Tiger Mountain Vineyards   0
3.5
4/5/2018

Because we live a little less than two hours away, we have made the trip here four times in seven years to re-evaluate our original thoughts of their Norton wines. And the results have us upgrading our Norton thoughts now to 3 stars. We came for tasting the current Norton and left with bottles of Viognier and one of the best Petit Mansengs we've ever tasted. In year's past we also appreciated Tiger's Mourvedre and Tannat. Part of the fun today was eating a delightful, well prepared lunch with friends in their 'Red Barn' covered outdoor setting (open seasonally Friday nights with reservations and weekend lunches). Take your time to try TMV's contrasting Cabernet Francs, Touriga Nacional and various blends. Their $18 value Norton with 6-to-8% Mourvedre is a 'drink now' or hold wine. Somewhere between that $15 and $40 per bottle range, you are going to find a NE Georgia wine surprise.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.0
3.0
3.5
3.5

Stonewall Creek Vineyards   0
4.5
4/5/2018

What a treat to be at the vintners home & winery setting. This winery grows in quality offerings each year. Unique to this winery are their Norton and Petit Manseng wines.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars   0
4.0
4/5/2018

What a beautiful setting overlooking vineyards, Keuka finger lake and the opposing hillsides. A very large tasting room is set up to handle the anticipated numbers of visitors to this setting. The free tasting is artfully handled by a well trained staff. A wide selection of sparkling, white and red wines are offered during the tasting, but you can also select a wine of your choice from the extensive wine menu. Traditional fare to the unique, as their Rkatsiteli, are presented. Though not truly to our taste, we did leave with interesting examples of Gewurztraminer, Rkatsiteli and Lemberger wines.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
2.0
3.5
4.0
4.0

Villa Appalaccia Winery   0
4.5
4/5/2018

If you are looking for a commercial, pretentious East Coast winery, keep driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway to find such. But if you want to find unique wines with an Italian flair as Sangiovese, Aglianico & Corvina, blend combinations that are harder to pronounce than drink & both a sparkling white and a 'just for fun' sparkling red, ~ you've located the hard-to-find Villa Appalaccia Winery. This home setting is perched at 3,400' with its vineyards situated on a 1,600' shale outcropping. I would suggest double checking if they are open during late fall and early spring months when parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway may be closed for inclement weather.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5

AmRhein's Wine Cellars   0
4.5
4/5/2018

Normally you find the friendly husband & wife owners operating the tasting room, but I lucked out in coming very early in the morning and finding the vineyard's locally groomed vintner. Here you will find a nice cross section of grape varieties grown on 40 acres at unusually high east coast 1,800' to 2,600' elevations. In past years I found Viognier, Traminette and Aglianico wines, but instead this year I was treated to a handsome selection of very reasonably priced Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Vidal Blanc and their gang buster Petit Manseng whites. Reds were limited on this visit to a bit more pricey Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and my favorite from this winery, a rich Petit Verdot. A few other 'eclectic' fruitier tasting wines are produced to round out their offerings. RV Harvest Host members will be delighted to find this comfortable, mountain destination vineyard setting.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.5
4.5
4.5

Keg Springs Winery   0
3.0
4/5/2018

The best part about Keg Springs is the owner's complete honesty of what they can produce. After years of experimenting and learning what their soils can provide, lots of grape vines have been planted and ripped out (and that effort continues to evolve). You'll find here several 'California' reds produced at this location, a delightful locally grown dry Vidal Blanc and a collection of sweet muscadine & fruit wines to round out tastes for everyone.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
2.0
3.0
4.0
4.0

Amber Falls Winery & Cellar   0
3.5
4/5/2018

Though only three grapes (Chambourcin, Blanc du Pois & Chardonel) are grown here, you have 19 wines to learn what you appreciate from the efforts of Amber Falls & Frau Judy introducing wines to mid-Tennessee. Their 2013 Chambourcin makes for an easy to drink table wine. Though not to my taste, I would encourage others to try their unique dry white Blanc du Bois and unusually light white Chardonel. Though sweet wines don't catch my interest, I was taken back by their fun spiced Cajunfest blend (Chambourcin, Chancellor, Concord). What a hoot! Had to buy several 'gift' bottles for friends. Note for the physically impaired: check if an alternate entrance is available other than the long stairs down to the tasting room.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.0
2.5
4.5
3.5

