Ok ya'll: It's time to get way serious here. I'm talking wine. <HELLO!!>
It's no big secret that we live in a big wine area. In fact, I'm surrounded by vineyards. I had already decided I was going to taste test in every one and blog about them, but hadn't gotten around to it yet.
It's time to meet the new kids on the block.
For awhile now, we have watched as a hill down the road from us was torn out and developed. We cursed & we moaned, we sighed and we shook our heads. "There goes the neighborhood," we said. We live in a rural area, and we like it that way!
Then a sign went up on the road. We couldn't read it as we drove by -- well THIS was the day that i was going to investigate what had decided to invade our neighborhood.
Imagine my surprise to find another winery! I would have danced in circles on my tippy toes in the lot, but my feet were already heading for the door---
Where I was warmly welcomed by Nathan Beasley (son of hosts Jim & Sandra Penner), to his family owned vineyard. And there they all sat, relaxed, comfortable, and inviting. Oh, and the views!!
The testing room is currently located in their wedding chapel, while their main building is still under construction (est. September 2013).
No complaints here.
And then -- the wines! No freebies here, folks. You pay $7 and get to try any 5 wines. (1 oz pours by law). But let me tell you, it was well worth it.
You can also order any 5 with a choice of glass; any 10 for 12; & any 10 with choice of glass for $16.
I have to say, they are reasonable prices. I can honestly say I was extremely pleased with everything I tried. (5 of them! Plus a bonus taste of Pinot Noir.)
Let me start off by saying that I am more partial to red wines than white. And I am more partial to dry than sweet. Well I was shocked to find that my very favorite wine (OF! ALL! TIME!) is a sweet white wine. Roll out the red carpet for Horse Creek Wintersville. It advertises itself as "an elegant Muscadine wine from their friends in south Georgia.) Well they are now my new best friends. (*waves*)
I tried a dry white Seyval Blanc. It doesn't leave an aftertaste in your mouth, and is very smoothe & full-bodied. it is one of their popular wines.
Then I tried a dry, red Syrah. "Oaked for 18 mos., cherries on the front, pepper on the after. origination: Lake County, California. A very good wine.
I tried Horse Creek Big Red, a red muscadine wine from the Horse Creek Winery in south Georgia. My 2nd very favorite. "A superior sweet muscadine wine." I co-sign that!
The bonus wine I tasted was the Pinot Noir. Very good, not sweet, origin: Wooldridge Vineyards, Oregon. "Multiple levels: light cherry, plum, smoke, peppery finish. French oak." The owners claim it as their favorite wine. Nathan explained that due to the weather in Georgia, which would shock the grapes, Pinot Noir cannot be grown in Georgia.
Nathan also mentioned that at the moment, Pinot Noir, Merlot, & Syrah are all in competition right now to find the winery's favorite. (Why don't you stop by & help them decide!)
And ok, so I saved this one for last: The Cottage Slushy Sangria. It's in a class of its own. 82% Merlot, 18% Cabernet -- in a slushy! If I had to have a glass of anything, this is what I would choose: very refreshing. Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot were long my favorites.
But I want to reiterate -- if I had to have a bottle of wine -- it would be the Horse Creek Wintersville (white muscadine).
There were many choices to be had, but these were the ones I tried.
Nathan also had a good idea to bring a picnic basket, buy a glass (or bottle) of wine, and enjoy the views. I do have to say, that after tasting those wonderful wines, surrounded by those views, that I glided out on angel wings, feeling very content and happy!
Welcome to the neighborhood, Cottage Vineyard & Winery (Cleveland, Georgia). Anyone else on that hill and they would have had to go!
For more info & hours:
check them out on Facebook & Twitter, too.
And save me some white muscadine wine!
*I neglect to mention: The Syrah "Eighteen"
-an 18% port-like dessert wine (all others are 13%): "Floral & fruit nose; raspberry/plum & chocolate palette." This wine is excluded from the tasting, as it is one of their expensive wines. It is $3 for a 1 oz pour. I didn't try it this visit, maybe next.