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Jan 28, 2007 02:40 PM


I'm interested in trying some other American wines outside of the West coast, NY state ones that I'm most familiar with. Anywone had some truely good Norton from Missouri? Or any great stuff from Virginia? I've heard these two places have good potential but I'm wondering if anyopne is living up to it yet.

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  1. Norton (or Cynthiana) can be very good. (It's also grown in Arkansas, BTW. ) It's not for everyone -- a lot of my friends hate it -- but I've had very good ones from Stone Hill in Missouri and good ones from Horton in Virginia.

    1 Reply
    1. re: zin1953

      I've had a Stone Hill Norton a few times and always enjoyed it.

    2. What varietal is Norton?

      In NY, where I live, there are a number of wineries making very good wine, though they're not super cheap. For example, Paumanouk Winery makes a red blend named Assemblage that is outstanding, but it's $42. Less pricey is Osprey's Dominion Cabernet Franc, at around $20, and Schneider's Cab Franc at about $28.

      5 Replies
      1. re: 280 Ninth

        Most wine grapes worldwide are considered "European" varieties. Cultivars such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir -- all the grapes most people drink -- are all members of the same species, Vitis vinifera. What are often described as "native North American" varieties -- grapes like Concord, Delaware, Catabwa -- are V. labrusca. Norton (or Cynthiana) is from a different species entirely, V. aestivalis.

        To the best of my knowledge, there is no Norton/Cynthiana grown in New York State, nor in California for that matter. (It would be interesting to see what it does here, though.) As I mentioned above, it's mostly found in Missouri and Virginia, but it's also in a number of other states, from the Rockies to the Atlantic Coast.

        See for more information, and scroll down a bit . . .

        1. re: zin1953

          I'm moving to VA and on a trip to Norfolk, it was the Virginia Wine Festival, back in october, I think. i wasn't expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised.

          We got a little education on Norton. It's a grape that is native to North America, just like the Concord and grows well in soil specific to VA and, apparently, MO. I also recall something about it being related in someway to Primitivo in Italy, but I can't recall exactly how?

          1. re: geg5150

            Norton is indeed a grape native to North American, BUT . . .

            -- it belongs to the genu and species, Vitis aestivalis.

            it is not "just like the Concord . . .

            -- which belongs to the genus and species, Vitis labrusca.

            nor is it related in any way, shape or form to the grape called Primitivo in Italy . . .

            -- which belongs to the genius and species Vitis vinifera.

            THREE different varieties of grapes, from three different species -- all belong to the same genus, but there is no additional biological, genetic or other "connecting," "over-lapping," or "common" factors.

            1. re: zin1953

              I meant "just like the Concord" grape is native to N. America, not that they are the same grape.

              Thanks for all of the information.

        2. re: 280 Ninth

          re: 280 Ninth
          In the not too distant past I was a resident of eastern LI preceding the growth of the wine industry there. While there may be a few good products at the very high end, I was not happy with any I had in local restaurants or at the tasteings held at the various vineyards. Starting with Hargrave whose product was acceptable but over priced I have tried most of the products of that area and not found any one that cries out to me and certainly not at the price when purchased at a local restaurant. I must give credit to one particular waterfront restaurant who deleted the charge but you can trust that is not a common courtesy. Love the east end but not for the wine.

        3. Almost any Norton from the wineries in Hermann, MO are pretty good. Stone Hill is my favorite, but Hermanhoff's is good too.

          1. Let me just chime in with my vote for Adam Puchta's Norton. Harder to find, somewhat, but very nice.

            1. My Norton Favorite has to be Stone Hill Winery. This years vintage, 2003, is very bold and flavorable. A taste of blackberry, black pepper, and a nice finish. I also like their vintage 1998 Norton served at the Vintage 1847 Restaurant. They only sell it at the restaurant. It is very smooth and well aged. I've been to Stone Hill's 10 Year Norton Vertical Tasting and Dinner that follows. The Dinner at the Vintage 1847 Restaurant was to die for. Wines paired perfectly with the food. The Manager and Chef really know what they are doing.