Stonehaus Farms Vineyard & Winery   0
3.0
4/5/2018

Norton Wine Review: Beautiful upscale setting, perfect for a wedding reception. You have a limited choice of dry, semi-sweet, sweet, fruit and dessert wines. We found it interesting and a change of pace that a Vivant ($15) dry white wine was offered rather than the more common Missouri Chardonel. Their 2013 $15 Cynthiana (Norton) was entirely produced in stainless steel giving it a bright open taste with little-to-no comparison to typical Missouri Norton examples. Though not tried, you also find here very reasonably priced examples of Chambourcin, Vidal Blanc, Vignole, Traminette and a primarily St. Vincent Rose Red.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
2.5
2.0
4.0
4.5

Oz Winery   0
3.5
4/5/2018

Norton Wine Review: What can be said about ambiance in a city street winery in Wamego, KS? OZ was established around 2007. It's not too far from the Beecher Bible and Rifle Church. They give military discounts. It's got the absolutely craziest labels to be found for these $25 wines. For example, ~ 'Angry Trees' (Chambourcin), 'Drunken Munchkins' (Cab Sauv), 'Ding Dong' (De Chaunac), 'Ruby Sippers' (Baco Noir), 'Curl Your Stockings' (Syrah), 'Rusty Rivets' (a Frontenac blend), 'Squished Witch' (Ives Noir), 'Cyclone Cellar' (Foch) and of course 'Oil Can' (a fruity, drink now, stainless steel aged 2015 Norton). An assortment of Limited Edition wines are available; as, 'The Cowardly Lion' (Norton with a 'call for pricing' tag') is available, but we didn't go down that yellow brick road. Two free ample samples offered in plastic cups, then it goes into tasting flights served in stemware at a charge and by the glass. Our hostess' enthusiasm was wonderfully straight out of OZ.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
3.5
4.0
4.0

Hermannhof Vineyards   0
4.5
4/5/2018

The owners offer now their California vineyard vinifera wines at a separate tasting venue (Dierberg-Star Lane-Three Saints Tasting Room) and present at Hermannhof Winery fourteen Missouri grape & fruit wines. We were quite surprised with their refreshingly dry Vidal Blanc ($17), a Chambourcin ($20) aged only in stainless steel and a mature 2009 Missouri oaked $23 Norton (10% Cab Sauv). Often Norton wines are sold at too young of a vintage age, but Hermannhof has held this offering back nicely so that the public can learn of this grape's true mature deep flavors. Laurie, our hostess, was truly delightful and a great saleslady. Before she was finished with us she had zipped out cheese 'n sausage bits and convinced us that we truly did want Hermannhof's Norton Port ($30). Note that $6/5 sample tasting fees are not waived from bills, but a 15% discount is given for 4-11 bottles / 25% discount on 12 or more bottle purchases.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
4.0
4.5
4.5

Heinrichshaus Vineyards & Winery   0
4.0
4/5/2018

Norton Wine Review: Heinrichshaus' small winery proprietor insists that Cynthiana grapes were a sport of Norton grapes and his wines are "true" Cynthiana. Eighty-seven-year-old Heinrich Grohe will even show you the pictured differences between the growing habits of the grape clusters. Supposedly there is not any controversy about the Cynthiana/Norton grape any more, . . . . . . . . . . or is it? In any case, this one-man operation clicks and provides a superior Missouri Cynthiana ($15), a classic Chambourcin ($10), a Prairie Rouge of which he will not tell you the blend ($12) plus stunning, very reasonably priced examples of Chardonel, Vidal Blanc, Traminette and Vignoles. You may get lost trying to find the little sign to this location, but you will be glad you made the effort upon arrival. Out of over 140 Norton vineyards that we have visited in seventeen states, this stands as one of the top five in our list of Norton successes. No wonder Paul Roberts, who wrote the ©1999 From this Hill, My Hand, Cynthiana's Wine, referenced Heinrichshaus Winery not only for its contributions to the resurgent interests in the Norton grape, but to the development in Missouri's contemporary wine industry. Why not send Heinrich a birthday card (10/06/1930) thanking him for his contributions to a life of promoting good wines!

