Winery/Producer: Malcolm Hutton; Hutton Vineyards.
Appellation: Yadkin Valley, North Carolina
176 Hutton Vineyards Lane
Dobson, North Carolina
Tel. 336 374-2621
Grape Variety Tasted: Chardonnay, White blend, Merlot, Barbera, Sangiovese, Estate Cabernet Franc and Reserve Cabernet Franc.
Tasting Price: $8.00
Comments: We learned about the Hutton Vineyards in a very convoluted way. A friend who is a recruiter was telling us he had a job candidate who’s sisters husband owned the Hutton Vineyards in Dobson, North Carolina. So when we were at the Shelton Vineyards having lunch and the Hutton Vineyard was only a few miles away, we just couldn’t resist a visit and a wine tasting…and we were all very pleasantly surprised at what we found. Located in the picturesque rolling hills of the Yadkin Valley, the 45-acre Hutton Vineyards is very unpretentious and nestled in a broad valley where it’s practically grape vines planted as far as you can see in all directions. The facility includes a tasting room, numerous machinery buildings and a large winery building all of which make up a self-sufficient vine to bottle vineyard enterprise.
Our tasting host was Malcolm Hutton the vineyard owner, manager, wine maker and genuine raconteur. We really enjoyed talking with Malcolm about his experience of starting a vineyard from scratch and hearing how it grew into a viable operation in just 16 years. Malcolm was born in Liverpool, England, was educated as an engineer and spend most of his life building power plants around the world, but like many people he always had the dream of having a vineyard.
We had two whites and five red wines all of which were on par with or a cut above traditional North Carolina wines we have had in the past. It was most impressive that none of them had the sweetness that’s characteristic of most North Carolina wines. In the end we all liked the Cabernet Franc best and it was a tossup between the estate and reserve, although they were very different wines. Both had strong Cab Franc green pepper aroma and taste, but the reserve was silky smooth and the estate had some grip to the tannins and was VERY WELL balanced. See our review of the Estate Cabernet Franc we purchased during our visit to Hutton Vineyards.
Recommendation from the tasting: If your in the Dobson, North Carolina area we recommend having lunch at the Shelton Vineyards Harvest Grill, but after lunch a visit to the Hutton Vineyards is a MUST DO tasting. Hutton is a working vineyard where you can really get the full experience of all aspects of a vineyard operation. In addition, talking with Malcolm Hutton and tasting his wines is a VERY UNIQUE experience in this hustle-bustle world of mass produced wine. Malcolm’s vineyard is not “slick” or gimmicky and there will not be bus loads of people crowded into the tasting room, but if you want a “real” wine tasting hosted by the person who created the wine this is the place to visit.