Nearly 30 wineries and specialty farms will be featured along this year's Sierra Oro Farm Trail, some of which are just starting out and looking to gain exposure. Neal and Judy Cline both have busy lifestyles working with Flight Care and Enloe Medical Center, yet they've still found time for a small side business. The couple planted the first acre of their 3 acre vineyard in 2006, mainly just to see how it would turn out. After waiting 4 years for their first harvest they finally got to taste the product and decided to run with it.
"We've already outgrown our capacity this year. I've had to buy more containers and equipment to manage the grapes so far," says Neal Cline.
The Durham winery gets its name, Dog Creek Cellars, in part from the Cline's 2 dogs "Goose" and "Trix". One thing that sets the business apart from other wineries is it's commitment to growing organically.
"We just think it's healthier and better for us, better for the people we're going to try and sell wine to," says Neal.
The winery is still relatively small and most of the work is done by hand, from crushing the grapes to bottling the wine. The Clines are working to slowly grow their operation.
"We are expanding. We're putting out about 80 cases per variety this year. We're still under 500 cases a year, but getting better," says Neal.
This weekend Dog Creek Cellars will feature some of its newest wines during the Sierra Oro Farm Trail. There will also be lots of good food and live music. Cline says they're looking forward to the event and come Saturday it will be all hands on deck.
The Sierra Oro Farm Trail runs both Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.