Friday, December 5, 2014

Round Peak Vineyards: North Carolina Winery Visit

During our recent Thanksgiving holiday, we headed for wine country – but we traveled  east and not west. As we returned from visiting family in High Point, North Carolina, we stopped in Yadkin Valley to check out Round Peak Vineyards.

North Carolina has more than 140 wineries and that number has more than quadrupled since 2001. NC is 10th in U.S. wine production and third in wine tourism. Yadkin Valley was the first AVA established in the state and has more than 40 wineries.

Round Peak is located a short distance from Mt. Airy, NC, and has 13 acres of vineyards at an elevation of 1,300 feet in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The winery has an attractive tasting room with eye-catching graphics on the outside.
Round Peak is dog-friendly, with a special fenced-in area for dogs to roam. There’s also the Winery House on the grounds, which is rental facility with four bedrooms which looks ideal as a base of operations for exploring the local wine country.

Inside we found a clean, bright and cozy tasting room. There was a good size crowd, this being the day after Thanksgiving. (We prefer to do our Black Friday shopping in wineries!)

In addition to some great estate wines, Round Peak also brews its own beer under the Skull Camp Brewing brand. So in addition to wine lovers doing tastings, club members picking up Sangria other visitors were sampling beer.

We started with the 2013 Chardonnay, which was finished in stainless steel. It had a clean taste of pear and melon. Round Peak has a large selection of reds, so we moved on to the Fiddler’s Red, which is a non-vintage blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese. The wine is a tribute to the Round Peak style of music and fiddler Tommy Jarrell. The wine hits all the right notes for a light bodied casual sipper. It sells for $15.

Next up was the favorite of the Green Dragon, my wife and fellow vinophile. The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon is a lighter style Cab, but scores with a nice black currant flavor and smooth texture. This retails for $22. The 2009 Nebbiolo soon followed. Round Peak deserves kudos for growing this Italian grape variety. The wine shows flavors of cherry and raspberry.

The finale for the tasting was the El Vino Loco blend. This is part of the Signature Series – which is a very cool idea. Program participants can try their hand at blending their own wine from different barrels of Round Peak wine, which is then bottled and sold. Who doesn’t want to own a case of a wine that they created themselves?

The El Vino Loco blend was made by Vineyard Manager Ken Yocco. It is a blend of 32% Mourvedre, 23% Tannat, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Barbera, 10% Malbec and 6% Petit Verdot. I’m a big fan of Tannat and the exotic mix of grapes gave this wine some thrilling layers of taste.

Round Peak is a fun stop in North Carolina wine country. They offer a solid line-up of wines, great facilities and a scenic view.

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