Press release from Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards:
Henderson County’s first commercial winery, Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards, recently won two of three Best of Show awards presented at the 2017 N.C. State Fair Wine Competition.
The family-owned winery won the Best of Show award in the bunch grape category for its Laurel Hill semi-dry Vidal Blanc blend and the Best of Show award in the fruit/honey category for its Chestnut Gap Cottage dry blackberry wine.
The Old North State Winery in Mt. Airy won the Best of Show award in the muscadine category.
In addition to the Best of Show medals, St Paul wines won 12 other medals — one double gold, six silver and five bronze — in the N.C. State Fair Wine Competition.
“We are very excited to receive two of the highest recognitions given in North Carolina for wine,” Alan Ward, the owner and operator of Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards, said. “We are fortunate at Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards to be able to grow grapes in such a unique growing region. The Appalachian mountains are the second oldest in the world with more geological and plant diversity than any other location in the world. That makes them a perfect place to grow vinifera. We are honored to receive these awards and thank our winemaker Stephen Rigby, who deserves recognition as well.”
The state fair competition was held Aug. 18-19 at the N.C. Viticulture and Enology Center at Surry County Community College. Only wines made from a minimum of 75 percent N.C. grown fruit or honey were allowed to enter the competition and the top awards were verified by the N.C. Wine and Grape Council before being made public.
Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards, located at 588 Chestnut Gap Road off of U.S. 64 East, recently celebrated its fifth anniversary.
The winery is located on acreage that has been in Ward’s family and farmed for more than nine generations. The Saint Paul tasting room includes both indoor and outdoor seating with views of the vineyards.
Saint Paul wines are made from 14 varieties of grapes grown in two locations at elevations of 2,300 and 3,000 feet, the highest in Henderson County and some of the highest in the state.
Ward recently opened a tasting room for Appalachian Ridge Artisan Ciders across the street from Saint Paul’s tasting room.
Full results from the competition can be found at www.ncwine.org.