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The second stop on our September 24th excursion was Lovers Leap.

It had been years since we had attempted a tasting there.  At that time they were under different ownership and we were turned away as they had another event and had neglected to post anything about except for the sign on the door.  We weren’t the only car turned away that day.

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We had sampled a couple of their wines earlier this year at a tasting and decided it was time to give them another try.

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Their wine list is extensive and their reserve wines are out of this world.  Even their Reserve Chardonnay was fantastic.  We had a wonderful time at the tasting and enjoyed great conversation with the wine maker.  We find tastings are always so much better when talking to the wine maker.  Not surprisingly, the Reserve Cynthiana (aka Norton) was my favorite.

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We also happened to notice the special they were having on Merlot.  We couldn’t help ourselves.  We purchased a single bottle to open there on the spot to check it out.  It was some good stuff so it didn’t take much consideration to upgrade our purchase to an entire case.  Even though we were told it was nearing the end of its shelf life, we knew we’d have no problem making use of it as we shared it with friends this fall and throughout the holidays.

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The icing on the cake for this visit was all the mature vines with grapes still on them that we noticed when we came in.  We asked about them and learned that they were Norton that Lovers Leap DID NOT PLAN ON USING!  We couldn’t help but ask it they would be willing to sell us some if we came back to pick them ourselves.  We were given the owner’s contact information and Bushmaster called first thing on Monday morning.  The answer?  Yes indeed!  Thus were the beginnings of our Great Norton Adventure.  More about that later!

On the way out, we had to pick a couple Norton grapes to taste.  Much like we did with Chambourcin, we wondered what they tasted like right off the vine.  They were truly the sweetest grapes I had ever tasted.  I now understood why the French frown on adding sugar to their wine making process.  It isn’t necessary.

There’s nothing quite like tasting the fruit right off the vine.  And if they are wine grapes, even better!

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