Thursday, May 10, 2018

Shadow Springs Vineyard: North Carolina Winery Visit

Can a wine lover find true happiness in North Carolina? You need look no further than Hamptonville and the estate of Shadow Springs Vineyard.

From Tobacco To Wine Trellises

Shadow Springs Vineyard began more than a decade ago when Chuck and Jamey Johnson planted two acres of Merlot in an old tobacco field. Since then the family owned vineyard has grown to the point where it now boasts eight varieties of estate grown grapes and sells 18 different wines.

During our recent visit to North Carolina’s wine country we visited the Swan Creek AVA. The wineries in Swan Creek are the closest in proximity within the state. We were able to visit five wineries, each no more than five miles apart. We came away from Shadow Springs very impressed.
The 5,000 square-foot tasting room was built in 2007. It is light and airy with beautiful wood finishes and accents of Ambrosia Maple. It’s location overlooks the entire 10.5 acre vineyard and features a downstairs bar, a second floor terrace and a patio near a scenic pond.

Sipping In The Shadows

Jamey was in the tasting room and led us through a line up of their wines. We started with a pair of white wines:

2015 Stainless Steel Chardonnay – Green Dragon prefers her Chard unoaked, so this was a good pick. Green apple and pear.

2015 Barrel Fermented Viognier – Fermented in stainless steel and then aged in neutral oak, it is soft and creamy and not as fruity as most Viognier.

Moving into the reds, we had our eye on a couple of our favorite grapes:

2014 Cabernet Franc – Cab Franc is one of our favorites. The Shadow Springs version has bright cherry with a dash of black pepper. A great buy at only $20.

2013 Chambourcin – Chambourcin is one of our favorite French-American hybrids and, luckily for us, it thrives in NC. This was one of the best wines we tasted on our trip! It is dark and fruity with flavor notes of raspberry and raisin. Excellent finish.

And The Best Wine Is…

We next tasted the 2014 Merlot and the 2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot is a strongpoint for wineries in Yadkin Valley (Shadow Springs is in both Yadkin Valley and Swan Creek AVAs) and this version is soft and pleasant. The Reserve Cab is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Petit Verdot and is aged in a combination of French, American and Hungarian oak. It is smoky with smooth tannins.

2014 Meritage – We are Meritage lovers! This is a Bordeaux-style blend of Cab Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. It gets two years of aging in oak barrels. This robust red was a standout. It is priced at $28.

2014 Petit Verdot – This 100% Petit Verdot is a really good bottle of wine. It is aged two years in new French and America oak. Bright purple in color, it has a medium to full body, with ripe blueberry and herbal flavor threads. This is Shadow Springs’ best wine and runs $35. We bought a bottle and opened it the other night – sensational.

Shadow Springs has what we look for in a winery experience: an excellent tasting room with friendly and knowledgeable staff as well as a variety of really good wines. Make Shadow Springs a destination on your next North Carolina wine excursion.

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