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
4.5
4.5
3.0

Three Squirrels Winery   0
3.5
4/5/2018

What a pleasant surprise finding this countryside winery setting and the owner who truly enjoys producing a small offering of wines in which everyone will find a favorite. Everything from a bright dry 50/50 Chardonel-Vidal 'T.S. White' ($18) table wine aged in S/S to a deep red limited 2015 Norton wine ($22) which was exposed to oak chips for only 8-to-10 days. Norton grapes from the Jefferson City area were used rather than from St. James. Another short oaked wine that should be tried is their Chambourcin, St. Vincent, Syrah blend which is simply named 'T.S. Red'. The surprise was finding a semi-fruity tasting 100% St. Vincent grape 'Red Squirrel' ($14) table wine suitable for pizza & sandwich meals. This will make a great gift wine which will accommodate many assorted tastes. Be aware that some of their wines are not listed on the Three Squirrels Winery web site. Also note that there is a long staircase to the tasting room. They do not ship, but do advertise giving an additional military discount at the cash register.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.0
3.0
4.5
3.0

Layton's Chance Vineyard and Winery   0
3.0
4/5/2018

The Layton family has been farming corn, soybeans and wheat on this land for almost 100 years, but in 2007 the decision was made to add grapes (Traminette, Vidal Blanc, Chambourcin & Norton) to the mix. Interestingly, the light Vidal Blanc ($20) was only slightly oaked with French 'chips'. Red blends included other Maryland grown Marquette & Cab Sauv grapes. Their Chambourcin ($20) again included French oak chips in the processing, but their Norton Reserve ($26) was uncharacteristically produced strictly in stainless steel. With no obvious tannins in this fun to drink now tart Norton, I do not suspect age will enhance this wine over the next few years. I have a bottle set aside to see if I'll be proven incorrect. I applaud Layton's Chance Winery for setting aside two wines specifically for generously fundraising (a light rose United-Chambourcin for the United Way and a Freedom Catawba-Chambourcin blend for the nearby Harriet Tubman Visitors Center). It will be only a few years and you may find an Eastern shore Cabernet Franc appearing on the scene. It was interesting to learn that the Norton grapes needed fungicide spraying three times a year as compared to the other grapes which needed attention every two weeks. Of course with the addition of the varietal grape, Cab Franc, this spraying could increase to every ten days. A big thank you to the personable owner/vintner, William Layton, who joined us in our visit. It will be fun seeing what directions this winery takes over the course of the near future.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
2.5
2.5
4.5
4.5

Virginia Mountain Vineyards   0
3.0
4/5/2018

It was fun finding a secluded vineyard in the hills near I-81 at 1600' which gets attention for several recognized wines over the years. Just how did these two New Englanders ever find their perfect spot to develop 10 acres of grapes? Planted in 1997 with their first wines being offered in 2006. Reasonably priced vinifera wines and blends to include the hard to grow and produce Petit Verdot.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
2.5
2.5
4.5
4.0

Yellow Farmhouse Vineyard & Winery   0
4.0
4/5/2018

The winery and vineyards are smack dab in the middle of a sharp curve in a small town (don't blink, or you will miss Defiance, MO entirely). Their 2012 'Biker Bar Red' hearty dry Norton wine ($24) is a worthy representative of Missouri's state grape standard bearer, ~ the Norton grape wine. I appreciated the owner holding back the Norton wine until it had matured properly in the bottle. An enjoyable 'drink now Norton', but I'll put a few away for another couple years. A very small barrel room tasting setting which has up to five reds and five whites available. I'm glad we returned with friends from California and Nebraska to experience not only the Norton Wine, but the hillside seating overlooking the town.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.5
3.0

