Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Buck Shoals Vineyards- Hamptonville, NC

As I mentioned before, we made a pit stop at Buck Shoals Vineyards on the way to the mountains for the Extravaganza. We chose Buck Shoals because it is in the heart of wine-making country in North Carolina.

In 2003, the Yadkin Valley was tagged as an AVA, American Vitacultural Area- the first in North Carolina. The valley is located in the foothills of the North Carolina mountains and covers 1.4 million acres. Because of the mild climate and the clay-loam soils, this region is perfect for growing European grapes. The most popular grown in Yakin Valley include, Chardonnay, Viognier, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc. The Yadkin Valley has so many wineries, you can try winery trails, treks, etc., all while staying at the country's most finest Bed and Breakfasts. But as we learned the hard way, young married couples, wineries, and B&B's are not a good combination!

Buck Shoals is located along one of the Yadkin Valley wine trails. It is located 2 miles off Highway 421, so that is why we chose it as a pit-stop! In the area there are also 3 other wineries within a few miles. If it were up to me, we would have gone to all of them- but of course we weren't on a 3 hour drive to see wineries, we were on an extravaganza!!!

Buck Shoals is a small winery that started in 2003 with 5 planted acres. Today the acreage is now 13 acres with several different grape varieties planted. When I looked at their website I was thinking we were going to a very old farm with a very old tobacco barn as the tasting room. Not the case. The website boats a farm of tobacco, corn, grain, cows and chickens over several generations. I saw no signs. It also speaks of the Buck Shoals water mill built in 1880. If it was there, I hadn't a clue. Disappointment!

The wine hostess was a short wiry woman that had a pretty thick Northern accent. Ruh roh. I think we ended up tasting 13 wines, which was great, but I didn't get to take home a wine glass at the end because they were "running short." The entire tasting was about guessing where this woman was from. New Jersey. And she sure acted like it. I didn't find her sense of humor funny at all. She was rather abrasive and cold, however I did learn a lot from her, especially because I know nothing about the Yadkin Valley-type wines. We can talk Muscadines all day... well, maybe for about 30 minutes, because I've read up on them. The Yadkin Valley and all of their grape varieties just make my head spin!!!
Anyways, I immediately regretted not choosing another winery in the area when the Yankee wine hostess said, "Now make sure you visit the other wineries in the area. But they're all going to be Southern hicks. You won't understand a word they're saying and it won't be near as much fun." Dangit. We would have been at home!!! So after I was done having the wine tasting "yelled" at me, I was ready to go. Usually we like to order a glass of our favorite wine from the tasting and hang out on the vineyard's property. Take pictures of ourselves drinking in the vineyards like a lush, and just hang out. Not here. It was cold. Well, it was cold outside, and so were the attitudes. Plus we had an Extravaganza to get to, so we left!

RNH and I came home with two bottles, both whites of course. I really think I might give up on trying to find a red wine that I absolutely love. I haven't had any luck yet. I'd love recommendations!!! We came home with Shoals Creek White. It is a refreshingly light white wine. I could really taste the floral, pear, apple, citrus, and honey notes. Awesome.

A pretty neat thing about this winery is their making of mead. Mead is actually fermented honey. A mixture of honey, water and yeast, can create anything from a beer-type mead, to a sweet wine-type mead. The production of this tastiness dates back to 7000 BC, where archaeologists uncovered pottery vessels containing remnants of the concoction in Northern China! I think in the winery's case, their mead was mixed with grapes, making a Melomel, but I'm not sure, and honestly can't remember! I also think they were sold out, otherwise I'm sure we would have bought a bottle!

RNH also thinks he wants to start bee-keeping. But that is a different story for a different day. All thanks to the State Fair.

Buck Shoals was neat to stop at, only because it was our first vineyard in Yakin Valley. I'd like to try a different vineyard next time!!!

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