Where to ‘Wine Down’ in Cumberland County

May 24, 2018

National Wine Day is May 25th, so my creative juices have been flowing about where to “wine down” in Cumberland County. This summer, you can get artsy at our sip-and-paint studios, join a yoga-and-vino class, venture on a wine walk through downtown, take a bottle and picnic basket to a garden, and much more. You’ll find me relaxing, glass of Pinot in hand, at several of these charming spots. Start planning your summertime visit to the Fayetteville area and come “wine down” with us!

wine shopsWine & Whimsy at Cape Fear Botanical Garden (PC: CFBG)

Cape Fear Botanical Garden

One of several ongoing programs the Garden offers is Wine & Whimsy. Every month, an artist from Studio 136 guides folks through a painting class. One of my girlfriends treated me to this experience for my birthday, and though I don’t consider myself to be a gifted artist, we thoroughly enjoyed putting brush to canvas with Ms. Patty. Best of all, this is a bring-your-own-wine (BYOW) class, and CFBG provides all necessary paint supplies. Spots fill up quickly, so sign up now to reserve your spot at the next class, on June 13th.

A new program at the Garden is Sip & See, occurring on the first Sunday of each month thru September. Each one has featured a different theme, such as April’s Flower Find and May’s Princess Tea Party. Pack a bottle of wine and your picnic basket to spend a relaxing afternoon in the Garden. Lemonade and other refreshments are available in the Gift Shop, and an ice cream truck will be onsite, serving up tasty treats. See you there June 3rd!

Tip: While you’re visiting CFBG, make sure you take in the temporary Garden Railway exhibit—an impressive 450-foot, miniature-model railway system that runs through CFBG’s Friendship Garden—open to the public through August 31, 2018.

wine shopsCandlelight Yoga & Mimosas w/ Hayat Yoga Shala at Studio 215 (PC: @studio215events)

Downtown Fayetteville

Several unconventional downtown venues play host to wine-related events throughout the year. One of these sites is Studio 215, a lovely warehouse event venue, which hosts Candlelight Yoga & Mimosas once a month (usually on the first Tuesday). With one of Fayetteville’s premier yoga centers, Hayat Yoga Shala, providing the instruction, these gentle-flow yoga classes are designed to accommodate all levels of yogis. Between the candlelit space, aromatherapy, short meditation and self-growth activities, and complimentary mimosas, you’ll come away feeling renewed and relaxed. Look for Hayat’s next event to take place at Studio 215 on June 5th.

I’m eagerly anticipating the very first Fayetteville Wine Walk on June 16th. For this sip-and-stroll tour through Cool Spring Downtown District, folks will be given a wine glass and a map to guide them to the multiple businesses that are playing host to a sampling of 30+ wines. Businesses like Xscape Factor and Cooking4Fitness will be keeping participants well entertained with trivia and games along the way. Additionally, wine-walkers will be able to sample tasty bites from several Cumberland County restaurants—such as Blue Moon Café, Fowler’s Southern Gourmet, Olea Mediterranean Kitchen and more. Even if I can’t hit all the stops on this walk, my plan is to venture off the beaten path of Hay Street to explore more shops on downtown’s lovely side streets.

Tip: Cool Spring Clubhouse is offering special rates for drop-in childcare just for the Wine Walk, and since the Clubhouse is in the heart of Downtown Fayetteville, it’s convenient for everyone.

wine shopsGrapes & Hops II (PC: @grapesandhops2)

Grapes & Hops

This specialty wine and beer shop can now boast a total of three sites. The original site, Grapes & Hops, is conveniently located in Fayetteville’s Village at Kinwood, where you’ll also find the popular ScrubOaks Contemporary American Pub and Pierro’s Italian Bistro. Their Hope Mills’ site, Grapes & Hops III, is likewise in a convenient spot at Millstone Towne Centre, along with the movie theater Millstone 14. Not only can you find an amazing variety of wines from around the world at all G&H sites, but you can also purchase cigars, craft beer, brewing supplies, and wine gifts. Make sure to take advantage of their free tastings every Friday!

Tip: Although it doesn’t fall within Cumberland County, Grapes & Hops II would be a convenient option for those visiting the Town of Spring Lake; if you head 7 miles northwest from the heart of Spring Lake, you’ll find a G&H sister site in the Town of Cameron.

wine shopsLeclair's General Store

Leclair’s General Store

One of the gems you’ll discover in the Historic Haymount District of Fayetteville is this charming shop (one of my top #FayFaves). Not only does Leclair’s offer shoppers an eclectic variety of antiques and goods, but it’s also known for hosting exciting events that involve wine. You’ll regularly find Leclair’s partnering with Fowler’s Southern Gourmet for a sinfully delicious wine-and-food pairing. This recurring event is quite popular within my circle of friends. Considering the quality of wine and cuisine that’s served, it’s hard to find a more delightful way to spend a Saturday night out. If you act now, you can still reserve your spot at the next Wine & Bites, scheduled for May 26th.

