Wine Talk

Snooth User: JRomeo

The Norton Grape

Posted by JRomeo, Jun 12, 2010.

Hey All:

Just read a terrific book about a little known grape, the Norton. Book is titled, "The Wild Vine" by Todd Kliman. Grown basically in Virginia and Missouri. Incredible story as this grape has experienced several periods of tremendous popularity and significant obscurity throughout US history. Give this one a read- I think you'll like it. Fast paced, informative and a totally fun read. Anyone have any experience with this wine varietal? I need to check it out myself.



Reply by dynowine, Jun 12, 2010.

JRomeo - 

I actually know Norton is available but my aversion to shipping charges and damage risks has precluded my purchase of a bottle from a top producer.   I have been unable to locate a bottle in So. Calif. (surprising).

There is a festival in St. Louis (each?) year, the Norton Wine Festival.  This link has good info (e.g. producers)

A producer with consistent good scores from layman for Norton is Stone Hill, check out their 2005 Norton if you can find it.  The niche is pretty immature so my hunch is not to expect too much, with a few exceptions.



Reply by dynowine, Jun 12, 2010.

JRomeo - there is a big write-up in Snooth from Sep 2009 on this varietal.


Reply by dynowine, Jun 12, 2010.

Just for convenience, here is the producers he recommended in 2009 

Here's a short list of wineries whose Norton wines I would highly recommend:
Stone Hill Winery
St.James Winery
Adam Puchta
Crown Valley
Sugar Creek
Blumenhof Winery

Reply by zufrieden, Jun 12, 2010.

Try to interest producers in Virginia and Missouri in the idea of creating a niche export market for such North American varieties of such venerable age.  We neither cultivate nor imbibe the fermented fruits of this grape in Canada but are definitely interested.  Perhaps one major boutique winery might take the plunge?


Reply by JRomeo, Jun 13, 2010.

Thanks for all this great info dynowine. I'll start researching it and let you know what I come up with. Been to a few wine merchants on LI and have so far come up empty. But I will certainly keep trying.

Reply by shawkes, Jun 17, 2010.

You are right. Many wineries in Virginia use the Norton Grape. I would say go to .  You can check into getting some shipped to you directly from the winery. At the website you can filter wineries by grape type. I did this and 26 wineries came up that sell that wine. I hope you get to taste one.

Reply by prfeigel, Jun 20, 2010.

I am a beginning Norton vineyard owner/operator.  I selected this variety to start my new career since it appears to be most likely to work as an organic crop.  We are now into our third year with a projected harvest of 7 to 9 tons of grapes.  Part of my inspiration was a book by Paul Roberts. . . 

From This Hill, My Hand, Cynthiana's Wine

Please feel to write with any questions.

Reply by JRomeo, Jun 20, 2010.

That is an exciting venture. When do you expect to begin bottling? Why did you chose the Norton? I do not know much about the business of running/owning a vineyard but I have to admit I have given it a passing thought or two recently. Sounds like a very rewarding career. Best of luck.

Reply by AdamJefferson, Jun 21, 2010.

I live in Norton country so I've tried a fair amount of it.  I'm not a big fan as a stand-alone varietal, but some blends put it to very good use and improving production techniques are turning out wines that are much better than those made in the earlier days of this grape's most recent renaissance a few decades ago.  Stone Hill has perhaps the most name recognition, but Adam Puchta and Hermannhoff produce an enjoyable Norton as well.  All three are terrific places to visit and easily accessible from St. Louis.  I am pleased to see that you are committed to a grape which does well in the Missouri River bluff soils and climate.             

Reply by dewman, Aug 3, 2010.

I live near the major Norton Wineries in Mo. and make the tour almost every year. This past summer I thought that Mount Pleasent in Augusta had the best Norton, but usually they are all great, just a question of which one is better. 

Reply by the grumpynortonian, Nov 22, 2010.

Romeo oh Romeo you have never tried a Norton wine from disappointing. May I suggest you try a Norton wine from Chrysalis Vine Yards  in Middleburg, Virginia. You will NOT be disappointed. OBTW we are the largest Norton grape grower in the US and I dare say the best. Give us a call....Cheers my friend  Ed

Back to Categories

Top Contributors This Month

1498622 Snooth User: Really Big Al
1498622Really Big Al
82 posts
127503 Snooth User: rckr1951
68 posts
847804 Snooth User: EMark
38 posts


View All

Snooth Media Network