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Experience The Smell, Taste Of Wine Without Leaving The Triangle

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MORRISVILLE — The Raleigh area is the state's wine capital ahead of Charlotte in the amount consumed. Chatham Hill Winery in Morrisville is actually two years old, and it is just now emerging from obscurity.

Marek Wojciechowski, a winemaker at the Chatham Hill Winery, knows what happens when you mix different varieties of crushed grapes with time and wood. He has his Ph.D. in chemistry.

"It gives the extra complexities and flavor to the wine," he says.

The climate in the area is ideal for growing muscadine grapes, which make sweet and fruity wines. Wojciechowski gets his grapes further west toward the mountains -- the same varieties that make French and California wines. His goal is a lofty one.

"Premium wines. Quality wines that you can compare with any wine around here or anywhere," he says.

According to judges in Cleveland at the recent International Commercial Wine competition, Chatham Hill Winery has already succeeded. The winery won the gold medal for its Cabernet Sauvignon.

"You have to prove you can make quality stuff, not just make it but also be able to sell it," he says.

The winery is located off Aviation Parkway across I-40 from RDU International on Gateway Centre Boulevard.

Tour and tasting hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. You can call for an appointment at919-380-7135.

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Rick Armstrong, Reporter
Rick Armstrong, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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