A hidden gem perched high in the western North Carolina mountains with stunning mountain views in nearly every direction, Point Lookout Vineyards is a must visit vineyard producing incredible award-winning wines.
Located less than 10 miles from Hendersonville, the vineyard is nestled “atop the southeast slope of Point Lookout Mountain with 30-mile panoramic views.” Climbing the mountain to Point Lookout Vineyards, we were in awe of the scenery that surrounded us. It was one of those moments that you have to stop, take a long pause, and just appreciate all of nature. Personally, it will take many visits before I feel like I’ve absorbed all of the scenic views. It’s simply breathtaking.
Owners Mike and Sabrina Jackson chose the perfect location to begin planting vines in 2008. Their current grapes include Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. The vines are tucked strategically at an elevation of 2,900 feet to up to 3,000 feet, hugged by the warmth of morning sun and the cool mountain breezes.
Instead of experimenting with a wide range of varietals or growing grapes that would yield the same results as other local vineyards, Mike focuses on the grapes that provide a uniqueness to Point Lookout’s wines. He’s definitely found his niche and has submitted many wines in competitions, receiving great notoriety. The most recent award was at the 2018 North Carolina Fine Wines Competition in which their 2016 Off-Dry Riesling won Best White Vinifera.
Just a few of their amazing wines:
- Off-Dry Riesling — fresh, ripe fruit aromatics; peach and tropical notes on the palate with a clean finish
- Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay — not heavily oaked, nice complexity, smooth, and creamy vanilla bean on the finish
- Rosé (Lemberger, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot) — a beautiful strawberry character with sweet, light raspberry; balanced acidity leading to a bright finish
- Cabernet Sauvignon — great color, dark fruit, tannins with chocolate and vanilla fill the palate, nice herbs, incredibly smooth and approachable
- Petit Verdot — beautiful dark color with notes of ripe plum, prominent tannins, great balance
- Javine — infusing the red blend, “Cliffield,” with coffee, coffee and chocolate dance on the palate
The Javine wine plays on Mike’s coffee shop history with his more than 23 years of experience in the coffee industry. He’s the owner of Jackson’s Java in Charlotte, NC and Indian Land, SC. “The shop in uptown has had fantastic reviews and can be seen with a line out the door most mornings,” emphasized Suzanne Fountain, Charlotte local. Jackson’s Java in Indian Land is not only special because they roast their own beans locally, but this location will also have a wine tasting bar where they will also sell their own wines and meads. Finding hand-crafted coffee and wine at the same location is an incredible added bonus. You can expect to see a full coffee and espresso bar at Point Lookout with their own roasted coffee as well!
A little bit of family history: Mike’s father and brothers owned their own apple orchard. When walking down Point Lookout’s stone walkway towards the gorgeous cedar cross, the mountain in the distance with a steep slope (Cliffield) is actually where the family orchard was located. It’s such a sweet nod to the family’s history.
Mike also created World’s Edge Meadery and offers tastings at the vineyard. Pick up a bottle of their World’s Edge meads and look at the picture on the label. Each label tells a story. The Cyser—a beautiful, crisp apple mead—has a man on a cliff and three men off to the side in the clouds. This pays homage to Mike’s father and brothers. The Beguile—a refreshing raspberry mead—has the same figure on a cliff but is accompanied by a stork carrying a baby. Do you know the connection between raspberries and babies?
World’s Edge meads include:
- “Calm” Chamomile — similar to tea with perfumed aromatics, very light, smooth and just as the name suggests, calming
- “Beguile” Raspberry — nice acidity with bright clean fruit, beautiful balance between the sweetness and the tart
- “Masala” Chai Tea — a complex mead with great aromatics with hints of clove and ginger. This mead is made with the chai tea from Mike’s coffee shops.
There are two problems with Point Lookout. The first is you’ll have great difficulty deciding how many and which wines you’ll want to take home with you. It’s a wonderful problem to have. Bring a picnic and enjoy the views as you attempt to make a decision. Mike wanted to make really good wines that anyone could enjoy with nuances that everyone could appreciate. We agree that he’s been very successful in that endeavor.
The second problem is that you won’t want to leave. Even our six-year-old son was blown away with the space and views and decided that we needed to move to the mountains. Our three youngest children enjoyed running around, playing tag and hide-n-seek, and lounging in the lookout area. Our oldest, with his book in hand, tested out a wide range of seating and thoroughly enjoyed his outdoor reading time with cool mountain breezes.
With all of the amenities already on site, Point Lookout isn’t stopping. The space already includes a tasting room/pavilion with a stone fireplace, a bridal and wedding party suite, a wedding ceremony site, and a full-service kitchen. An alternative tasting room with a grill and lower level cellar is coming soon.
Make sure to stop by for a visit, a glass, and a great photo op. Please share your experience with us. Mark your calendars for their Grand Opening Day—July 14, 2018!
Until our next glass…
Go Local. Drink Carolinas. 🍷
We visited Point Lookout Vineyards on our own and were not asked to write a review about our experience. The opinions we express in this post are entirely our own.