While Becki was off enjoying her Italian vacation and Korinne began her Hawaiin adventure, Tricia and I, along with our dear friend Jasmin, discovered a wonderful oasis right here in Apex, North Carolina! If you have not been to the Cloer Family Vineyards, definitely put it on your calendar! You will not be disappointed!
What an amazing experience! I am not sure how I have lived in Apex for nearly six years without hearing of this gem! Perhaps it is because to get there you need to venture off the beaten path a bit and enjoy a nice drive along the beautiful country roads of Apex. If fact, it is close enough to the American Tobacco Trail (ATT) that you can ride your bike there! There is even a bike race that takes place in May (Toast to Trails) along the ATT that stops at the Vineyard half-way through the race! When you drive onto the vineyard grounds, you see quite a landscape! Grapevines, green pastures, cows, sheep, trees, and a quaint red barn. The barn houses the delicious family wines that are as fragrant and as fresh as the grapes out on the vines. Outside the barn there are tables and chairs, fire pits, and play areas for the children, so it is fun for the whole family. A marvelous destination for a special occasion or an ordinary afternoon.
Last Saturday, although blustery, we barely felt a breeze as we listened to music and sipped our wine. The music, provided by the Apex Rock and Roll High School, was phenomenal! In fact, that is actually what brought us to the vineyard. Tricia’s lovely daughter, Mallory, is a student at the Rock and Roll High School and was performing that afternoon. Since Jasmin and I have daughters that are BFFs with Mallory, this concert was not to be missed. Not only were we extremely impressed with the talent, we were just as affected by the wine!
During the intermission we popped inside the barn for a wine tasting and enjoyed all five varieties – three white and two red. I usually prefer red wines, but left that afternoon with a bottle of Veranda, their blend of chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. It is perfect for enjoying on a warm sunny day while relaxing on the porch…or veranda. In fact, that is exactly how the wine received its name. The Riesling is delightful as well and not too sweet since no extra sugars are added. Perhaps the wine that I can still smell and taste even though our outing to the vineyard was a week ago, is the Carlos. It smells and tastes exactly like the Muscadine grapes from which it is made. It is no wonder that it won a gold medal in the NC State Fair.
My favorite wine to taste was the Noble. A red blackberry wine that is served with chocolate during the tasting. What more can you ask for – wine and chocolate!! The chocolate, not only delicious, also slightly alters the flavor of the wine from blackberry to cherry. It is a wonderful dessert wine, but also not too sweet for a casual glass of wine anytime.
Matador, the house Merlot, seems to be their most popular wine, at least on that particular Saturday, as the last bottle sold before I could get one of my own. Believe me when I say it is on my calendar to return in a week when they will have more in stock!
The Cloer Family Vineyards provides a relaxing, peaceful, and inviting atmosphere. Bring your own snacks, appetizers, or take out and enjoy time with family and friends in this gorgeous setting. The wines are delicious and fresh. They are made at the vineyard from the grapes growing on the vines right there on the grounds and other locally grown grapes.
If you are in the Apex area definitely visit the Cloer Family Vineyards! Next Saturday they will be hosting another Toasts & Tunes afternoon and the weather is supposed to be beautiful! You will have such a great time and will leave planning a return visit! I think we were there for five minutes before we starting thinking of parties and fundraisers that would be wonderful to host at the vineyard. I should also mention that we discussed our ideas while we tasted wines and the Cloer family seems very happy to offer their vineyard as a venue to such celebrations.
Here is my nutritional note for wine: Research has suggested wine consumption may be beneficial to cardiovascular health, cancer prevention, and increased bone mineral density (although, not a substitute for calcium and vitamin D). However, as with anything, too much of a good thing may have negative results as well. So, enjoy your wine in moderation and toast to good health!
See you Saturday at the Vineyard!
Stay Tuned, Stay Healthy and Stay Pretty in the Peak
Marianne Lindgren, MS, RD