CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - We recently traveled to Childress Vineyards to talk one-on-one with NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Childress about Richard Childress Racing, Childress Vineyards, his hall of fame career and more.
Part one of the conversation is all about the wine, cheers!
"It came many years ago, I've always loved wine, even before wine was cool," Childress said.
It was through racing that Childress was exposed to the wine business even more.
"We started racing in Watkins Glenn, which is a big wine country. We started racing in Sonoma, California and I just got to know people and said man if I ever get the dollars someday I'd love to open a vineyard," Childress explained.
In 2004 he did just that, but Childress Vineyards is about more than just wine. It's about creating moments that will last a lifetime.
"It's really neat to see especially my family get married here and then my good friend Dale Jr. getting married here with Amy. We do about 50 weddings a year here and to see the people come back three, four, five years later and say we're here celebrating our anniversary we had such a great wedding, it's really neat to know you make and put a smile on folks face," Childress said.
For Childress running a vineyard isn't much different from a race team, in fact, it really boils down to the same thing.
"There's a lot of similarities. It comes down to people. You've gotta have good people, we got a great winemaker Mark Friszolowski, our marketing director, Julia Kiger, my daughter helps run the winery itself except for the wholesale side, we've got great people there," Childress said. "It's just like racing. You've gotta have great people running your engine shops, your race cars, your engineering. It all comes down to people and that's the biggest similarity you have."
Much like Childress's hall of fame racing career, his winemaking business has also proved to be top of the line, winning numerous gold medals since opening in 2004.
In fact, the total medal count has exceeded 750, including the prestigious NC Governor's Cup. Childress Vineyards is located Lexington, North Carolina and produces more than 30 wines.