Thursday, April 24, 2014

Surry County: The Other Napa

When JOLO winery had their grand opening in April, the restaurant's chef remarked that Surry County is "the other Napa."

We have 20 wineries now in Surry County, NC. Some elegant, like JOLO and Shelton's, others more rustic, but all of them enthusiastic about making wine. 

We're equally enthusiastic about drinking it!

We love living in an area where we can drive half an hour or less and visit a tasting room and relax in lovely countryside. 

JOLO has beautiful grounds on a hilly site just west of Pilot Mountain on highway 268. 

The winery has plenty of outdoor seating--around the reflecting pool, or down the hill near the pond and bocce court. 

They invite guests to bring a picnic lunch and add a bottle of wine from their winery, or from their selection of other fine wines. (The restaurant, End Posts, isn't open for lunches yet, but for dinner Thursday-Saturday.  The menu is linked here.)

We returned on Easter for the brunch. The dining room seats thirty, and has large windows on two sides. It's bright and attractive. I felt pampered as soon as I sat down. The table was beautifully set with crystal knife rests, silver bud vase, chargers and dinner plates. The table linens were heavy and rich feeling. 

The server made us feel welcome, met every need, and negotiated a slight menu change for me. 

Dinner was beautifully presented, simple but delicious, with fresh peas and their crunchy pods.  I asked the chef if I could come back with my garden peas for a cooking lesson. He laughingly said sure, and I may ask again when my peas are ripe. 

 We accompanied the meal with JOLO's Vidal Blanc, Grey Ghost.  I think it complemented the meal perfectly, and tasted even better with food than it did when I sipped it at the tasting earlier in the month.  I also took home a bottle of their Happy Endings, a sweet Vidal Blanc.  I think of it as a happy beginning too, triggering the memory of our first sunny afternoon wandering the grounds. I'm sure there will be many more. 

Welcome to Surry County, JOLO. We're so glad you're here. 

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