Holy Grail Winery   0
2.0
4/5/2018

This new, small, side street winery tasting room may be moving to a new location outside of town in the near future, thus a better 'ambience' ratings could be in store soon. Here you will find an assortment of unique varietals and blends; as, 'Signature 7' dry red blend consisting of Petit Verdot, Malbec, Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot with Pinot Noir & Missouri Norton (each bottle individually numbered and signed by the vintner); American Bordeaux (Cab Sauv, Merlot, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec); Pinot Noir, Norton Reserve, Norton Raspberry, a Malbec which I enjoyed, Rougeon semi-sweet red, Seyval Blanc, Traminette, Vignoles, Vidal Blanc, Chocolate Port (brandy infused Chambourcin), Chardonel white port and a Cabernet Sauvignon Ice Wine. The wines, unfortunately, are not as outstanding as the rendered $40, $75 & $90 prices. Though the vintner may tell you they are the #1 recognized winery(?), all this may settle down a bit in time.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
2.0
2.0
4.0
2.0

Russian Chapel Hills Winery   0
5.0
5.0
8/18/2017

The emphasis here is not on the numbers of different wines, but the quality of wines offered from this seventeen acre vineyard. My Napa experienced friend let out a note of 'Fabulous' with his first carmel sip of 2014 lightly French oaked Chardonnay. A bright, stainless steel fermented Sauvignon Blanc followed. Of the four reds, we found interesting the dark flavored 2014 Mosaic (60% Cab Sauv, 20% Cab Franc, 20% Chambourcin). We preferred their outstanding, clean, varietally correct with some degree of finesse 2014 'Kagor' Cabernet Sauvignon. I also could not leave without their 'jammy' 24 month, uniquely French oaked 2014 Chambourcin not advertised on their web site. Interestingly, Russian Chapel Hills offers three Bodegas Antonio Alcaraz wines from the Rioja Spanish region under their own 'Karma' label. Yep, I packed away an example for our drive home. I appreciated the nice bifold information sheet presented for note taking. The five 'stars' represents our comparison to Southern wineries, not to tastes of other regional, domestic wines.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
4.5
5.0
5.0
4.5

Mountain Brook Vineyards   0
4.0
8/18/2017

You forget that you are in North Carolina when you taste Mountain Brook Vineyards wines. Though there is a $10 tasting fee for offered wines, this is adjusted for partial tastings. The home porch, 1,100' elevation, setting at this seven acre vineyard, make you feel as if you are in the mountains. The best way to describe the 24 month French oaked Cabernet Sauvignon is simply, ~ 'wonderful'. I was taken back by Dennis' 2013 Deep South, American Oaked, Petit Verdot after letting it breathe for ten minutes or so. I'm betting that we have here a nice treat after aging this wine for a few more years. Bring a pad along for writing wine notes at this location. Be aware that a long flight of stairs must be used to access the tasting room.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
5.0
5.0
4.0

Overmountain Vineyards   0
4.0
8/18/2017

Tastings are going to cost you $15, but Overmountain is more than accommodating to present 'partial tastings'. Planted in 2000 at approximately 1,200' elevation, there are seventeen acres of Petit Manseng, Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot & Petit Verdot on a seventy acre, rolling hills setting. Call ahead to have Stone Soup sandwiches from Landrum, SC catered to this location or bring your own food to enjoy with Overmountain's wines. My travel buddy and I were taken back by the refreshing, prepared in stainless steel, Chardonnay (grapes brought in from a nearby Rockhouse Vineyard) & Camellia '16 blend which used their own Petit Manseng grapes. Though not to our tastes, try their unique strawberry bouquet, dry, light Petit Verdot Rosé. We found the 13 month French oaked Petit Verdot interestingly slightly tart. I would consider this more of a 'drink now' wine. We left with bottles of 2015, drink now or hold for a while, Cabernet Sauvignon. Their most recent 100% Petit Manseng was not ready at the time of our visit. We were privileged to taste a soon to be released, 75 cases, of Cabernet Franc. We will most definitely return as soon as Overmountain Vineyards releases this wine. Offered also, by reservation, is a $35 Elevated Tasting, including all their current and new release wines, plus an extended winery tour.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Stone House Vineyard   0
4.5
8/14/2017

