FireClay Cellars brings award-winning wines to Siler City
OUR ROAD TO 100 NORTH CAROLINA WINERIES …
When it comes to North Carolina wine, how many times has the stereotypical all North Carolina wines are sweet been repeatedly declared by wine drinkers, bottle shop owners and restaurants? How often is it stated that only Muscadine grapes thrive here in the state? Over the years, we have been surprised by what North Carolinian grape growers and wine makers have accomplished as they push past the stereotype.
About an hour west of downtown Raleigh, in Siler City, has emerged a new winery in the Haw River Valley AVA. FireClay Cellars introduced us to our #88 on our journey to visit 100 North Carolina wineries. FireClay Cellars produces some fabulous vinifera-style wines. Wait, what? So close to Raleigh. So far from Yadkin Valley – yet producing European varietals?
Related Link: Triangle Around Town’s Road to Visiting 100 NC Wineries
We first learned about FireClay at the 2019 NC Wine Bloggers summit where we were able to sample some of its wines. Being impressed, it was only logical that we set out one day to pay them a visit. And that we did. On a lazy June Sunday, we decided to hop in the car and head out to Siler City in rural Chatham County and see what this winery is able to accomplish so close to the Triangle, where we are always told, vinifera cannot thrive.
As we made our way to the winery, we drove down some country roads until we were welcomed by a quaint, rustic winery tasting room set back from rows of vines, housing grapes anxiously awaiting its metamorphosis to that drink we all love to drink – wine!
The day we visited, we had the pleasure of having the grape grower himself, Beau Hall, lead us through the tasting. This added a new dimension to our tasting experience – to learn about the birth of wine, from grape to bottle. Overall, we enjoyed each wine, which says a lot for us. The wines are obviously in their infancy and we are really looking forward to following FireClay for years to come to see how the wines mature.
We started the tasting by sampling two white vintages with the same three grapes, just in different percentages: Chardonel, Seyval Blanc and Traminette. The 2017 white blend was a 2019 Fine Wines Society winner. We also sampled a few other medal winners, which included the 2016 Red Blend and 2016 Chambourcin.
You may be thinking, “this winery sounds great but is there anything else to do in the area?” Why, yes there is! If you are still looking to quench your thirst, just a short 20-minute drive down the road is the Chatham Beverage District in Pittsboro. There you can enlighten your taste buds even further with local mead from Starrlight Mead, cider from Chatham Cider Works and a stop at Fair Game Beverage for some specialty spirits and handcrafted cocktails, as well as more local wines, ciders and beers.
Triangle Around Town's top 🍷choice: 2016 Chamboucin; 2016 Red Blend and the 2017 Valvin Muscat
Wine tastings include 7 wines for $6
Hours are Saturday 12-6 pm or Sunday 12-5 pm
Fun Fact: the name FireClay Cellars represents the infamous red clay we have here in the state that just so happens to be perfect for producing grapes
FireClay Cellars is located at 1276 Bowers Store Road, Siler City, NC 27344