We recently visited Dover Vineyards in Concord for the first time. The property is a nice deviation from the commercial development that surrounds it. The property includes the vineyard, tasting room and open air produce market. The tasting room is rustic and cozy with several seating areas to enjoy a glass of wine. There are heated sitting areas closer to the vines for larger groups. We picked up lunch from Garofola’s Italiano restaurant as suggested by the owner, Elizabeth. You are also welcome to bring a picnic if you prefer. We spent a few minutes browsing the items in the produce stand. Dover is not only a vineyard, but a vegetable farm as well. They offer seasonal vegetables and carry canned goods from nut butters to pasta sauces. All the items for sale are sourced from other Cabarrus County farms. We brought home loca chocolate peanut butter, pasta sauce and fresh baked bread.
We settled at a table and began our classic 7 wine tasting over lunch. Our host, Pixie, was gracious and explained the wines and some background of the farm.
Our tastings consited of the following wines
- 2019 Villard Blanc. It is their 3rd vintage and aged in stainless steel and was has a light tartness.
-2018 Villard Blanc was aged in American oak barrels. It was a fuller bodied wine than the 2019.
-2019 Villard Blanc. Their semi-sweet Rose is a blend of Pinot Grigio, Villard Blanc and Chambourcin.
-The dry Rose is 2% Chambourcin, which gave it a beautiful color. It is an easy drinking wine that was less tart than the
-Their semi-sweet Rose is a blend of Pinot Grigio, Villard Blanc and Chambourcin.
- 2019 Chambourcin has hints of blackberry with a slight spice on the finish.
-Cyril’s Blend, a traditional Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. It is named after a squirrel in the vineyard. This wine is aged in American and French oak for 8 months. We found this wine paired well with our meal.
-2015 Cabernet Franc. It is the most full bodied wine they offer with smoke and leather on the palate.
Elizabeth aims to be as natural in her wine growing and making as possible. She planted her first vines in April of 2009 and then followed with produce in September. The farm was originally a dairy farm owned by her great grandmother, but hadn’t been in operation since the 1970s. Elizabeth decided to began farming after finishing college. Her successful vineyard didn’t come without setbacks. Their first attempt at growing Vidal Blanc was wiped out by disease. As of right now she plants Villard Blanc and Chambourcin on the property. Other grapes she sources from Mocksville. She utilizes Childress Vineyards for her custom crush. I find it interesting her thought process of the winemaker’s desired outcomes for their wines. Elizabeth shared with us that she does have a plan. That plan is based on current inventory and market tastes. As we know the wine industry is constantly evolving. Their wine labels include eithe the state bird, mammal, tree or flower.
Perhaps the best part of the afternoon was meeting MA Dover. She is Elizabeth’s mother and was full of stories of the farm when it was a dairy farm. We could have stayed all day and talked with her. If you stop by Dover Vineyards ask if MA is there. She is a delight. Check out their website for their hours and events. I can't wait to return in the spring to sample their fresh produce.