Stone House 'Claros' [Norton] Wine Review: Upon opening, we were greeted with a total surprise! Stone House Vineyards nailed it. We were taken back with this selection which did not have the earthy aromas found in most Deep South Norton wines, nor the dark oak cherried flavors of the Midwest, or the indiscriminate tastes that bounce back and forth in Virginia. I know this is a sacrilege statement, but this Texas Norton had some of the refinements found in the best of what California can offer. A sleek, pure native wine that was a delight to drink on its own, or with fine steak, lamb or pork. We are just now opening some grand 2008, 2009 and 2010 Stone House 'Claros' [Norton] vintages. After tasting over 140 Norton wines in seventeen states, Stone House's Norton wine is one of our favorite six examples.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.0

Jefferson Vineyards   0
3.0
8/4/2017

Asked for tasting of two wines (no charge) and were served four. Delightful, unrushed young crew serving us this day. Some interesting production techniques at this location; as, wines are barreled and stored at slightly lower temperatures than found at other wineries; their Cabernet Franc ($25) was French oaked for 90% time and then the remaining time in new American oak; the delicious Viognier ($30) was French oaked 89% of the time and finished in stainless steel; the 2014 $32 Meritage grapes (36% Petit Verdot, 35% Merlot, 20% Cab Franc, 9% Cab Sauv) were all independently barrel oaked for 17 months and then barrel combined for 5 months and their unfiltered Petit Verdot was 30% American and 70% French oaked in 32% thinner barrels for better 'airing'(?) with 50% skins & stems and 50% grapes used. The average rating of the wines was predominantly influenced with the fact that their Petit Verdot had the unusual character that it must be sipped 'unswirled'. The wine had a nice deep aroma and complex taste unswirled, but when swirled it lost both aroma and the taste turned flat. The best part of the visit was my wife's meeting of the English gardener who takes pride in beautifully presenting this winery horticulturally.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.0
3.0
4.5
3.0

Pollak Vineyards   0
3.0
8/4/2017

First plantings 2002, followed by open facilities in 2008 in a stunning, back road mountains and lakeside setting. On the day we visited the $8 tasting included seven vinifera wines plus two others for sale, but not available for tasting ($50 2013 Cab Franc & $30 2012 Viognier dessert wine). Here we found a pleasant, crisp 2016 Viognier ($26). The $28 2015 Cabernet Franc was a bit thin, disappointing and should not have been offered. Compared to other outstanding Virginia Petit Verdots, we found Pollak's 2015 $30 example light in color and not typical to varietal taste. A bread, cheese and jam fare is available for inside or outside seating.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
2.0
3.5
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

CrossKeys Vineyard & Estates   0
4.5
8/4/2017

Classy, large vineyard and winery setting offering a wonderful cross section of French varietals and blends. Service was a bit disjointed with only one young lady providing the tastings, doing all sales and greeting visitors who may have wanted to order a glass of wine to sit elsewhere. Because of this, we opted to do only a 'short' tasting of two reds (no charge) and maybe have missed out on their Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, blends, Merlot, Touriga, Chambourcin (French-American hybrid), Meritage & dessert wines. Came away with a couple 2015 Petit Verdot wines which we will put away for awhile and a libraried 2011 Petit Verdot. Be aware that their 2017 Virginia Governor's Cup gold medal $35 2015 Cabernet Franc is not available for tasting. A thank you is in order to CrossKeys for not doubling/tripling the cost, as other Virginia winery winners often do, with their wine's success. A generous military discount is provided for all bottle purchases.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
2.5
5.0
5.0

Glen Manor Vineyards   0
5.0
5.0
8/4/2017

We went for the Petit Verdot, but came away with so much more, ~ the history of a 1901 family highlands farm, a farmer growing today grapes at approximately 1,400' in harmony with nature, his working 24/7 to make this natural approach possible and with their oenological studies looking at the future for what else can be planted in this steep terrain with complicated climate (come back in 2030 for their Nebbiolo wine). Yes, the wife can be a bit overwhelming with her enthusiasm of what they have accomplished, but prepare yourselves to be entertained with what you will learn about all that is good with Virginia wines today. We left with multiple purchases of four stunning Glen Manor Vineyards examples (Sauvignon Blanc, 2014 Cabernet Franc, a 2013 St. Ruth blend (46% Cab Franc, 46% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot) and of course their outstanding 2013 Petit Verdot). Be aware that their wines can be expensive overall ($25-$50), but the setting tells the story.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Gabriele Rausse Winery   0
3.0
8/4/2017

