Rock & Rail – Jones von Drehle Vineyards

Our wine tonight is the 2012 Rock & Rail from Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery in North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley.

A Boudreaux styled estate blended table wine

Floral nose, medium bodied, lingering flavor notes of black cherry.

AVA: Yadkin Valley

Winery Escapade scoring on the American Wine Society twenty point scale.

Appearance: 3 Aroma: 4 Taste: 4.5 Aftertaste: 3 Impression: 2

Total: 16.5 – Silver Medal worthy!

Awards: Multiple Silver & Gold

12.5% ABV

Priced at $24 a bottle.

Ships: Multiple States via Wine Direct

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Villa Rosa – Burntshirt Vineyards

Our wine tonight is the Villa Rosa from Burntshirt Vineyards in Hendersonville, North Carolina. A sweet red blend table wine.

Soft nose of plum and jam

Ripe blueberries on the tongue

Lingering finish of coffee and chocolate

Personal scoring on the American Wine Society twenty point scale.

Appearance: 2.5

Aroma: 4.5

Taste: 5.5

Aftertaste: 3

Impression: 2

Total: 17.5 Silver Medal worthy!

13% ABV

Priced at $20 a bottle.

Ships: Multiple States via Vino Shipper

Winery Escapade – Weekend 46 of 2018

We started our weekend off with the first ever wine club pickup party at Parker-Binns Vineyard and Winery. The party was held in the barrel room of the newly constructed production facility and featured live music, light hor d’oeuvres, and a glass of wine of your choice.

Justin, the winemaker, spoke about making of the wine and expanded upon how 2018 was a challenging year for the grape harvest. Bob, who owns Parker-Binns along with his wife Karen, spoke about future plans and offered an overview of the new equipment in the wine production facility and also reminisced a bit about the wineries journey. One highlight from Justin was how excited they were for future vintages of the estate grown Petit Manseng. The evening ended with a serving of scrumptious cheesecake with a copious drizzling of their special port wine.

Saturday we met our friends Will and Pam at Baker Buffalo Creek Winery. The weather was perfect for sitting outside and enjoying excellent wine and catching up. As always, another fun filled day with our great friends.

We enjoyed several wines though the highlight of the day was the seasonal Merry Berry. A grape cranberry Holiday blend.

Will and I took a stroll down to the old farmhouse. I took the first picture below and Will shot the second.

Sunday Jenni and I drove up to the Biltmore Estate as we needed to renew our annual passes. We scheduled our Christmas candlelight tour for 7 pm and headed over to the winery. We enjoyed our complimentary glass of wine in the wine club members lounge and with a little more time to kill enjoyed a tasting and browsed the gift shop.

I won’t bore you with all our Biltmore House pictures, but only a large sampling of a few of my favorites.

If you’ve yet the opportunity to visit the Biltmore House for a Christmas candlelight tour, we highly recommend the experience.

Jenni and I remain very thankful for the support of our blogs, wineryescapades.com and ourwinetonight.com.

We sincerely wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope to see you at a local winery soon!

Cheers!

Van in Black: Tour in Style

Blogging brings about some fun and unique opportunities. This particular opportunity just totally wowed us!

The Van in Black offers fun tours with style and class. Getting your group where you want to go in a black Mercedes van which can seat up to eleven. I mean cruising down the road with Ryan at the wheel…..just too cool!

We closed out NC Wine Month with fellow bloggers NCWineGuys and The Wine Mouths for a Van in Black customized tour of three of our favorite Tryon area wineries.

You guys know how much we love touring wineries. Getting chauffeured around in the cool, luxurious Van in Black takes black car service to a whole new level of class and comfort.

Our first stop was Overmountain Vineyards where assistant winemaker Sofia Lilly offered our wine tasting and vineyard tour. Vineyard owner and winemaker Frank Lilly spent a good bit of time talking about the vineyards and wine making processes.

Next stop was Mountain Brook Vineyards where we enjoyed a tasting on the wrap-around porch overlooking the vineyard. Winemaker Liz Pickett spoke on each wine.

