American Wineries and Vineyards

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Recent Winery Reviews

May 27, 2018
New Calaboose Cellars Journal Entry Calaboose Cellars
New Linville Falls Winery Journal Entry Linville Falls Winery
New Banner Elk Winery Journal Entry Banner Elk Winery
New Thistle Meadow Winery Journal Entry Thistle Meadow Winery
May 6, 2018
New Winery at La Grange, The Journal Entry Winery at La Grange, The
Apr 23, 2018
New Noboleis Vineyards Journal Entry Noboleis Vineyards
Apr 17, 2018
New Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard Journal Entry Baiting Hollow Farm Vin...
New Palmer Vineyards Journal Entry Palmer Vineyards
New Boxwood Winery Journal Entry Boxwood Winery
New Quattro Goombas Winery Journal Entry Quattro Goombas Winery
New Saudé Creek Vineyards  Journal Entry Saudé Creek Vineyards
New Winery at Bull Run, The Journal Entry Winery at Bull Run, The
New New Kent Winery Journal Entry New Kent Winery
Mar 31, 2018
New Debonne Vineyards Journal Entry Debonne Vineyards
New Emerine Estates Journal Entry Emerine Estates

The Norton Wine Travelers's Wine Journal

Username:
rhodies
Joined:
Jan 04, 2010
Wineries Visited:
Wine Glass 227
Journal Entries:
Wine Journal 232
Photos Uploaded:
Wine Photo 0

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About:
Former military pilot and retired educator enjoying life with rhododendrons, magnolias, travels, and Norton wine explorations. We suggest expanding your knowledge of Norton wines by reading The Wild Vine by Todd Kliman.

Favorite States

StateYour ReviewsWineries in StatePercentProgress
Louisiana Wineries2366%
Missouri Wineries4810645%
Arkansas Wineries61540%
Georgia Wineries144431%
Alabama Wineries41625%
West Virginia Wineries2825%
North Carolina Wineries199021%
Tennessee Wineries104820%
Virginia Wineries4924220%
Rhode Island Wineries1520%
Kentucky Wineries116217%
South Carolina Wineries21711%
New Hampshire Wineries21711%
Kansas Wineries2287%
Massachusetts Wineries2345%
New Mexico Wineries2454%
Maryland Wineries2464%
Texas Wineries41323%
Idaho Wineries1352%
Pennsylvania Wineries41422%
Oklahoma Wineries1372%
New Jersey Wineries1462%
Iowa Wineries1671%
Illinois Wineries1831%
California Wineries1516371%
New York Wineries12501%

Latest Winery Visits

Noboleis Vineyards (added Feb 01, 2018)
Nehalem Bay Wine Company (added Jan 26, 2018)
Crown Valley Winery (added Jan 07, 2018)
12 Spies Vineyards (added Jan 07, 2018)
View all winery visits...

Latest Wine Journal Entries

Calaboose Cellars (written May 27, 2018)
Wine: 4 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 4 stars
In the tiny mountain town of Andrews, NC you’ll find a tiny little street with an even tinier little winery with an itsy-bitsy beer & wine tasting room, ~ Calaboose Cellars. They must be known for their brews & vines because strangely there is ample parking. The ‘menu’ lists a full page of beers (Andrews Brewing Company), a half page of three sweet wines (which includes a $40 Sparkling Niagara) and a half page of three estate dry wines: Norton ($20), a knock-your-socks-off dry, yet tropical scented Seyval ($18) and an easy to drink Chambourcin ($18). The bad news was that the Norton was sold out. We got to taste the Chambourcin, but this will not be bottled and available for a few more days. We left with the delightful Seyval. To be honest, we would not return to most North Carolina wineries, but in this case, we’ll have to make arrangements for the three+ hour drive necessary to enjoy this setting again in the very near future.

Linville Falls Winery (written May 27, 2018)
Wine: 3 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 4 stars
A sincere effort is being made to introduce serious wines in the harsh 3,200' climates of western North Carolina’s mountains. The vineyards were planted in 2001 along steep hillsides and a visitor’s tasting room was opened in 2013. Interestingly, Marquette, Noiret, Marechal Foch, Petit Verdot, Seyval Blanc and Riesling grapes have adapted to this unique setting. It will be interesting to follow the development of this winery in the years to come.

Banner Elk Winery (written May 27, 2018)
Wine: 3 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 4 stars
Here’s the scoop, ~ you can’t find this place by GPS, forget maps (the locals steal the road signs) and the marked signs are regulated by a strange concept of North Carolina DOT laws (all distances are to the winery, not to the turn off roads which of course can’t be followed because the signs were stolen years ago). On a positive note, ~ serious wines are being produced at 4200’ in a very harsh setting. Though grapes are also used from other NC sources for their Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec blends, Banner Elk Winery produces quite successfully estate Seyval Blanc ($25) and Marechal Foch ($29) wines. A unique clean, minerally taste in the Seyval Blanc and a very smooth ‘quiet’ Marechal Foch expression found usually in only our most northern states or as far north as Canada. Throw in some extra time to find this location and enjoy the setting of this sincere effort to produce serious wines in an area dotted with Southern ski slopes. Kudos are in order for their generous 15% military discount. Thank you.

Thistle Meadow Winery (written May 27, 2018)
Wine: 3 stars Winery: 3 stars Ambiance: 3 stars
24 dry wines, 16 sweet wines, 2 dessert wines and 2 cooking wines (Devil’s Potion jalapenos, Dracula’s Demise garlic). As it turns out, not a single vine can be found at this location and ALL of their grapes/juices are ‘imported from wherever’ (the vintner’s words). When I asked where the Viognier originated from, he did not have a clue. Are you starting to suspect this winery? Admittedly, it was a curiosity that they produced wine examples from such grapes as Pinot Blanc, Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viogneir, Gewurztraminer, Johannesberg Riesling, Gamay grapes, Pinot Noir, Sicily’s Nero D’Avola, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, a Chateauneuf-du-Pape blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre & Cinsault (with a touch of oak and elderberries), Montepulciano, Argentinian Malbec, old vine Zinfandel, an Italian Stud which they say gets confused with liquid Viagra, a Cab Sauv, Carmenere and the unique taste of an Italian Amarone. I’m not going to go through the list of sweet grapes used on page two of their menu. So why go here? 1) ~ they are semi-close to the Blue Ridge Parkway 2) ~ you need wine making supplies. 3) ~ curiosity got the best of you. In spite of an amazing diverse offering, we were not able to find wines here with typical expected character. Their cutely named labels do not indicate what wines are in the bottle (better mark before leaving the winery).

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