A curious, small hide-a-way setting in the woods serving an array of unique Gabriele Rausse's take on Virginia grown Chardonnay, Vin de Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Malbec, Merlot, Cab Franc and Cab Sauv grapes. Only a table with a few seats and the bar are available for those who choose the wine & small tid bit freshly prepared food pairing offering. Reasonably priced wines with discounts for three and twelve bottle purchases. Go to their web site to get a complete Virginia listing of 58 stores and 16 restaurants selling these wines.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.0
2.0

King Family Vineyards   0
5.0
5.0
8/4/2017

The original setting was set up for equestrian polo by Texans in 1996 and by 1998 the owners were convinced that their properties were ideal for vineyards. Though we came a bit late for normal service, the staff sized us up quickly and readily accommodated our requests for tasting specific wines. Beautiful setting with the addition of a food truck at the entrance of the tasting room serving crab salad, shrimp & lobster rolls and other items that would pair well with the wine offerings. What a different and neat idea for those sitting around with a King Family Vineyards wine. In spite of the beautiful setting, prices were a bit more grounded compared to the accelerated prices of nearby wineries, plus not only were there 5%, 10% & 15% regular purchase discounts (more for wine club members), but they also attached another military 10% discount for those deserving. How classy, ~ thank you! Just for the record, we could not leave without a case of their 21 month French oaked 2014 Petit Verdot. Drink now or hold for several years, but I can see us returning for more in the years to come to this delightful Virginia setting.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Michael Shaps Wineworks   0
4.0
8/4/2017

A visit to Michael Shaps Wineworks is for the wines, not the show. Here you will experience the best that Virginia has to offer. Actually, you get to experience not only wines from 67 select, long term leased Virginia vineyard acres, but also French $$$ burgundy wines from Michael Shaps' owned French 'wineworks'. We are not typical white wine drinkers, but were blown away with Shaps' buttery, long finish 2016 Viognier ($28). What a surprise and we now know why Virginia may have chosen the Viognier for their state grape. Then again we were taken back by the available 2014 $35 Petit Verdot (82% Petit Verdot, 9% Malbec, 9% Merlot). What a highlight this visit was on our three days skirting nine out of Virginia's forty-six Petit Verdot

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
2.0

Barboursville Vineyards   0
2.0
8/4/2017

What a dog and pony show! No relaxation here, just pure unadulterated sales push. Tasted quite a few wines and in a blind tasting with my wife, I chose the $35 Petit Verdot and my wife selected the $55 Octagon wine. Good enough to purchase? Left with a Petit Verdot Blanc and a pot holder as a souvenir of getting out of this place alive and with our wallets still in tact. It was amazing how they pushed through so many people. $7.00 fee for tasting does not apply to wine purchase(s).

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.5
2.5
2.0
2.0

White Hall Vineyards   0
4.0
8/4/2017

The side door approach to this venue hides the surprise, handsome tasting room and impressive glassed in winery operations. You may wish to double check to find out what wines are available for tasting since some wines come in limited supply. We left with a fruit forward Viognier, 2015 oak seasoned Cabernet Franc (80%/20% Cab Sauv), Cabernet Sauvignon (95% with a splash of Merlot, Cab Franc & Petit Verdot) and 2014 Petit Verdot (85%, 10% Cab Sauv, 5% Merlot - 50 cases produced). Reasonably priced wines come with 10% discount for three bottles and 15% discount on cases. Our hostess was most accommodating for our telephoned late arrival.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
4.0

