Setting up our stay was literally as easy as emailing them and asking if they would have room for us on July 18th. We quickly received a reply from Brant Burgiss that yes, they could take us for a night and we put Thistle Meadow on the calendar.
The roads to the winery were smaller state highways, for example NC 221, which I’m not sure I ever want to drive again in Fay. The roads themselves were fine. Well maintained, smooth but also a bit tight and loads of twisty-turny sections that meant we were going on average about 30-40 mph. But it was all very pretty country and the weather was good, so I probably will choose routes like that again even if I end up needing a stiff drink at the end of the drive.
We arrived and were told where to park, next to a pretty stream with a dog running around in it, who we were later introduced to and told that his name was Bandit.
A very friendly hound that got along well with Chip.
If you go to Thistle Meadow, you may also meed Lucy the dog. We somehow managed to come away without a single picture of her. She’s friendly but also a bit shy.
We were soon met by Brant who invited us in for a tasting and we quickly took him up on the offer.
We made our way through the following wines, served in Riedel glasses, and enjoyed most of them though there were two that were definite no’s. We also surprised ourselves and bought a dessert wine, the Horse Stomp Red as it goes really well with dark chocolate. Ordinarily we don’t go for “dessert” wines because they’re too sweet. That wasn’t the case with this one.
Here are the wines with the short notes I made. There aren’t any major revelations here but will give you an idea what I thought at the time.
Feather Bed White
- Slightly sweet, smooth
Devil’s Garden White
- Sweet, light, very smooth. Slightly floral scent.
Turkey Knob Red
- Slight anise scent and flavor. Dry. A nope for today.
North Fork Red
- Sweet and also with a slight anise scent.
Feather Bed Red
- Slightly sweet.
Horse Stomp Red
- Sweet but not overwhelming. After eating a dark chocolate Ghirardelli morsel and having another taste of the Horse Stomp, it felt like the wine was a little more effervescent on the tongue. [It was a very pleasant feeling].
We came away with Feather Bed White, Feather Bed Red, Devil’s Garden White and Horse Stomp Red as well as some local Ashe County cheddar.
After the tasting we wandered the grounds, which are gorgeous, and got caught in a rain shower while standing under this bridge.
Chip was confused why we were standing around until he’d step just out from under the bridge and get rained on. He did this a couple of times. Strange dog.
Bandit on the other hand, was running around frolicking in the lovely water falling from the sky.
The night was cool enough that we didn’t need the AC and could sleep in blissful quiet except for the lovely sound of the stream just outside our window.
As we were preparing to leave the next morning, Bandit came out to say goodbye.
We took one last turn around the grounds before setting out, though I think Chip would have preferred we stayed a few more days. There are certain things he likes about a city kind of life, but he also loves lots of room to wander and sniff about.
If you’re passing near Laurel Springs NC and have an afternoon or night to drop in, you should. Beautiful grounds, friendly people and great wine you won’t get anywhere else.
Full size pictures can be found on the Gallery.