Final stop on the way too cool winery tour was Parker-Binns Vineyards where we tasted on the garden patio nestled beside the lower vineyard.

Ryan and Terri of Van in Black will customize a tour for you no matter your itinerary, we just strongly recommend a chauffeured winery tour! Check out our recent blog to learn more about the wineries of the Tryon Foothills.

Old Edwards Inn – Highlands NC

There exist a magical resort and spa high in the rainforest of the North Carolina mountains…….wait what? It’s true, Highlands climate is temperate rainforest with rainfall amounts approaching and often exceeding 100” of rain annually. The town of Highlands sits atop a plateau in the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains at an elevation of 4,118 feet. The area is lush and green and provides the most picturesque setting for one of the South’s most awarded and elegant luxury inn and spas, The Old Edwards Inn.

The Inn is historic, first opening as Central House in the late 1800’s. During those early days, the Inn was renowned for its lavish hospitality. Much has changed over the years, just not the inn’s reputation.

We stayed in a Falls Cottage. These cottages are a couple of blocks behind the historic main Inn. Our cottage was amazing. The Cottage features a fireplace with gas logs, a patio, and all modern conveniences. The bathroom has a walk-in shower on one end and a beautiful large tub on the other, heated floors and heated tower rods. Guest enjoying the romantic package, find upon arrival a welcoming gift of champagne and strawberries plus rose petals sprinkled across the bed. All guest upon arrival are welcomed with champagne or a cocktail. This stay we were greeted with a pommosa, a cocktail blend of champagne and pomegranate juice.

An award winning spa onsite is available for pampering yourself. Fine dining is offered at the award winning elegant and indulgent Madison’s restaurant. Lighter fare is available in the adjacent outside wine garden or relax and enjoy a cocktail in the piano bar or by one of the two refreshing pools with hot tubs.

We were fortunate to receive a tour of the wine cellar and wine room from staff Sommelier Phillipe. The selection of fine wine available is extensive. The town of Highlands is very quaint and offers many fine dining and shopping opportunities. The area is abundant with gorgeous accessible waterfalls and mountain hiking trails.

A stay at The Old Edwards Inn is one of those rare treats that rejuvenates one’s mind, body, and soul. An indulgence in luxury and romance seemingly as magical as a North Carolina rainforest!

Happy weekend wining!

Remembering Our Visit To The Upper Hiwassee Highlands AVA

This is a repost of a blog Jenni wrote about a year ago and some notes I had added to her post. As we quickly approach our return to Highlands, thought it’d be a good time to revisit.

Saturday we took off to Hayesville, NC to Eagle Fork Vineyards.It was well worth the drive! We enjoyed several of the wines and brought a bottle of their Classic Chambourchin home. We also enjoyed a glass each of their wine slushy in their gazaboo. It is one of the very few slushies I can have as it does not have any fruit juice in it. Most of the vines are not on the property where the tasting room is. In fact back in May, Dennis & I had attempted to go to this same winery when we were in Highlands and the vinowine app had the old address of the tasting room. They moved the tasting room to it’s current location about 2 years ago. Laura, who poured our tasting, was super sweet and very accommodating to us. We enjoyed several of their wines but had to make a choice as to what to take home.

We left there and headed to Nottely River Valley Vineyards. To say we had a good time there would be a serious understatement! The owners, Steve and Karen were very sweet and a lot of fun! We meet some wonderful people who allowed us to share in their birthday party. There were also 6 late 20 something ladies who were also a delight to talk too. Dennis and I shared a bottle of their Strawberry Wine and brought home a bottle of their Peach. I included the picture of the wanted grape stompers sign just because I thought it was funny!

Sunday we stayed close to home and went back to Burntshirt Vineyard. This winery will always be special to us for a couple of reasons. One it is the first winery/vineyard Dennis & I went to together and it is also where he proposed. They have several wines that we enjoy, but on Sunday, we enjoyed a bottle of their Sunset Sippin. The atmosphere is so nice and they have live music on Sundays. And we met a new “friend” Sunday.

