Celebrate the new year with the fair’s top sparkling N.C. wines

With New Year’s Eve fast approaching, we thought we’d take a look at the sparkling wine category at this year’s year’s State Fair Wine Competition. After all, if you’re planning to ring in the new year with a little bubbly, it should be with a gold-medal-winning North Carolina wine, right?

This year, the top spot went to Biltmore Estate for their Château Reserve Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Brut. The judges said the wine had a “light floral aroma, light fruity taste that’s slightly sweet, [with a] pleasant aftertaste.” Another judge called it “well balanced,” with “bright, fresh flavors.”

But while that was the category top winner, the Biltmore Pas de Deux Sparkling Moscato, and Raffaldini VineyardsLa Dolce Vita also received gold medals. Of the Pas de Deux, a judge noted that it is a “nice, light sparkling muscat.” And another judge noted that the La Dolce Vita was “very nice, very good balance of sweetness and acidity. Clean and bright.”

Biltmore has taken the top spot in the sparkling category four out of the last five years with different varieties of the Blanc de Blancs. According to Wine Enthusiast, Blanc de Blancs are the name for Champagne made entirely from Chardonnay grapes. Of course, the term “Champagne” is reserved for sparkling wines made in the Champagne region of France. Blanc De Blanc literally translates as white of white (white wine from white grapes).

Top sparkling wines in the N.C. State Fair Wine Competition:

  • 2014: Biltmore Estate Wine Co., Asheville, Château Reserve Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Brut
  • 2013: Biltmore Estate,  Château Reserve Blanc de Blanc
  • 2012: Biltmore Estate, Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Brut
  • 2011: Shelton Vineyards, Dobson, Blanc de Blanc
  • 2010: Biltmore Winery, Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs

As always, if you’re going to drink, please drink responsibly. We wish all of our fans a safe and happy new year!

About Firecracker

Firecracker (aka Jen Kendrick) Appears as a guest blogger with a special 22-year history with the State Fair. She now works with the N.C. Pork Council, but she still lends a hand in the press office when she can. Thanks, Firecracker!

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