Zinc House Winery & Brewery Opens Just Outside Raleigh

Transport yourself to wine country via this new local winery/brewery.

From a perch on the rooftop deck of the new Zinc House Winery & Brewery, you won’t feel like you’re in Raleigh at all. Located on 87 acres of land just about five minutes from the Wake County border, the winery looks like one you’d find in Virginia or upstate New York (and after a couple of glasses of vino or beer, you may just forget you’re not on vacay). Think three levels,  four bars, a plethora of seating options, event space for weddings and other corporate functions, and expansive picturesque vineyards of muscadine grapes.

Owner Mike Tenoever, who moved to Raleigh from Ohio to start a specialty roofing company, purchased the property in 2002—which then was just 45 acres of raw undeveloped land—before erecting his and now-wife Kimberly’s personal home in 2006. Dubbed the Zinc House, the abode’s name is a nod to the zinc cladding on all of its walls and roofs, which is mirrored in most of the other buildings on the property, including the later-added striking winery/brewery.

It was in 2008 when the couple, who were just dating at the time, started taking an interest in wineries. “We just loved the idea of sitting outside, having a glass of wine, and enjoying nature and the farm atmosphere,” says Mike. So after marrying in 2010, they started taking wine and brewing courses, making kit wines, and brewing beer—plus clearing more land on the property, adding a pond and planting their first grapes—with the goal of opening their own little slice of sipping heaven.

With the area relatively lacking in wineries with true vineyards and more upscale breweries, the Tenoevers saw an obvious hole in the market for Zinc House. “It just seemed like the area yearned for what our vision is and what we were hoping to bring,” says Kimberly. “Now open [about three months], we can see how badly [Raleigh] needed what we are offering.” 

And the couple isn’t stopping there. They also plan to build some smaller homes on the property specifically designed as rentals to go along with Zinc House’s theme and venue. Meanwhile, one of the existing houses (which is also rumored to be haunted!) will be converted into a distillery and cigar bar. And pickleball courts and several wooded trails throughout the property will further attract visitors—making Zinc House more than just a cool spot to get a drink.

“We just have a very unique vibe,” says Mike. “You get up on the roof decks and you really do start to feel like you’re on top of a mountain—but you’re only 10 minutes to Brier Creek, 7 miles from Downtown Durham… close to areas that are just exploding around us. And you’re looking out over what I think is a really gorgeous landscape. It’s quite nice.”

Zinc House’s serene views and palatable pours—look out for its own wine and beer on tap soon!—have already made it an obvious destination for those looking to sip back and relax. NTM heaters throughout the outdoor areas that are sure to keep you warm while you await the spring thaw, food trucks (you’re also welcome to BYO food), TVs to watch a game and live music on select nights. Staycation, anyone?

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.