I ended the last post here. If you missed the previous post, you could get caught up here. If not, let’s get on with the weekend getaway.
Burntshirt Vineyard – Our Second Stop
Since we went to a brand new winery first, it only made sense to go to an older established winery next. Burntshirt Vineyards is one of the older wineries in this region of western North Carolina and currently holds the distinction of being the 2020 North Carolina Vineyard of the Year.
Burntshirt Vineyards got its name from Burntshirt Mountain. According to their website, “Mountain lore has it that back in the day farmers would burn their fields to clear the land on Burntshirt Mountain for planting. They tossed their shirts in the fire for good luck, and the fields yielded a bountiful crop!”
Burntshirt offers tastings and flights. The tastings are seven wines, either dry or sweet. Each tasting is a one-ounce pour. The cost is $10.00 and includes a souvenir glass. We chose to go with the flight option so that we could select the wines to taste. The Flight option is five wines for $15.00, and each is a two-ounce pour.
Gary and I chose slightly different line ups to taste. The wine was also blowing a bit here, so gathering tasting notes was again a challenge. Below you will find the wines we sampled and the notes provided by the winery. Please note, I have no idea what vintage any of these wines were as they were not listed on the order form. Most of the wines we sampled were dry wines except when noted.
Our Sampled Wines
- Reserve Grüner Veltliner – This is their signature white wine. Crisp and fresh, with notes of lemon and slate. (Gary & Rick)
- Reserve Chardonnay – Soft & elegant. Notes of vanilla, apple, & baking ‘ _ spice. Aged for a year in French Oak. (Rick)
- Reserve Riesling – A brand new release, this dry varietal has bright acidity and refreshing flavors of stonefruits and melons. (Gary)
- Vidal Blanc – Aromas of pink grapefruit & pineapple, light-bodied with racy acidity. Semi-sweet. (Rick)
- Rosé, fruit-forward & light-bodied with notes of ripe red fruit, it’s the perfect summer wine. (Rick & Gary)
- Reserve Merlot, Notes of cherry cola, white pepper, & raspberries combine with toasty oak and a soft, light finish. (Gary)
- Meritage, A traditional left-bank Bordeaux-style blend. Rich red fruit notes combined with a peppery finish. (Rick)
- Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, a brand new vintage with rich flavors of blackberry and plum, with subtle toasty and spicy aromas from aging nearly two year·s in French oak. (Rick)
Gary and I chose two purchase two wines here as well. We bought a bottle of rosé (surprise!) and also a bottle of the Meritage (pronounced Mare-ah-tidge (like ridge). We both felt that of all the red wines that we tasted on these two wineries, the Meritage was the one that stood out and most closely resembled the style and profile that we enjoy. The bonus here is that the Assistant Vineyard Manager was also the winemaker for this particular wine. She is an acquaintance of our hosts, so she stopped by the table to say hello. She signed our bottle.
Getaway Wine Tasting Final Thoughts
The wines of Burntshirt show the experience and quality of a winery that has been part of the region for decades. They have a distinct style that follows through each wine we tasted. Overall, we had a great day, tasting wine and learning a bit about the North Carolina wine business. In my opinion, I might suggest that wine enthusiasts with a seasoned palate who enjoy wines from the more well-known wine regions of the world to first focus on the varietals that are unique to the region. And then when sampling wider known varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay, et al., go in with an open mind and understand that every wine region presents their wines in a style that best reflects the area and their specific terrior. In doing so, you will have a fantastic experience and perhaps find a wine or three to take home.
The Getaway Event of the Weekend
By the time we finished at Burntshirt and went to the grocery to pick out steaks and shrimp for dinner, it was after 8 pm. However, the long day could not dampen our joy to grill our dinner and then sit by the fire and sip more wine before heading to bed. Gary helped Tracy with dinner on the grill, and I was tasked with keeping the fire burning in the firepit. For dinner, we paired the steaks with the 2014 Sutro Estate Cabernet Sauvignon that we brought to share. It was a beautiful bottle of wine that complemented perfectly with the steak.
With dinner now behind us, we grabbed our wine and the fixin’s for s’mores and headed to the fire pit to take in the beauty of a campfire while breathing in the cool night air.
Those darn steps!
You have seen this picture before in part 1 of the getaway post, but I want you to pay particular attention to the steps. There are a lot of them. From the first minute that we arrived and every single time I walked up or down the front steps to the house, Gary always said some version of, “Please be careful, honey. The steps can be slippery.” I would check my grip on the railing and head either up or down accordingly.
Well, this time, my hands were occupied with my full glass of wine and the skewers for the s’mores. It was very dark outside, so the light that shines on the steps cast pitch-black shadows across some of the steps. Gary began his manta…
AND DOWN I WENT.
My foot found a slippery wet leaf in the shadow, and my legs flew up in the air like a diver doing a backflip in the pike position, slamming down on my arse and then slid down to the bottom of the original set of stairs.
“I’m alright!” I exclaimed, holding my intact wine glass high in the air. I am not sure where the skewers flew, but I saved my glass. Remember, it is dark, and shadows abound from the light for the stairs. Tracy then announces, “I can’t believe you did not spill your wine. That is an amazing feat!” At this point, I stand up and turn around, and she can see that my entire left side from head to toe was drenched in Cabernet Sauvignon. Ah, the getaway moment of the trip. One that we will tell over and over again.
I got cleaned up and headed back to the fire. We laughed, we opened a new bottle of wine, and we stared at the embers, well past one in the morning.
Picnic Brunch Concluded the Getaway
After a few pots of coffee, we all got cleaned up and headed to Wakey Monkey Cafe to select the brunch treats that we would enjoy atop Judd’s Peak.
After brunch, we headed into town so I could pick up a few edible treats at Thompson’s Grocery to bring back to Charleston. They sell a lot of locally made foods, and I fell in love with the root beer licorice.
We also picked up some red and black to round out our old fashioned licorice cravings.
And who does not love a good chutney? I brought these two lovelies as well.
The Getaway Final Thoughts
This weekend with our friends was everything we had hoped for. So much pent up frustration came pouring out of our pours (I mean pores) as we relaxed and laughed and communed with the mountains and all they provide. We did get invited back, so we are hoping to do some hiking next time to some of the area attractions. The images below are not mine but that of our hosts. They give us something to look forward to the next time we visit.