Eagles’ Nest soars again

Fred McCormick

Another year brings another double blue ribbon to local winemaker Tom Mincarelli at the Asheville Wine & Food Festival.

The owner of Eagles’ Nest Sustainable Micro Home Winery & Vineyard submitted five wines for the noncommercial class of the annual contest. Every entry received a ribbon.

Mincarelli’s Syrah/Petite Syrah blend, made with grapes grown in 2013, won the double blue ribbon award for the second consecutive year. His Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot earned a blue ribbon. Red ribbons were given to the Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi Merlot and Lodi Grenache that he produced.

The uniqueness of the Syrah/Petite Syrah drives its success, Mincarelli said.

“It’s unlike the other wines. There is really no cherry or berry in there,” he said of the blend. “The fruit is more earthy, smoky, mushroom-y, black plum.”

Another quality that is unique to that particular wine is its thick, ink-like quality. “It will stain the glass,” Mincarelli said.

The ribbons from the Asheville Wine & Food Festival represent a winning streak for Mincarelli.

All three of his entries in April’s WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition in Burlington, Vermont earned silver medals.

He has also entered four wines in an upcoming competition in Raleigh.

The achievements of Eagles’ Nest have allowed the fully self-sustained vineyard and winery to serve as a collective for local wine enthusiasts, according to Mincarelli.

“I’m developing the Broad River Vignerons in order to get people interested in Black Mountain and the Broad River area,” he said. “People contact me through my website, and I have friends in the area that I share my wines with. As people trying my wines continue to show interest, Broad River Vignerons will become more developed.”

A vignerons is someone who grows grapes for making wine.

Mincarelli also has plans to offer overnight stays at Eagles’ Nest that will give visitors insight into the operations of the “off-the-grid” winery and vineyard.

“I’m working on putting together a package that allows people that are interested to learn about vignerons,” he said. “They will also get to see how winemaking and keeping a vineyard can be done using solar power. Guests can also see how everything functions in the house as well.”

The overnight packages will offer another opportunity for guests as well, according to Mincarelli.

“They will learn how to make world-class wine,” he said.