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!

Announcing The 2019 Palmetto Wine Competition

Jenni and Dennis Turner of WineryEscapades.Com officially announce the 2019 Palmetto Wine Competition will be held May 7th, 2019 at the historic Belmont Inn in Abbeville, South Carolina.

Planning for the 2019 state wine competition is ongoing and further details will soon follow. The 2018 competition awarded 38 medals amongst entries from nine South Carolina wineries.

The 2019 competition will award medals in categories of muscadine, bunch grape, fruit wine, mead, and cider. A highly qualified panel of judges bringing a wealth of knowledge will judge the wine entries by blind tasting. An awards gala sponsored by the South Carolina Winery and Grape Growers Association that same evening will crown and celebrate the award winning wines.

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!

Press Release: Palmetto Signature Six

The Palmetto Wine Competition announces the 2018 Palmetto Signature Six.

October brings harvest in South Carolina vineyards and we celebrate South Carolina grown fruit by presenting our inaugural selection of home grown award winning wines, the Palmetto Signature Six.

Six award winning wines produced entirely from South Carolina grown fruit. This year’s award winning group includes three whites and three reds produced from vineyards spanning from the Low-country to the Upstate.

Presenting The White Wines

Woodsy White – Wellborn Winery – Travelers Rest

An unique blend of Syval Blanc and Traminette create this award winning off-dry white. Two French-American Hybrid varietals grown in Wellborn’s modest vineyard rooted in Northern Greenville County.

Vineyard Owners – Tony Beninati & Debbie Sikora
Winemaker – Tony Beninati

Curiously White – Enoree River Vineyards – Newberry

A blend of different white Muscadine varieties. A vineyard planted of Carlos Muscadine  at this Newberry winery, curiously yielded several vines with grape of unknown varieties. Fruit from these specific vines are blended to create this limited production award winning semi-sweet white wine.

Vineyard Owners – Richard & Laura LaBarre
Winemaker – Laura LaBarre

Magnolia – Abiding Vine Vineyards – Laurens

Produced entirely from the single Magnolia Muscadine varietal. The young vines at Abiding Vine Vineyard have thrived in the rich country soil producing this light and crisp award winning white wine.

Vineyard Owner – David Barnes
Winemaker – David Barnes

Taking Notice Of The Red Wines

Carolina Nights – CityScape Winery – Pelzer

Southern Greenville County grown Noble Muscadine and locally grown South Carolina blackberries beautifully blend to produce this award winning semi-sweet medium bodied easy drinking red wine.

Vineyard Owners – Josh and Deb Jones
Winemaker – Josh Jones

Blueberry Jalapeño – Mercer House Estate Winery – Lexington

Complex award winning blueberry wine with just the right amount of extra ummppp! This unique blend produces a bold complex flavorful red wine.

Vineyard Owners – Shannon and Kim Mercer
Winemaker – Shannon Mercer

High Tide – Deep Water Vineyards – Charleston

A light bodied wine produced from grapes of the single Noble Muscadine varietal harvested from Deep Water’s mature vines rooted on Wadmalaw Island. This award winning wine exhibits a robust nose and deep bold flavors.

Vineyard Owners – Jesse and Andrea Friewald
Winemaker – Jesse Friewald

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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