We had Native Son Vineyard on our list for a while, but its limited hours meant it took some finagling for us to find a day to go. Finally, after much ado, we pulled up on a Saturday afternoon, with ample time before the 5 PM last call. We pulled into the driveway of a house, alongside which stood their roadside stand. We hesitantly walked up and were met by a loyal-friend-turned-volunteer in an America t-shirt who was working that day. The tasting room was a nondescript log cabin containing a couch, fridge, dining room table and a window a/c unit. Oooh boy, this is gonna be good...
As Native Son first-timers, we were pretty much left to our own devices to figure out how things worked. For example, we weren't given any background information on the winery or the wine itself. There wasn't a place for us to sit down, or papers for us to take tasting notes. But our wine spirit guide got right down to business and started pouring the tastings into shot glasses (?!) that she laid out for us. (You read that right - shot glasses. Leave your pretenses at the door. This is rural North Carolina, dagnabit!) We took shots of four different muscadine wines: Noble, Magnolia, Carlos, and Summit. The tasting was free, and the whole experience lasted maybe 5 minutes...
At the end of our shotfest, she insisted that we HAD to see the vineyard and the cabin at the top of the hill next to the house. Baffled, confused, and slightly afraid, we got back into our car and drove up the road through a neighbor's chicken farm to get to the vineyard. We'll admit, it offered a nice vista, and it might have been a viable alternative to the roadside stand at the bottom of the hill. Ultimately, we left Native Son feeling glad that we had one more winery marked off our list, and with the understanding that it takes a special breed of person to fully appreciate muscadine wines, shot glasses, and America t-shirts...
Our wine spirit guide was friendly but not effusive or particularly knowledgeable.
The roadside farm stand is quaint but lacked some of the nicer things in life...like chairs.
Muscadine prejudice aside, the wines weren't thaaat bad. Would they taste better out of a wine glass instead of a shot glass? Maybe. Would they taste better if we'd been given places to sit? Probably. Generally, we'll buy at least a bottle or two of pity wine even if we hated the place (I'm looking at you,
), but at Native Son she didn't even mention that these wines were for sale, so we never had the opportunity to pull out our wallets.
Native Son Vineyard is wonderful if you're looking for a quaint, North Carolina muscadine wine experience. We look forward to coming back here in a few years to see how they've grown!