Home to more than 90 wineries and the country’s most visited winery in Biltmore Estate, North Carolina is on the up and up when it comes to local wine. Focusing on native Muscadine and European-style vinifera grapes, the number of wineries have more than quadrupled since 2001 . Ranked 7th for wine production in the United States, North Carolina recently recognized it’s 3rd American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the Haw River Valley, joining Swan Creek and the Yadkin Valley.
Located in Asheville, Biltmore Estate Winery opened its doors in 1985 and welcomes over 1 million visitors annually to sample their award-winning estate wines. In addition to their portfolio of wines produced from their 94-acre estate vineyard, Biltmore also produces a variety of wines from grapes sourced outside of North Carolina.
Tonight I feature the 2008 Estate Chardonnay. Retailing for $15.99, the dry, full-bodied Chardonnay displays aromas of oak and tropical fruit on the nose. On the palate, much of the same. Buttery, oaky, and fruity were some of the words tossed around. A simple, straight-forward wine that begs for a patio, a nice cheese platter, and good friends. Cheers!
 Dosier, Susan. North Carolina Wine Fact Sheet. “http://media.visitnc.com/news/55/102/Wine-Industry-Facts/d,mediakit.html” (accessed April 19, 2010)
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