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Nov 27, 2006 02:52 AM

Yapa - Are North Carolina wines any good?

On ABC World News there was a report that North Carolina tobacco farmers are starting to plant wine grapes. ABC said "North Carolina's wines are winning awards domestically and holding their own against the world's best."

So what are respected North Carolina wines?

The report only mentioned Boonville's RagApple Lassie Vineyards owned by Frank and Lenna Hobson who christened the wine-growing Yadkin Valley, "Yapa".

Boonville. That would be where they make ... nah.

The ABC World News report

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  1. I haven't had that many -- Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay from Chatham Hill and, of course, some sparkling wine from the Biltmore Estate. Think of California in the 1950s and you might have a close approximation. If you aren't old enough to recall wines that old when they were young, think of Chile in the 1970s, or perhaps Eastern Europe.

    In other words, although North Carolina claims to be 12th in total U.S. wine production, don't forget that California (which is, obviously #1) makes approximately 90 percent of all wine inthe U.S. Twelfth sounds a lot more impressive than it is.

    1. RW... all I can say is, I hope they are better than Illinois wines.

      1. Childress wines from the Yadkin valley are worth a try. One think to note about the Biltmore Estate wines, a lot of the grapes they use are grown in California.

        1. Biltmore makes a few decent wines, but I haven't had any others that are worth much.

          1. Ooh, one of my favorite new obsessions... There are plenty of good NC wines, especially from the Yadkin Valley. (Yadkin Valley is currently our only certified appelation.) RagApple Lassie is one of my personal favorites, although for consistency and variety I'd say West Bend is the best (it's also one of the oldest, old being around 20-30 yrs here). I also recommend Raffaldini, and Buck Shoals Vineyards has several good lighter table reds. In general, Viogner and Sangiovese do well here and you'll see a lot of those, as well as the usual Chardonnay, Merlot, Cab, etc.

            I wasn't terribly impressed with Childress, but he's pretty new and has a lot of money to throw at it, so give it 5 years. Biltmore has a lot of cheap swill but some decent estate-grown wines. They sell an awful lot of wine, and it can't all be good. And yes, they do ship grapes from California.