Matt Kemberling

Acquiesce Winery – Two Wines for Thought

Acquiesce Winery – Two Wines for Thought

We do not often post about wines from outside of North Carolina, but occasionally we do make an exception. We were contacted by Sue Tipton, the owner and winemaker of Acquiesce Winery in Lodi, California. She asked us if we would like to sample two of her favorite wines accompanied by two exceptional food pairings. We figured it has been a while since our last visit, so why not take up the offer. The wines in this package were the 2018 Bourboulenc and the 2018 Clairette Blanche. Read on for more about Acquiesce Winery and our thoughts on the wine and food pairings.  

Acquiesce

We first heard of Acquiesce Winery when we attended the 2016 Wine Bloggers Conference (now called the Wine Media Conference). At the conference, people highly recommended we make it a point to stop at Acquiesce Winery before we left Lodi. On the last day of the conference, we packed up our things, typed Acquiesce Winery in Google Maps and drove out for our visit. We were so happy we did.  

Acquiesce Winery is unique among Lodi wineries. When you think of Lodi, you typically think of Zinfandel or other reds. However, Sue Tipton draws her inspiration from elsewhere. She initially fell in love with the white wines of French Rhone, and her wine offerings reflect just that. Instead of Zins and Cabs, you will find Grenache Blanc, Picpoul Blanc, Clairette Blanche, Bourboulenc, Roussanne, Viognier, and a rose made from Grenache (the lone red grape grown just for rose). 

When we visited Acquiesce Winery for the first time, we were hooked. We are huge fans of Rhone style wines and Sue does an excellent job of bringing a taste of the Rhone to Lodi. The wines that Sue sent are two varietals that are very uncommon to most wine drinkers. The Bourboulenc and the Clairette Blanche are most found in the Southern Rhone however the combined acreage is right around 10,000 acres.  


2018 Bourboulenc

Bourboulenc Vines at Acquiesce Winery

Acquiesce is the first winery in the US to release a single varietal wine. The aromas were perfumed and fragrant highlighting apricots and delicate white flowers. Flavors were lively with candied apricots up front. The mid-palate moved to a rich mineral complexity with tangerine peel and citrus oils coming through. It finished on a long drawn out note. Sue recommended we pair this wine with the tuna pate. When we did, the bright citrus of the wine cut through the richness of the pate. Paired together, the pate elongated the palate and accentuated the flavors even more. Overall an excellent pairing.  


2018 Clairette Blanche 

Clairette Blanche Vines at Acquiesce Winery

Another rarity in the wine world, this single varietal wine is like the Bourboulenc yet uniquely different. The nose was still perfumed but it was not as floral. Grapefruit and lemongrass came through with hints of white peach. The flavors were much leaner, relying on bigger mineral presence with good acidity. White peaches did come through in the flavors with a refreshing finish that was slightly herbal. Sue recommended we pair this wine with the Spanish anchovy olives. The meaty olives were a great foil to the bright wine. The little salty bites accented the fruits in the wine and left you wanting another sip.  


Whenever we are in the region, we will always put Acquiesce Winery on our schedule. The wines are fantastic, and Sue is great at telling her story and creating a wonderful experience. Cheers! 

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
A Haw River Hot Spot

A Haw River Hot Spot

In this episode, we interview Max Lloyd of Grove Winery in Gibsonville, NC. Max originally started a vineyard up in Virginia back in 1995. His family has been growing gapes and making wine for generations, so he was more than happy to carry on the tradition.

Max wanted to expand his vineyards, but there were several factors in selecting his site. Eventually he landed on the primary vineyard site at Grove Winery and planted his first grapes in 2002.

This location is nicely situated in the Haw River AVA, tucked along side a bend in the Haw River. Situated a bit further east than most of the other vineyard locations, the Haw River sees a longer growing season and allows for different conditions that other AVAs in the state.

Grove Winery offers something for everyone with a range of wines to suit all palates. Max feels that his vineyard sites showcase east coast wines. His Malbec and Nebbiolo are two wines that stand out, but the others also highlight the best of the Haw River.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back! This time Jesse and Jessica explore the depths of white wine and tells us why we should or shouldn’t oak our wines. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review. It really helps spread the word. Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk.