St. James Winery   0
4.0
6/1/2017

St. James Winery has a similar mission as Virginia’s Horton Winery in that they want to educate and introduce to its public good, affordable value wines. Alas, the $6 Norton wines of eight years ago that we tasted & bought by the case are today $11 [and a whole lot better]. Their mid-priced Reserve Norton wines are bargain value wines and stand up well to the best-that-Missouri has to offer. Gone are the plastic tasting sippy cups of years past that you used as if you were going through a Southern restaurant buffet line. Today the staff not only greets you, but sizes up your interest amazingly quickly. Not only were we served in nice stemware, but our hostess rinsed each glass with the next wine to be tasted! Among St. James' possible 34 wines and four ciders, look for the Missouri Governor's Cup Winning 2015 Vignoles ($15). I truly enjoyed their Podium (available only in their tasting room) Traminette wine produced in stainless steel which pleasantly did not have a typical grapefruit character. So which Norton truly got our attention and purchases, ~ not the interesting 12 vineyard block $25 Norton Cellar Podium wine, nor the 2016 Estate $15 Norton, but rather the $11 2014 Cynthiana [Norton]. St. James is Missouri's largest winery which produces consistent quality wines year in and year out. It maybe time to open our last 2004 and 2005 St. James Reserve Norton wines!

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
3.0

Baltimore Bend Vineyard   0
4.0
6/1/2017

BBV is a roadside store venue which maybe average, at best, in ambience, but made up with 5-star friendliness. The first grape vine plantings began in 1997, with the tasting room opening in 2004. On this day seventeen grape and two fruit (apple, peach) wines were available. Their 2012 Norton ($18) American oaked wine was still a bit 'green' which I think will benefit from a few more years of rest in the bottle. Now here comes the sad part of this report not knowing what our day of tastings would encounter around Kansas City, ~ we only bought six of BBV's 2012 Norton Reserve ($20) produced in French oak. Thank you BBV for offering this unusually refined and complex example of Missouri's state grape/wine. This Norton example can easily stand up to any Norton found in VA, GA, KY and of course, Missouri. Also enjoy their nice, long finish American oaked Chambourcin ($18) and 2014 'C-squared' Chambourcin/Norton blend ($14) produced entirely in stainless steel vats. Baltimore Bend Vineyard which produces the best of all the Kansas City area Norton wines is a must stop wine venture.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
3.5
5.0
5.0
3.0

Cavender Creek Vineyards and Winery   0
1.0
5/7/2017

Prepare yourself for a BIG disappointment in wines, atmosphere, service and costs. Five years ago this winery was taking steps toward viticultural interest, ~ but today it is only a dog 'n pony weekend show. Do you really want to pay TWELVE DOLLARS for a tasting of FOUR wines? All of which does not apply to wine purchases! Take the time to visit other close by wineries; as Three Sisters Winery (great Cynthia/Norton wine which ages wonderfully), Frogtowne Vineyard for a luncheon with interesting wines and a meal with a fantastic view or other new wineries coming onboard in the area. Cavender Creek Winery was a 'crushing' disappointment after visiting three times over the past seven years.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0

Pirtle Winery   0
1.5
12/21/2016

Wandering the back streets of tiny Weston, MO you'll find the operations of Pirtle Winery in an original 1867 Evangelical Lutheran Church. Limited parking, especially for larger vehicles and limited handicap access to the tasting room because of a long flight of steep stairs (wine patio is easily accessed from the street). Offered are a few grape, fruit and mead wines. Be aware that not all wines are from local or Missouri grapes. We found Pirtle's Norton wine non-typical with its thin, green and immature taste. Were we substituted tiny sips of wine from our very quirky hostess who was more attuned to being full of laughter (and generous tasting pours) with a young couple at the end of the bar? Though interesting, their $18 Alhambra (St. Vincent/Norton blend) did not temp us with a purchase. Two wine knowledgeable friends had visited this location in 2012 and 2014 and recommended my visiting this site. Has there been a change in management? Something was definitely out of quilter the day we arrived. Too many other interesting wineries in the area to tempt us to return to Pirtle Winery.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
1.5
2.0
1.0
3.0

