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  • Delayne Martin

Mountain Brook Wine Barrel Tasting

Charles and I have stopped giving each other material gifts and started giving each other experiences. For our anniversary we decided to do 2 experiences. One is completing the WSET Level 1 class. This is a basic wine class geared toward people in the food and beverage industry and those who have a passion for wine. We have registered for the Level 1 class and we cannot wait to begin our next journey. The next experience was a barrel tasting with a winemaker. Over the summer we were treated to an impromptu barrel tasting. We enjoyed it and learned so much. In turn, we decided to meet and talk to as many winemakers as possible. Charles absolutely adores Mountain Brook Vineyard and Winery. It seemed like the perfect time to make a reservation with Dave Coventry, winemaker at Mountain Brook, for an afternoon of tasting and conversation.

We started our day enjoying lunch over a bottle of Viognier and Cabernet Sauvignon. Next, we moved to the barrel room and began our tour. Barrel tastings must be reserved in advance with most wineries. Our reservation included an incredible charcuterie board to compliment the wine varieties. Even though a golf cart ride is complementary, we decided to enjoy the beautiful day and walk to the barrel room. The barrel room also serves as an event space. Even empty, the space is amazing. I would describe the interior as rustic elegance. It is easy to imagine a special occasion being celebrated here. We moved to the smaller barrel room and began our tasting with the white wines. We sampled and discussed how each wine is progressing and what profile he, as the winemaker, is trying to create. It was fun to taste their wines and potential future blends. There is a lot of information to absorb when discussing winemaking. David’s enthusiasm regarding his upcoming wines was apparent. He is very proud of his craft.

Why does a wine aged in oak barrels have a higher price point? Oak barrels are expensive and as the barrel is used its influence on the wine decreases dramatically. After a few runs, the barrel is neutral. New barrels must be purchased. Even a slight difference in alcohol content can have a big difference in the taste of wine. Even aging wine in stainless steel imparts a totally different flavor characteristic than oak. It is a science with chemical reactions at the heart of the process. The oak barrel, type, and size can determine a wine’s flavor profile.

David began his career with a degree in biology from the University of California Santa Cruz. He also earned minors in neurology, endocrinology, and immunology. He used his creative nature as a protein scientist to create therapeutic drugs. Being a social scientist he wanted a different environment than a laboratory. He put his skills to work in the music industry as a band manager of the band, Box Set. Being on the road he was able to meet a lot of people and eventually found his calling in winemaking. His skills quickly caught the attention of vineyard owners. He spent 6 years as the chief winemaker at Talbots Vineyards. He recently found his way to Mountain Brook Vineyards and Winery.

We look forward to tasting his final creations next spring and in the years to come. To learn more about his winemaking philosophy check out

Mountain Brook is located in Tryon. Check out their website for events and hours.

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