Did you know we have a Patreon page that offers Patron Only content, early access to episode, blooper reels, and more? Head to patreon.com/CorkTalk to learn more and sign up!

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Giving Back to the Community

Giving Back to the Community

In this episode, we’re featuring Shelton Vineyards! Mandy Houser, Chip Shelton, and Ethan Brown join us in our second virtual recording episode.

Mandy and Chip take us back to the early beginnings of Shelton Vineyards, all the way back to 1999. Brothers Charlie and Ed Shelton came up with the idea of getting back to their roots in Dobson, NC. After talking with consultants, the brothers were sure that they could successfully plant a vineyard and make some quality wines.

Shelton Vineyards has certainly made an impact on the wine industry in the state. They were the driving force behind starting the Yadkin Valley AVA, the first in North Carolina as well as the Viticulture and Enology program at Surry Community College.

With 10 grape varietals planted and over 20 wines, Shelton Vineyards has something for every taste. Even though they’ve grown over the years, they are still family run and everyone who works there is treated as part of the family.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This time Jesse and Jessica dive in to the ever popular Rose wines. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review. It really helps spread the word. Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk.

Did you know we have a Patreon page that offers Patron Only content, early access to episode, blooper reels, and more? Head to patreon.com/CorkTalk to learn more and sign up!

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Give it a Try: Dover Vineyards

Give it a Try: Dover Vineyards

This episode features Elizabeth Anne Dover of Dover Vineyards! We took a slightly different approach to recording this episode as we’re still observing social distancing. Elizabeth Anne talks to us about her 7 acres of grapes and 6 acres of produce.

Since starting her endeavor in 2009, she has put the passion of farming and producing outstanding wine at the forefront of what she does. As a modern millennial, she enjoys taking something and creating something completely different. That interest is what fuels her creativity in the winery and keep her moving forward.

Over the years, she’s learned to chill out real fast. There’s no way to control every aspect of farming, so she works hard to control what she can and roll with everything else that out of her control.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back again. Jesse and Jessica talk about the nuances of making red wine and tell us their go-to red wine. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review. It really helps spread the word. Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk.

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Learning from Nature: Carolina Heritage Vineyard & Winery

Learning from Nature: Carolina Heritage Vineyard & Winery

This episode features Pat and Clyde Colwell of Carolina Heritage Vineyard & Winery! Pat and Clyde both ended up in North Carolina for work. When they met they soon started looking for land for a vineyard. Clyde had a lifelong desire to have his own vineyard and Pat was all in as long as they could farm it organically and sustainably.

Organic and sustainable have been two driving forces behind everything Carolina Heritage stands for. Pat has taken to thinking like nature in order to come up with solutions to common vineyard issues.

With 12 acres of grapes, organic farming would seem to be a daunting task. But being a student of nature, Pat decided early on to plant native and hybrid grapes that would be better suited for our climate.

Starting the vineyard and winery was an exercise intended to help them grow as individuals and become a part of nature. Being lifelong learners, they have adapted well and adjusted to what nature throws at them.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back again. This time, Jesse and Jessica talk about the many different American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) of North Carolina. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review. It really helps spread the word. Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk.

Did you know we have a Patreon page that offers Patron Only content, early access to episode, blooper reels, and more? Head to patreon.com/CorkTalk to learn more and sign up!

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Following in the Footsteps of the Rhone

Following in the Footsteps of the Rhone

This episode features Michael Zimmerman of Junius Lindsay Vineyards!  We talk with Michael about why he’s growing grapes and how he first conceived of the idea.  As he tells it, he has a love for old world wines which came from his time in the Foreign Service.  He was fortunate enough to make several visits to France and tour around the wine regions of the country. His heart landed in the Rhone region and he still looks to them for inspiration.

After his time in the Foreign Service, he came back to his family farmland.  With a little influence from other vineyards in the area, he decided to bring life back to the farm and plant grapes.  He’s expanded his vineyard since the original 2 acres of Viognier, but he is still firmly rooted in Rhone traditions and only grows those varietals.