Reid's Livery Winery   0
4.0
12/19/2016

The setting is a rural farm where you will meet a delightful husband and wife team ready to tell you tales behind each labeled wine bottle. Rex is the vintner who uses not only local grapes, but will use 'juice' from Ohio or New York if he has a wine idea. Diane works with her horses, but will give you her time behind the bar. Every bottle is a unique surprise; as, their 2013 Berea Rose (Cab Frank) which has a delightful 'bitterness' on the tongue caused by using Heaven Hill Distillery's once used bourbon barrels in wine processing. Though Reid's sold out 2013 Norton was an Indy International Double Gold winner, their 2014 example could only be described as a drink now Norton ($20). Diane's description of their 'Harvest Blend' (75% Norton, 25% Ohio Petit Syrah) was a pleasant 'Busy' (which I conjured up as 'complex'). A lightly French oaked $16 2012 Hilltop Vineyard Blend (50% Cab Franc, 50% De Chaunac) just adds to the available variations. Reid's Livery surprise dry white New York state Moore's Diamond grape 2013 'Silver Streak' ($20) continued the unique tastes. Let's me end with mentioning their 2012 'Healthy Harvest Blend' ($20, 20% 2011 Cab Franc) which is the driest, no sugar added, Elderberry wine you will ever encounter. Not only will you be enthralled with the taste, but you will drink this knowing all the medicinal qualities inherited from this vinted fruit. If you are a Harvest Host member, the Reids will make this a never to forget stop.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
3.5
5.0
5.0
4.0

Cooper Vineyards (VA)   0
4.5
12/18/2016

Though I want to limit myself to Cooper's Norton wine comments, I must mention they have some lovely Virginia white wines and a once in a while available grand Petit Verdot. As a warning, - if you want Cooper wines, check with them first since they quickly sell out of their yearly productions. The reason I give them high marks is that Cooper Vineyards produces the BEST annual consistent East coast Norton wines. I have had their wines since 2001 and can say that each year they have gotten better and better. Would I state that they have the very best Norton wine, no, but out of over 140 Norton wines we have had so far, Cooper's is among the top seven (the other five are from Missouri and one from Texas). If their Norton wine is available, treat yourself to a leisurely visit to Cooper's new vineyard setting. Though their Norton wine can be enjoyed young, a couple years of storage adds additional character. As with all Norton wines, let your Norton wines breathe for an extensive amount of time before enjoying. Shipping is only available to AK, DC, FL, NC, MD, MN, MO, NJ, NM, *PA restrictions apply and VA. Hopefully SC will be added at some point . . . . . .

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
3.5
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Crane Creek Vineyards   0
4.0
12/8/2016

Crane Creek Norton Wine Review: Have you ever yearned for a 'Hellbender' wine? O.K., I know you are wincing from the term, so understand that this Norton wine is named for the rare, locally found, orange-red, 20" long, largest salamander in the western hemisphere. Take a drive through beautiful Northeast Georgia back roads to visit a nineteen acre vineyard situated at 2100’ elevation with one acre set aside for these non-lyred Norton vines which were set out in 1996. 225 cases annually can be produced if all goes well with the local and supplemented harvest. This is a no excuses dry 100% Norton wine wich doesn’t portray being overly oaked in spite of the fact that some of these wines have been held in Pennsylvania(?) Oak barrels for over 25 months. Weather, setting, host, visitors, a stunning black bean soup, two well behaved dogs, and a pleasantly different Norton made for a great day. I will “lay down’ this case of Hellbender for four or five years to see what time will bring to this interesting animal. I have truly enjoyed in the past Hellbenders aged for six years. Do yourself a favor and enjoy what the North Georgia hill country can provide.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
3.5
4.5
4.5

Victoria Valley Vineyards   0
3.5
12/8/2016

Victory Valley Vineyard is a charming, 10 year old winery with a unique setting and three stars for their wine efforts. What is surprising are fair priced vinifera wines grown in South Carolina. Many of the vines are now over fifteen years old and their fruit are producing some representative examples of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Petite Manseng blends, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. They serve informally mid-day selections of salads, an array of sandwiches and desserts until closing in a comfortable venue. Located in the Piedmont hillside off the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Byway, you have here a quality rural attraction. Enticed by one of their evening selected local chef $$$ meals, we were amazed with the service, five course gourmet food preparations and accompanying wines. It will be fun watching and tasting what matures in the years to come at Victoria Valley Vineyards.

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
3.0
3.0
4.0
4.5