The General Store also plays host to a monthly yoga class. After the shop closes its doors in the evening, yogis take their wine glasses to their mats, and an experienced instructor from Floating Shanti leads the group through a slow, deep-flow yoga session. The homey, relaxed setting of Leclair’s, combined with the instructor’s gentle guidance, makes for the most calming experience. Don’t miss the next Yoga & Wine, taking place on June 7th.

Tip: You don’t have to attend an event at Leclair’s to take advantage of their curated wine (and beer) selection; pop into the store any time to do a wine sampling and pick out a bottle or two.

wine shopsGroup Painting at SipLee (PC: @SipLeeArt)

SipLee Art

This art studio, located in the charming Town of Eastover, is a little bit different than your typical sip-and-paint type of business. SipLee offers large, cut-out wooden pieces that you can paint and use for home décor. Folks can either take advantage of their open paint hours or call ahead to reserve the studio for large groups, private parties and more. All you’ll need to do is pick out your favorite design—from pineapples to baseballs to crosses—and get to painting and sipping. This is a girls’ night out waiting to happen!

Tip: Look for SipLee Art to be opening Sunset Slush of Fayetteville in June 2018, when they’ll start serving delicious Italian ices right in their own studio space.

wine shopsWine & Yoga w/ Floating Shanti at The Wine Café

The Wine Café

I simply can’t write about where to “wine down” in Fayetteville without featuring downtown’s premier wine retail shop and interactive tasting room. I’m talking about The Wine Café, which plays host to numerous events year-round—from live jazz to wine tastings to yoga classes. One look at their summer calendar gave me so much inspiration for this blog. Take your pick from the Red, White & Rosé Summer Sips on June 15th, Wine & Flip Flops Wine Tasting on July 13th and many more events.

You can always count on a yoga class taking place at The Wine Café on the third Tuesday of each month. Just like those taught at Leclair’s, Floating Shanti leads Wine & Yoga here. Having participated in one before, I can tell you that Shanti’s instructor keeps these all-levels, flow classes lighthearted, interactive, and focused on that vino. Whether you’re male or female, an experienced yogi or a beginner, I’m confident anyone could enjoy this class. Look for the next one to happen on June 19th.

Tip: I featured Floating Shanti in a blog on health-and-wellness havens after I experienced my first sensory-deprivation float at their downtown business; read more about this ultra-relaxing (and therapeutic) practice on “How to Rejuvenate in Fayetteville.”

wine shopsSummer Sangria Nights at Wine & Design (PC: W&D)

Wine & Design

After grabbing a bottle from The Wine Café, you can walk to another popular spot to “wine down.” Wine & Design is the only downtown business specializing in Paint & Sip classes. They take this concept even further by offering D.I.Y., Team-Building, On Wheels (or mobile) and even Art Buzz Kids events. A reservation is required for any class you plan to attend. Since it’s located in the heart of downtown, this experience makes for a fun part of a date night or girl’s night out. Their calendar reveals they regularly offer certain classes at a discount—like $25 Tuesday and $20 Kids Night—giving your wallet a little break.

Tip: Greg’s Pottery, another fabulous downtown arts studio, hosts a reservation-only Ladies Night on the first Saturday of each month, and you'll want to BYOW to enjoy with the gals for this artsy fun!

wine shopsGroup Painting at Wine, Paint & Create (PC: @winepaintcanvas)

Wine, Paint & Create 

Conveniently located next to Grapes & Hops III, in the Town of Hope Mills, this studio provides Cumberland County visitors with yet one more option for a fun night out. Friends of mine start their girl’s night out with wine sampling and tasty bites at G&H, and then hop over to WP&C for a group painting class. You bring the wine, and this studio provides all the rest. The artist paints the night’s selection along with the group, and at the end, everyone gets to take home their 16 x 20 masterpiece. One glance at the studio calendar reveals they regularly offer specials, like Couple’s Night, and discounts for holidays, such as Memorial Day and Father’s Day.

Tip: Another Wine, Paint & Create site is located next door to Grapes & Hops II, in the Town of Cameron’s Oaks Shopping Center—offering folks who are visiting the neighboring Town of Spring Lake another place to “wine down.”

Since April, craft beer lovers have been busy collecting Hometown Hops stamps and prizes from each of Cumberland County’s five breweries. I shared what this passport program is all about on “Take the Hometown Hops Challenge!”. It’s not too late to get going on yours, before this program ends on June 2nd. I also recently featured one of Fayetteville’s hottest festivals, Blues-n-Brews, on the blog; learn more about that at “What’s HOT in Fayetteville!”. Plenty of other wine and craft beer events happen all over Cumberland County year-round, and you can track those and much more on the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Calendar of Events.

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