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Dobbins Creek Vineyards
by
Kathy Sullivan

Dobbins Creek VineyardsSummary: A visit to Dobbins Creek Vineyards provides travelers the opportunity to enjoy country scenery from an elevation of 1,380 feet with views of vineyards and distant mountains. The owner, Charles King, prefers producing European-style wines. The cottage style of the tasting room is attractive and the porch adds a welcoming feeling of "come and visit."

Dobbins Creek VineyardsDobbins Creek Vineyards offers a most wonderful cottage feel with good wines. Visitors are encouraged to visit and stay awhile. The building has been crafted using specially cut logs. These logs form the outside and inside of the tasting room. Standing at an outside corner of the building, one can see the quadrilateral shape of the logs. Charles made the tasting counter from a 100 year-old cherry tree that he remembered from his childhood. The tasting room floor is of hickory. The large fireplace is constructed with Mojave stone. Some seating is available including a vintage leather sofa. Visitors should consider bringing a picnic lunch to enjoy on the property. People will find that Charles is very enthusiastic about wine.

 

Dobbins Creek VineyardsVineyards

The vineyards have a unique aspect with the soils that are rocky. The property for the winery tasting room and vineyard is on land that was owned by Charles’ father who purchased it in 1946. At one point the property had been a tobacco farm. The spark for the vineyard goes back to 1999 when the owners, Charles and Sue King, visited his mother and they read an article in the Winston Salem Journal about the Sheltons. Charles gives his wife Sue credit for suggesting that he plant grapes.

Charles planted grapes in 2002, 2003 and 2004. The vineyards were named for the spring on the property that is the beginning of Dobbins Creek.

Today Dobbins Creek Vineyards has five acres of grapes growing at 1,380 feet where the temperatures tend to be more moderate. Varieties include Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. In the beginning Charles had also planted Viognier and Syrah but eventually pulled these out. The wines are estate grown and all grapes from the five acres are hand harvested. The first full harvest was in 2006.

According to Charles the ground is primarily solid rock. The soil is very rocky and contains mica. The vineyards are on a slope with rows 10 feet apart. Charles does not Irrigate the vineyard. He commented, “Grapes are all about where they live.” He drops fruit but still harvests six tons per acre of quality fruit.

Dobbins Creek VineyardsWines

Charles enjoys European wines and this style is the focus of his wines. He produces 1,000 cases.

Riesling with .5 residual sugar was a light brilliant yellow. The aroma offered mineral notes, while the taste was dry with fruit. Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2011 was a light gold color. The wine offered notes of apples and pears. The finish was crisp and fruity.

Dobbins Creek VineyardsCharles likes to do a vertical tasting with his Merlot wines. Merlot 2009 was a dry wine with a light ruby color. The wine had red cherry notes with an earthiness especially mushrooms. The finish was fruity with mild tannins. Merlot 2008 was red with dark fruit notes. The fruity finish had mild tannins. Merlot 2007 was a ruby color. The aroma and taste had dark fruit especially cherry notes. The finish had tannins and was fruity.

Cabernet Sauvignon Blackberry was made with blackberry flavors and had two percent residual sugar. The wine had blackberry notes throughout and the finish was “licking lips” good.

Today Charles proudly acknowledges that his father would be very happy with the vineyard on what was once his father’s farm property.

Dobbins Creek Vineyards
4430 Vineyard View Lane 

Hamptonville, North Carolina 27020

GPS: N36º 09.997’ W80º 49.460’

Article written in December 2012


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