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North Carolina has a young but vibrant wine community and Winston-Salem is primely positioned in the Yadkin Valley Wine Country. We are kicking this series off by featuring Westbend Vineyards & Brewhouse, located in Lewisville, because it was the first vineyard established in the Yadkin Valley and remains the only winery actually in Forsyth County. They first planted vines in 1972, focusing on French varietals. This was unheard of in the Southern United States, which is still known primarily for our sweet muscadines and scuppernongs — our NC state fruit! Before closing in Fall 2013, Westbend was growing 10 varietals of French grapes to produce their 18 wines and had also started brewing beer.
Yadkin Valley Wine Country Beginnings
What began as a hobby vineyard grew over the years. Once they began selling grapes to Chateau Morissette to be made into wine, they realized the high quality of their grapes and soon after, opened their own winery in 1988. At that time, there were only 10 other wineries in North Carolina. “We were happy to see other wineries pop up,” explained Lillian, “there had to be a cluster of at least six vineyards to acquire the designation of ‘Yadkin Valley Wine Country’ from the American Vineyard Association. Having several wineries in the area also created tourism, since nobody is going to drive all the way out to the country to visit one winery, but several? Yes.”
The New Westbend Brewhouse
The winery has continued to expand and produce world-class wines over the years. But, their latest expansion, in February of 2012, included the addition of Westbend Brewhouse. Westbend now grows three varieties of hops: Nugget, Chinook and Cascade. With their five-barrel state-of-the-art brewing equipment, Brewmaster Jamie Mingia brews five styles of beer:
- an English ale,
- a pale ale,
- an IPA,
- a stout,
- and a seasonal beer.
The brewhouse addition has been a wonderful compliment to the winery and their craft beers have been a huge hit with the public. You can even stop by to watch a game in their brew pup or to fill up your growler!
Westbend Vineyard & Brewery Location
5394 Williams Rd
Lewisville, NC 27023
Tasting Room & Tap Room Hours
Friday & Saturday 11AM-8PM