Michael recognizes there are two people in the winemaking business, the winemaker and the wine grower.  Michael focuses on growing the best possible fruit so that the wines reflect the vineyard.  In the best years the wines really shine and make it all worth while.  After all, Michael is following in the footsteps of great Rhone winemakers which is a great sense of pride.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back.  Jesse and Jessica tell us about how we can get the most out of our tastings with a simple 5-step method.  For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths.  The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris.  You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh

If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review.  It really helps spread the word.  Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk.   

Did you know we have a Patreon page that offers Patron Only content, early access to episode, blooper reels, and more? Head to patreon.com/CorkTalk to learn more and sign up! 

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Wine & Cider: Family Style

Wine & Cider: Family Style

This episode features Sean and Patricia McRitchie of McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks! This family business has deep roots in the wine industry on the west coast. After settling in North Carolina, Sean and Patricia decided to continue their tradition and immediately became an integral part of the North Carolina wine industry.

Sean and Patricia talk about how they integrate family into everything they do. From having their children name certain blends to training their son Asher to be a future winemaker, family is in everything they do.

Plan a visit to taste through their still and sparkling wines as well as their “First in Cider” cider blends made from heirloom apple varietals.

This episode also features our first “Wine Class with the Wine Mouths” segment. Join us as we chat with Jesse and Jessica to talk through an intro to common winemaking terms.

If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review. It really helps spread the word. Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk.

We also have a Patreon page that offers Patron Only content, early access to episode, blooper reels, and more! Head to patreon.com/CorkTalk to learn more and sign up.

For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
A Special Place Where Dreams Come True

A Special Place Where Dreams Come True

This episode features the team from Elkin Creek Vineyard in Elkin, North Carolina!  We met up with Louis and Carrie Jeroslow and Jennifer and Nick White one evening.  In our discussion we listened as the two couples told us how they first discovered Elkin Creek Vineyard.  

It started at Jennifer and Nick’s wedding and a dream was soon formed.  It wasn’t long after that the stars aligned and that dream became reality.  The two couples left their day jobs in Las Vegas to pursue a shared dream.  Together they’ve shaped the vineyard into a retreat that is secluded but not isolated, a place where you can spend time reconnecting with what really matters.  

We hope you enjoy this episode.  If you like what you hear, please leave us a rating or review and share with a friend.  If you’re looking for other ways to contribute, you should check out our Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/corktalk  

In our next season we’ll be adding exclusive content to Patreon with several levels of perks.  Please take a look and if you can help support our mission we greatly appreciate your contributions.  

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Mead Making Starrs

Mead Making Starrs

This episode features Ben and Becky Starr of Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, NC! Ben and Becky caught the mead making bug after falling in love with it at a Renaissance faire. For the past 8 years, Ben and Becky have been building up their business and refining their mead making skills.

They like meads with big bold flavors and surprising flavor combinations. Visit the brand new Mead Hall and you’ll find the expected off-dry traditional and semi-sweet to flavors more exotic like a Kickin’ Cranberry Orange (perfect for the holiday table and Ben’s favorite) and other fruit and herb infused meads.

If you liked this episode, please leave us a rating and review.  If you really liked this episode, please share it with a friend.  You can find all episodes of Cork Talk on our show page: NC Wine Guys Present: Cork Talk! 

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Meads, Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Wright Wine Sanctuary

Wright Wine Sanctuary

In this episode we sit down with John Wright of Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg, NC.  Growing grapes on the coast may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Currituck and the Outer Banks, but Sanctuary Vineyards is proving that you can grow European style grapes and make some top quality wine.

John talks about how this really is a labor of love.  He is constantly pouring time and energy back into the vines.  He treats each vine with careful attention and it clearly shows in the final product.  John really enjoys experimenting and is enjoys listening to the environment to learn what really grows well and produces the best wine possible.  

We hope you enjoy this episode.  If you like what you’re hearing, be sure to leave us a rating and review!  

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
All You Mead is Love

All You Mead is Love

In this episode, we sit down with Diane Currier of Honeygirl Meadery in Durham, NC!  Diane was turned on to mead making in her early days as a home brewer.  She talks about her surreal experience of walking through a fireweed meadow and then hours later tasting a mead made from that specific type of honey. 

Listen to her tell her story about how she got started, where she finds inspiration, and how she continually makes a connection back to the ever essential honey bee.   Enjoy!  

If you liked this episode, please leave us a rating or a review.  Every bit helps spread the podcast to new listeners. 

