Last week, on our way to French Lick, we stopped for a visit and tasting at Smith-Berry Vineyard and Winery, in New Castle. The winery is offering tastings of new vintages and a new wine. We tried the dry reds and one is as good as the next one. The new vintage of Burley, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Norton, and Munson, is one of the best vintages. Of course, I say that with every new vintage. The newly released vintage of Brother John, the blend of Syrah, Merlot, and Petite Syrah is also excellent. Both Burley and Brother John were winners of Silver Medals in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. We were also pleased to find a new vintage of Norton, aged for three years in American Oak. The winery has been out of Norton for a while so this was great. As always, this wine is our favorite and this vintage is one of the best we’ve tried. Chuck Smith, the owner and winemaker also had a new wine offering. He was able to get the grapes from Lake County, California, for a Sangiovese. Chuck’s has just a bit of Zinfandel blended to give it a fresh, spicy, and mellow taste.
This winery is one of Kentucky’s finest and a visit there is always enjoyable. What’s not to like, the wine is excellent, the winery is beautiful, the tasting room is inviting, and the people there are friendly and helpful. You will want to find a reason to stop there and relax for a lovely afternoon.