Westbend Vineyards
Lewisville, North Carolina


In 1972, Westbend Vineyards Founder Jack Kroustalis made history by planting the Yadkin Valley's first vinifera grapevines. Jack, who had suspected that the region's loamy red clay soil would grow excellent European grape varieties, was delighted with the results and Westbend became a bonded winery in 1988. Today, the 100-acre Westbend estate devotes 60 of its fertile acres to growing the grapes that become its award-winning wines.

"We are proud of our past," says Owner Lillian Kroustalis, "but we like to focus on today and the future. We're dedicated to producing some of the finest hand-harvested, handcrafted, ultra-premium boutique wines in America."

Westbend is grateful to have the leadership of Winemaker/General Manager Mark Terry. His career began at Hargrave Vineyards, the pioneer winery on the North Fork of Long Island. Working with Mark is California native Randy Ramey as vineyard manager. Between the two of them they bring over 60 years of experience in the wine industry to Westbend and the Yadkin Valley. Westbend currently grows Chardonnay from Burgundian clones along with Riesling, Viognier, Vidal, Seyval, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Chambourcin, and is adding more acreage of Petite Verdot, Sauvignon Blanc, Orange Muscat, and Muscat Cannelli. With perfect grapes as the goal, they make it a practice to routinely thin the crop load each season increasing the quality and ripening factors of the grapes.

"Our wines have never been better," Lillian smiles. "And we're delighted with the attention they're getting nationally."

Lillian says they owe part of their national exposure to the Yadkin Valley Wine Store, located in North Carolina's Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Wine writers from the Wall Street Journal anonymously visited and wrote an article about Viognier from Westbend. Another such traveler was the wife of Joel Stein, a Time magazine reporter who recently conducted a tasting of one wine from each of the 50 states. She reported her discovery of Westbend Barrel Fermented Chardonnay back to her husband, who included the varietal as one of 12 he found to be excellent in the entire country.

Westbend has won numerous gold and silver medals at prestigious competitions and received glowing praise from the press including Wine Spectator. Located just 15 minutes from Winston-Salem, Westbend Vineyards attracts visitors from all around the world. At the vineyard's entrance, visitors are greeted by acres of mature manicured rows of vines. The tasting room and hospitality center are surrounded by a lovely pavilion and patio, often used for winery events and private receptions. Guests are encouraged to sit, enjoy the wines, and sample a selection of cheeses. Across the street sits a historic farmhouse, which has been lovingly restored and is available for receptions, weddings, and corporate events.

"The Yadkin Valley is a beautiful place to visit," Lillian says. "And Westbend is like a jewel you discover here." Considering the amount of attention the winery is getting, it promises to be jewel that shines for a very long time.

What to buy:
'06 Merlot Deep berry floral, tobacco, solid cherry, plum $16.95
'06 Vintner's Signature Full bodied, cedar, cassis, black cherry, spice chocolate, coffee $34.95
'06 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay Elegant, intense, spicy oak, toasty honey, butterscotch $19.95
'08 Riesling Honeysuckle floral, pineapple, tropical fruits, lemon/lime, green apple $16.95

Contact:
336.945.5032; Fax: 336.945.5294
www.westbendvineyards.com
5394 Williams Rd.
Lewisville, NC 27023
Tasting Room Open Tue-Sat 11-5;
Sun 12-5

Getting There:
Take Hwy 421 to Exit 246. Go west on Shallowford Rd. for two miles, then left on Williams Rd.

This story originally appeared on Touring and Tasting