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Former tobacco farm becomes successful winery

Former tobacco farm becomes successful winery

As one of the original wineries in the Yadkin Valley, Van Coe planted his first crop of grapes in the late 1990s. His land has been in the family since 1896, and for much of the twentieth century, the land was plated in tobacco.

With the decline of the tobacco industry in the 1980s and 1990s, the Coes decided to switch to grapes as a viable crop. They laid out the vineyards in 1999 and 2000 and planted the first vines in 2001. In 2004, Stony Knoll Vineyards officially opened.

Van Coe spent twenty years as a banker but eventually decided to enroll in the viticulture program at Surry Community College. Coe took this knowledge along with the land's rich soil to plant eight varieties of grapes on the premises. The vineyard specializes in French Vinifera grape varieties and Cabernet Franc is their best seller.

A French chateau-inspired winery was built on the property for tastings, events, and gatherings. Many visitors enjoy sitting on rocking chairs that were hand-crafted out of old wooden barrels that were once used to hold Stony Knoll wine at one time.

As a side note, you should ask the owners if you can visit the old wooden lodge that sits on the property, which was built before the Civil War.

For more information, visit www.stonyknollvineyards.com.