Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Chinqua Penn Plantation houses a 1920s mansion once owned by Thomas Jefferson Penn and Beatrice Schoellkopf Penn, its luxurious environs flanked by fields of grapes and packed with an eclectic collection of art. Embark on a guided educational tour of the countryside abode's 27 rooms to marvel at masterpieces such as the entryway's Mosaic of Moses and the dining room's American Gothic painted entirely with ketchup. The mansion's artistic furnishings are culled from 30 different countries, all ensconced in internationally themed chambers such as the Chinese Room and the Italian Room. Attendees can fly chaperone-free in a self-guided garden tour to admire the plantation's greenery, nestled within 22 acres of maintained landscaping. Sync up your watch with the 1928 stone clock tower or discuss celebrity gossip with the cast-lead Cupid statue in the courtyard.
While in Sonoma on business in 1992, tech entrepreneur Max Lloyd fell in love with the fermented grape. Though his father and grandfather had been in the business of winemaking, it wasn't until his encounter with California-grown, European-style varietals that he resolved to dabble in the family trade himself. Launched as a part-time project in Virginia and transplanted to its current location in 2001, Grove Winery and Vineyards culls its grapes from two estate vineyards that span more than 70 acres in addition to a handful of local vineyards. The staff meticulously handpicks the grapes and gently presses them with a basket press to yield their fresh milk.
Helmed by Doctor of Wine Chemistry Robert Wurtz, Stonefield Cellars Winery's team of winemakers craft award-winning, small-batch libations using grapes from an onsite vineyard, as well as from local Yadkin Valley vineyards. The winery offers wine tastings in a tasting room with dark wood accents where cheese and crackers are also available, as well as hot mulled wine on winter weekends. An array of events includes workshops that educate students on different grape varietals, as well as winemaking classes where instructors demonstrate their craft and show off limited-edition grape-stomping boots. Winemakers also guide budding blenders through a bottling program, during which they learn to mix, ferment, and bottle their own wines. Stonefield Cellars also offers regular events such as dinner-and-concert nights or wine-and-food pairings to grant visitors unique ways to taste their wines. In warmer weather, tours and revelers venture outside the tall white barn to frolic under an outdoor pavilion or on rolling green hills.: