Grapes galore at Cleveland County Century Farm

by | Sep 3, 2020

Located in Cleveland County, Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard and Winery operates on farmland that has been in the Baker family for quite some time. Ann Edwards, an owner of the vineyard, said her grandfather first used the family’s farmland, growing corn for his federally licensed liquor. As a “gentleman farmer,” Ann’s grandfather farmed mostly for pleasure, operating a general store on the property as well.

The land was eventually passed down to Ann’s father, who used the land as a dairy farm. Following his retirement, the land was farmed by a neighboring farmer until Ann and her husband, Charles, resumed the cultivation of the family’s land.

The family’s inspiration for Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard and Winery came from a well-known wine region in the United States, Napa Valley. While visiting their daughter in California, Charles decided he wanted to grow his own grapes in North Carolina.

After a successful first harvest of chardonnay grapes, there was no turning back. The couple took viticulture and enology courses at Surry Community College, now growing a variety of grapes on 40 acres of land. In addition to chardonnay, the vineyard is also home to traminette, riesling, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, and chambourcin grapes. Southern favorites, the scuppernong and muscadine, can also be found on the property.

The vineyard and winery can be found on Baker Creek in the rolling foothills of North Carolina. Many weddings are held on the property, while food trucks and live music also attract visitors. The property has also allowed for plenty of social distancing; the tables have been moved apart and visitors are also encouraged to have picnics on the land.

While Charles enjoys the red wines, Ann’s personal favorite is the chardonnay. The most popular option at the vineyard, however, is the Mule Barn Red, which is a red muscadine wine.

Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard and Winery is best known for the wine, but the operation has another claim to fame. The family’s barn may be recognizable to some; it is the red barn featured in Hillshire Farm’s commercials. The barn was selected due to its resemblance to the barn found on the company’s logo. Many people come to take photos with the barn.

Overall, Ann is especially happy to see her family’s land alive and filled with people.

“When it was a working dairy farm there was all the hustle and bustle going on, and to be able to keep the farm alive gives me a lot of pride.”