We left there and headed towards home and stopped by Russian Chapel Hills that is in the Green Creek area of NC. Andrey and his wife are so sweet! The 3 dogs are always there to greet us when we get there! They are so sweet and just love the attention they get from us. Their names are Leila, Bernard and Skif (that’s the order of the pictures below).

We each had a glass of his blush. Usually we get either the Chamourchin or the Mosaic, but since we had had a white earlier in the day we went with the Rosé. The vines are loaded with grapes ready for harvest.

This is a fun small little winery that a lot of people don’t know about. There’s a part of me that wants to keep it that way as we enjoy the tranquility there, but a much larger part of me wants to see them thrive. So I am telling all of you if you are in that area or just want to short drive, head that way.

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Notes from Dennis Below:

Thought I’d jump right in on Jenni’s blog post and post a few of my own thoughts and pics.  Eagle Fork was nice. We sat under the gazebo and just chilled on the hanging swing as we sipped on our wine slushies.

We tasted Chambourchin grapes freshly picked form right off the vine. These are full of juice and ready for harvest.

Snapped this picture of the front sign as we were leaving.

Nottely River Valley Vineyards was indeed really tranquil. The view from their tasting room is of three states, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. We had so much fun making friends as we enjoyed a bottle of Strawberry Wine under their covered patio.

On the way back Saturday evening we stopped and played along the banks of the Natahala River.

As Jenni mentioned, Burntshirt is one of our favorites, they were very busy this Sunday. The weather was nice for sitting outside and a really good cover band was playing.

Stopping at Russian Chapel Hills on our way home is somewhat of a tradition for us. Looking at the grapes on the vines at Russian, leads me to believe it’s going to be a good year for wine in the region.

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A Few Things We Love About North Carolina Wineries.

It’s safe to say our hobby has turned into an obsession. What started as a way to spend time together, has turned into a way of life. Therefore, we celebrate 2018 North Carolina wine month with our 2nd annual post of a few things we love about #NCWine.

Still love that Burntshirt Vineyards in Hendersonville was the first winery we ever visited together. It was also where I proposed. Love sitting under their portico, enjoying the Meritage or the Sunset Sippin’.

Love that Cabo Winery stays open late and offers fun wines such as Hissy Fit (Strawberry) and the Bless Your Heart (Coconut) and Over Yonder (Chocolate Covered Cherry).

Love the million dollar views at Raffaldini and Piccione in Ronda, and Silver Fork in Morganton, and Parker-Binns in Tryon.

Parker-Binns
Raffadini

Love the incredible improved Mountain Brook Vineyards.

Love enjoying a glass by the fire pit at Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyards.

Love Henry the Peacock at Catawba Farms Winery.

Love the White Merlot on the back patio at Brandon Hills Vineyards .

Love brick oven pizza and live music on Sunday Funday at Parker Binns.

Love that overnight accomodations are available in a treehouse at Treehouse Vineyards.

Love that Biltmore Winery is the most visited winery in the country.

Love visiting the smallest winery in the country, Calaboose Cellars in Andrews up in the Great Smokey Mountains. Located in an old jailhouse.

Love that Belle Nicho is “unpretentious.”

Love the Logo of Dog Driving a Tractor
Love that these two are both a winery and a brewery – Morgan Ridge Vineyard and Brewhouse and West Bend Winery and Brewery.

Love sipping on wine slushies at Eagle Fork Vineyards.

Love the Killer Bee spirits from the distillery at Windsor Run Cellars

Love the Four off Nine in the Tryon Foothills area – Parker Binns, OverMountain, Mountain Brook, and Russian Chapel Hills.

                       

Love the Bordeaux style at South Creek Vineyards.

Love Wally and LaLa at Silk Hope Winery

Wally Butler – Owner-Winemaker
LaLa makes the tasting fun

Love shopping for antiques at Lake James Cellars.

Love the bourbon barrel aged Cab Sauv at Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyards.

Love strolling through the vineyard to St. Anna’s Chapel at Russian Chapel Hills

Love the listening to the river while enjoying a glass on the porch at Roaring River Vineyards

Love the Outer Banks Ice Wine from Sanctuary Vineyards.

