If you ever find yourself in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina, also known as The Triangle, I highly suggest making a stop at The Vineyards at Southpoint. I spontaneously decided to stop in for a tasting last Sunday when I drove by on my way to Jordan Lake.
For $5.00, I was given a logoed glass and larger-than-average tasting pours for 6 different wines: 2 whites, 4 reds. I spent over an hour speaking to the managers and owners of the winery and learned that the great majority of the wines are produced from North Carolina grapes (which is listed on the bottles). Due to the amount of grapes needed to maintain a vineyard, there are a few local growers that they outsource some of the production to. This results in some interesting blends, and some surprisingly good wines for being from North Carolina. According to their website, some of their wines have recently won Double Gold, Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals at recent local competitions.
Besides The Vineyards at Southpoint, the owners also oversee operations at Horizon Cellars which is a boutique winery located a little farther to the west in Siler City.
So what was the best wine that I tasted? I really enjoyed all of the reds (Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Chambourcin, and Cabernet Sauvignon) in addition to their Viognier which was really refreshing. But the one I took home was the Chambourcin.
I came to find out that Chambourcin is a type of grape that is a hybrid from a French vine and an American vine (this makes me think of Punnett Squares and Mendelian Genetics…my biology professors would be so proud). The interesting story behind this grape is that the man who made this hybrid died before documenting what types of French and American grapes went into this combination! Some genetic testing has probably been conducted in recent years, but I think it’s still a mystery to the wine world, and that leads to a wide variety of chambourcins.
Anyway, the Vineyards at Southpoint’s Chambourcin was deeeelicious. It’s made with only grapes from North Carolina. It’s a little smoky and heavier tannins, but very very smooth. I plan on saving it for a celebration because it just seems like a special wine. And at about $16 for the bottle…it’s not too bad of a splurge.