After picking Norton grapes for 3 hours, it was time to visit Francine and Joe Sloan at the winery that makes the best Norton wine in the state.  Rising Sons Home Farm Winery has been our favorite winery since we discovered it several years ago.  Francine and Joe are such gracious and accommodating hosts and a tasting here is quite the complete experience with cheeses, sangrias, jellies, and chocolate.

And I can’t say enough good things about Cataldo’s Salute.  Named for Joe’s grandfather, we first experienced this premier estate Norton right from the barrel all those years ago.  A visit to Rising Sons is not complete without taking Cataldo home with us.


It was nice to sit down and relax with good conversation and wonderful taste sensations. It doesn’t matter how many times we’ve come to visit, we always enjoy re-tasting everything they have to offer.  Larry Mac’s Wine Cheese and Wine Princess’ Norton Wine Jelly rate right up there.  The Norton Wine Jelly is so good I could eat it with a spoon and was the inspiration behind me experimenting with my own jellies.

We got to try two of the newer additions to their wine list — Rose Lady and Diamond Girl, both of which feature fun labels with “diamonds” that Francine glues on herself. Rose Lady is a Chambourcin rose and Diamond Girl is made from the Diamond grape.  We are finding that we quite like Diamond.

Diamond Girl accompanied two bottles of Cataldo home with us this visit.  Only two bottles of Cataldo this time because we knew that Bushmaster would be back following his golf outing the following month to replenish my stash.

As usual, we had a wonderful visit.  Thank you again, Francine and Joe!