Love that the oldest vine in America, the Mother Vine on Mateo in the OBX is still producing grapes.

Love the beautiful grounds at Daveste’ Vineyards.

Love the 360 degree mountain views at Point Lookout Vineyards.

Love the “Love” Alchemy Herbal Mead from Addison Farms Vineyard.

Love that even though we have visited almost 120 North Carolina wineries there remain nearly 80 more for us still to visit, and more opening each year.

Happy weekend wining! Get out this September and celebrate North Carolina Wine Month by visiting and enjoying the nearly 200 North Carolina Wineries!

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Tryon Foothills: Four off Nine

Tryon boast a rich viticulture history of growing quality grapes and producing fine wines.

Four wineries are keeping this tradition alive. Each with its own unique vibe. All four of these wineries located just off North Carolina Highway Nine.

When driving North from the South Carolina state line, you’ll find in the below order. All four within 15 to 20 minutes of each other. Your GPS knows the way.

Russian Chapel Hills Winery cultivates 17 acres under vine. The vineyards and winery are under the direction of Andrey Medvedev, who normally greets arriving guest with a smile.

Russian Chapel is growing Chardonnay, Muscadine, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec. Russian Chapel Hills Kagor is produced of the estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

A short walk through the vineyard takes you the beautiful St. Anna Chapel which majestically overlooks the vineyard.

Mountain Brook Vineyards is a small craft winery nestled atop a foothill with stunning Mountain Views.

Approximately 7 acres under vine growing Chardonnay, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Mountain Brook wines have won awards from coast to coast. The winery features live music and stunning 360 degree views from the wrap-around porch. Strongly recommend one of their fruit sangrias.

OverMountain Vineyards is a family owned boutique vineyard and winery featuring distinctive French style wines. Owner Frank Lily and his daughter Sophia are the winemakers. Frank studied in California and North Carolina and Sophia holds a degree in Biology and for most of her life apprenticed under the guidance of her Father. The vineyard features seventeen acres under vine growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Petit Menseng.

OverMountain has a distinctive “Sonoma” feel with it’s spacious patio covered with ginormous red umbrellas. The patio steps lead to a beautiful lawn area just above the Northern sloping vineyard.

Parker-Binns Vineyards owned and operated by “retirees” Roberto and Karen Binns along with their daughter Kelly, offers a fun-time laid back vibe. We use the “retiree” tag loosely as these guys are always hopping on the weekends. Each weekend is capped with Sunday Funday offering live music and free brick oven pizza.

Growing Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Menseng, on mostly Southern sloping hillsides. Parker-Binns features two tasting rooms, the garden and also the barn which is nestled on higher ground overlooking the vineyards. The barn is often used for events and offers exceptional mountain views and a large wrap-around bar. The garden tasting room is a more cozy and intimate environment.

The Four off Nine in the Tryon Foothills make for a great wine trail. The wineries have began the process to have the area recognized as an American Viticultural Area which would be known as the Tryon Foothills. Make a point to try some “Tryon Grape” in your wine glass!

Cheers,

Dennis & Jenni

Winery Escapades

South Creek Vineyards and Winery – Nebo, N.C.

Saturday August 19, 2017 – Jenni and I visited the Morganton area and our first stop was South Creek Vineyards and Winery. 

A Bordeaux style winery, owner James Rowley shared with us tales of a recent visit to several French Bordeaux Vineyards. A learning experience to ensure their wines are living up to the standard.

Highly recommend a full tasting, costing $10. Each wine should be experienced and you’re certain to find one to your liking. My favorite was the Cabernet Sauvignon and I also enjoyed the Cabernet Franc. Trust me, I’m a true Cab Sauv Snob, and this one is good.

The winery has a nice shaded patio, where we enjoyed a glass while listening to the smooth sounds of singer, songwriter, storyteller, and musician Thomas Aaron Garlow.

We chatted with Dana Kendall, owner/executive driver of Asheville Premier Transportation. She had chauffeured a large bridal party in for a tasting.

South Creek is well worth a visit, a little slice of Southern France in Nebo. Happy weekend Wining!  Dennis

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