Wine of the Week at a Local Vineyard

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.

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2 Comments

Filed under Sites to See, Wine of the Week

2 responses to “Wine of the Week at a Local Vineyard

  1. TNWT

    Thanks for the blog note and encouragement of seeking out NC wineries. To date, we have not found that one North Carolina grape/wine which enamors us as Virginia’s Viognier or Missouri’s Norton. Hopefully we will get more reports on NC’s Chambourcins to make it worth our while to travel about your state in search for good examples of this wine. We have been encouraged to search out the Yadkin Valley area in this search. Do you have specific wineries that you would recommend in this endeavor?

    • Hi there, thanks for your note! I do not have a lot of knowledge of the Yadkin Valley, but it’s the name of a region that I constantly hear thrown out when I ask where to go for NC wine. Most NC wineries that I’ve visited have been within the Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) and also the Piedmont Triad (Greensboro-Winston Salem-Highpoint), but the Vineyards at Southpoint was the first winery where I’ve been able to try Chambourcin. However, if you just do simple research on the grape in NC, it’s easy to find many wineries that bottle either a fully Chambourcin wine, or a mix with other grapes.

      I agree that NC does not have one specific grape that is as recognizable as Virginia’s Viognier. There is the Muscadine grape which is native to NC, but I don’t really prefer those wines. To be honest, I think NC has a tremendous craft beer scene that is going to “blow up” quite soon. It already has in many regions (especially the Triangle), and I really only see it continuing to grow in the future. I’m not sure if you like beer, but there are excellent breweries throughout the Raleigh/Durham area. Some of my favorites: Fullsteam, Lonerider, Natty Greene’s, Big Boss, and Triangle Brewery.

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