As the planting season springs forth, rosemary bushes are busily doubling in size, while mint volunteers are sprouting up willy-nilly. To celebrate the growth of savory seasonings, the five wineries of Swan Creek Vineyard Association in Yadkin Valley are presenting an herb festival April 5-7. Each location, all less than five miles apart, will pair their wines with a dish that highlights a specific herb. “Herbs impart such a signature flavor in foods, and you can pick up those flavors in the wines,” says Tamara Collins of Dobbins Creek Vineyards.
The event blends the interests of foodies, oenophiles, and green-thumbs; visitors will also receive a potted plant at each vineyard. “We typically have basil, rosemary, and lavender, but we’ve had some unusual herbs such as chocolate mint and lemongrass,” says Thomas Salley with Raffaldini Vineyards, which will feature sylvetta Italian arugula. Other bites might include lavender truffles, pineapple-thyme goat cheese, or rosemary-rubbed lamb chops.
With a $25 ticket, two people can sample food and wine, and pick up a potted herb. You can make the rounds in one day, but you don’t have to rush. Take some time to admire the roses at Laurel Gray Vineyards, learn about fortified wines at Windsor Run Cellars, or shop the farmers market at Raffaldini on Sunday before heading home to add your fresh treasures to the garden.