.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Kelly T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
38 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Subjective I know - but our visit to the Silk Hope Winery was so disappointing...”
Reviewed June 3, 2013

Gosh, where do I begin? At first I was toying about even giving a review - after all, it's best to praise in public and scold in private. But I kept coming back to the memory of our brief visit there during May 2013 and I finally decided to say something.

To begin with, we started making it a point of visiting as many wineries throughout NC as possible, beginning 5-6 years ago. As it stands right now, we've visited over 44 of the 117 current wineries located throughout this gorgeous state. I doubt if we'll ever catch up since an average of 5 new wineries come on line every 3 months or so.

Having said that, visiting a winery involves several attitudes and senses: 1) The anticipation of what is come - both in sights, variety, and taste, and; 2) Once having arrived, absorbing the beauty of the locale, the scenery, the ambiance of the tasting room, etc, and; 3) The actual taste and variety of the wines on hand. All combine to make or break a visit to a specific winery.

We had just finished visiting the Benjamin Vineyards in the Graham/Saxapahaw region (look for my excellent review of that locale on Trip Advisor) when we found out about Silk Hope Winery, located in Pittsboro, NC. So, since it was on the way home (we live south of Raleigh, NC), we made it a point to check out the place.

Once we arrived at the Silk Hope Winery, we were greeted by a long, steep hill (felt more like a small mountain), so we proceeded along the gravel-lined hill road - wondering what gorgeous views we may encounter at the top. Now keep in mind that Silk Hope Winery boasts that it is situated on one of the highest points in the Pittsboro area, and that's true. But that's where any anticipation comes to a grinding halt.

When we finally reached the top of the hill, we came across what looked like an old car or truck repair facility. The grounds were unkempt, the grass and weeds needed mowing and there was no attempt at even trying to make the place look good. But wait - we had initially assumed that this was just a utility area and that somehow, the actual wine-tasting building was further along. But we soon realized that this was it - that the Silk Hope Winery welcome and wine tasting building was in a pre-fab "military style looking" Marine Corps style quonset hut with no windows - no nothing. It was all very utilitarian and unkempt looking.

OK we thought - what the heck, we're here, so we minus well check it out - although I must admit that I was ready to just turn around and head back down the hill on our trip home.

It should be noted that so much of what we experience has to do with visuals - how a place looks, the views, the anticipated experiences - it all adds up. So when we entered this quonset style building (again, no windows), you just felt....well, utterly enclosed. Yes, they tried to decorate the inside, but there's nothing much you can do to a place like this.

OK, there was a gentleman there - I believe he was the owner. He was dressed in old jeans and what appeared to be a semi-tank top gray shirt. Had he just been walking down the road, one would assume he was a "red neck." Sorry, there was no other way to say it. Since it was the end of the day, we weren't interested in doing a wine tasting of all of the wines, so we choose the option that allowed you just the ability to sampled 5 or 6 wines.

The first wine we tried was the Traminette and all I can say is that to me it tasted like an assortment of hastily blended chemicals. I know that sounds mean to say - and perhaps our palettes were shot by the end of the day - who knows. All I know is that of all the wines tried none were pleasing to me - and again, it's subjective. My wife and her sister liked two of them (not loved, but liked) and wound up purchasing a few bottles of those. I finished the wine tasting portion in a hurry and wanted to leave, so I just stepped outside and waited.

Now to be fair, our expectations for this place were high - perhaps that was the problem. But when you come across this location, you will be taken aback at the lack of anything there. Again (and see the photos I uploaded along with this review), you have to see images of what I'm talking about. It looks like a vehicle repair facility. There is nothing visually appealing about any of this - it was anti-climactic. And this location just begs the inclusion of a gorgeous little tasting facility with some views - not that this may matter to others. Wine purists may balk and retort that you should just focus on the wine - which we tried to do, but alas, their blends just weren't up to the task for us.

So visit if you wish, but if you enjoy a wonderful traditional blend of sights, ambiance, scenery, and superb world class wines - you will be highly disappointed at this winery. But again, it's all subjective and the next person may very well like what they experience here. But in the end, these reviews are based on opinions and I've uploaded a wealth of superb reviews on various wineries throughout the Piedmont region.

So, what would I recommend for this place - after all, I put some disparaging remarks in here? Well, considering that this winery has been here for 13 years, I'd suggest (finances willing of course) that a small, visually pleasing structure be constructed - perhaps one further down where folks can overlook the vines and look down into the valley. It doesn't have to be an elaborate structure - perhaps a smallish log cabin with a porch, and more appealing intimate tasting area. It would improve the entire process tremendously. And then I'd do a better effort of cleaning up the area, keeping the grass and weeds trimmed - it all makes a difference.

Look at the photos that I've uploaded so you can see what I'm talking about.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
13 Thank BenHerrmann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Warm and inviting”
Reviewed December 31, 2012

My brother and I decided to visit some of the wineries on the "Heart of North Carolina Wine Country" list, and SilkHope was the second one we visited. I absolutely loved it. Wally, the owner and winemaker, is such a sweet man, and you can tell he takes pride in his wine. We asked him how he got started, and he said "Well, I like to drink wine." It shows. For $8, you can taste all 14 of the wines (7 reds and 7 whites) on his official tasting menu, plus a few others that he throws in as a bonus. As other reviewers have mentioned, the tasting room isn't fancy, but it's very homey, comfortable, and friendly. We chatted with other guests, and really enjoyed the experience. The wine is also very reasonably priced, and delicious. Would love to go back next time I'm visiting North Carolina.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank travel_girl229
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mosinee, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem”
Reviewed July 11, 2012

The owner and vintner, Wally Butler along with LaLa (Linda) make the visit to this small winery a true pleasure. The wines are outstanding, 2010 Chambourcin among the best I ever tasted. The White Merlot a great surprise. My wife and I visit at least once a month. We have made many friends while visiting here.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank BobandPaulette1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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