Souther Williams Vineyard was established in 2015. We are proud that our heritage and our very soul are entwined with the mountains that surround our beautiful valley here in Hoopers Creek, NC. The farm is a long family tradition since 1800 when we received a large land grant during the period when this part of the country was being settled. The farm has a long evolving history and we are proud and humbled to be the caretakers of this land for a time and to bring you our stunning vineyard and event venue.
The current property is 35 acres of which 8 acres are currently under vine with another 5 acres planned for future development. The vineyard consists of approximately 6000 plants with over 1250 posts and 200,000 feet of trellis wire.
Our current varietals which originate from Austria, Eastern Europe, Germany, and Russia are primarily cooler climate varietals growing at higher altitudes with shorter growing seasons. They include three whites Gruner Veltliner, Reisling and Vidal Blanc along with five reds Cynthiana, Blaufrankish (Lemberger), Regent, Saperavi, and Cabernet Franc with approximately 1 acre planted of each varietal. We expect to release our 100% estate grown wines to the public in 2020 and at full production, we expect to produce 1500 -2000 cases per year from our boutique winery.
Gruner Vetliner is the most planted grape variety in Austria and is widely grown in eastern Europe and we are pleased to be able to feature this grape in our mountain vineyard. The leaves of the grape vine are five-lobed with bunches that are long but compact, and deep green grapes that ripen in mid-late October. Wines are typically finished dry and are peppery or spicy with a beautiful crisp taste. Grüner Veltliner has a reputation of being a particularly food friendly wine.
Riesling is one of the most hardy vinifera varieties best suited for cooler climates. It is a white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region of Germany. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. Riesling is a variety which is highly “terroir-expressive” exhibiting key characteristics including 1) they are rarely blended with other varieties and 2) usually never exposed to oak aging.
Vidal Blanc is a productive white wine grape with medium-sized berries borne on very large, compact tapering clusters. It is a white hybrid grape variety that is very winter-hardy and produces high sugar levels in cooler climates with moderate to high acidity. The wine produced from Vidal blanc tends to be very fruity, with aroma notes of grapefruit and pineapple.
Cynthiana also known as Norton is a V. labruscana hybrid with a long history in eastern US wine production, particularly in Missouri and Virginia. Norton produces small to medium clusters of firm, round, black berries that ripen very late and require a warm growing season. When fully ripe, Norton can produce a rich, full-bodied red wine with outstanding aging potential.
Blaufränkisch also known as Lemberger is a central European variety used to produce low acid, varietal wines. The plant produces grape clusters that are large, conical and V-shaped; moderately compact; with round blueish-black grapes. Blaufränkisch can yield wines with dense structure and prominent tannins. The typical palate of this late ripening variety is characterized by deep wood berry or cherry tones with good aging potential.
Regent is a relatively new German hybrid cool-weather red wine-grape. Regent provides medium-sized grapes and clusters. It is a heavy bearer, and has an upright growing habit that is similar to vinifera. Regent wines are color intensive red wines with moderate acidity and heavier tannins showing aromas of cherries or blackcurrants.
Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone. Cabernet Franc tends to be more lightly pigmented and produces wines with the same level of intensity and richness as Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Franc tends to have a more pronounced perfume with notes of tobacco, raspberries, blackcurrants, violets and graphite. It has slightly less tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon and tends to produce a wine with a smoother mouthfeel.
Saperavi is of Russian heritage originating from Georgia. Saperavi is a cold hardy, acidic grape variety with leaves that are 3-lobed, large, and roundish. It is known for its ability to grow at high altitudes. The berries are medium to large, elliptic or round depending on the type, dark bluish, and thin-skinned with and moderate productivity. Saperavi grapes produce very deep red wines that are suitable for extended aging. It has the potential to produce high alcohol levels.