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Meads, Podcast, 0 comments
NC Wine Goes Urban

NC Wine Goes Urban

This conversation takes us to plēb Urban Winery in Asheville, NC to celebrate their 1st anniversary party!  Learn about what it means to truly be an urban winery and make wine more accessible to the masses.  From featuring grapes that grow well, to being more sustainable, plēb is certainly breaking into the Asheville scene and embracing #NCWine.  

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
From the Board Room & Classroom to the Farm

From the Board Room & Classroom to the Farm

This episode features Chuck and Jamey Johnson of Shadow Springs Vineyard and Windsor Run Cellars.  We discuss how the they traded in the 8 to 5 corporate job for something they’re more passionate about.  Having two wineries that are just over a half mile apart provides many conveniences but also several challenges.  They view the wineries as being alter egos of each other.  Windsor Run Cellars is a bit more adventurous and likes to experiment with fun flavors and innovative beverages.  Shadow Springs Vineyard walks on the more serious side but they still know how to have fun as well.

One thing that comes across in this conversation is how passionate Chuck and Jamey are about the wine industry here in North Carolina.  When they were first getting started, the industry helped them to get their winery up and running.  Now that they’ve been in the business for almost 15 years, they’re looking for ways to “give back” to the industry to help others along the same path.  In many ways they’re still pioneers in the industry, but they’ve definitely left their mark and are looking for ways to contribute more.

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Wine, Sangria, and S’mores!

Wine, Sangria, and S’mores!

Bonus Episode!  Banner Elk Winery & Villa is a mainstay of the High Country of North Carolina.  No matter the season, this winery is always a popular destination.  The wines are delicious, the sangrias are a hit in the summer, and who doesn’t love s’mores.  Escape the heat and head to the mountains for a visit!

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do

Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do

Laurel Gray Vineyards is located in the Swan Creek AVA, part of the Yadkin Vally in North Carolina.  Listen to the story of Kim and Benny Myers about how they transform Benny’s family farm into a vineyard.  Years of hard work have gone into building the vineyard and winery, and they certainly have a loyal following.  

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 2 comments
From Shine, to Milk, to Wine

From Shine, to Milk, to Wine

We sit with Charles and Ann Edwards of Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyards on a warm spring evening.  Listen as they tell us how a family farm transitioned from moonshine to dairy, and is now producing excellent wines. We recorded this episode outside because there’s nothing better than relaxing under the shade trees when you visit. 

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Cork Talk with Raffaldini Vineyards

Cork Talk with Raffaldini Vineyards

This episode we chat with Jay Raffaldini from Raffaldini Vineyards. We discuss how Jay discovered his property and has put a lot of effort into bringing a bit of Chianti to North Carolina. Jay wants his visitors to relax and enjoy what he calls the exhale moment because as he says, “Life is meant to be slow.”

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 5 comments
Cork Talk with Piccione Vineyards

Cork Talk with Piccione Vineyards

Our third episode of Cork Talk brings us to Piccione Vineyards. We chat with Bill and Hailey about why Bill decided to start a vineyard here in North Carolina, how he caught the wine bug, and how Hailey has made her way through the industry and joined the Piccione team.

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 6 comments
Hanover Park Vineyard

Hanover Park Vineyard

Episode two finds us sitting down with Michael and Amy Helton of Hanover Park Vineyard. Michael and Amy truly are pioneers in the North Carolina wine industry having planted the first vineyard in Yadkin County. We talk about things they’ve learned over the years and how it influences their wines.

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Jones von Drehle

Jones von Drehle

Join us for our first episode! We sit down with Diana & Chuck from Jones von Drehle Vineyards. Diana and Chuck discuss how they discovered a prime vineyard location in Thurmond, North Carolina. Learn how they work hard to socialize their brand and expand into restaurants and wine stores across the state. We talk about wine club events, driving more than 1 million miles in the pursuit of wine, and the future holds for Jones von Drehle and North Carolina Wine.

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 2 comments
Cork Talk Kicks Off

Cork Talk Kicks Off

We’re excited to announce that we’re starting a podcast!  We’re calling it Cork Talk.  We’ll be meeting with important people in the wine industry starting with our home state of North Carolina.  

We’ll be meeting with vineyard owners, wine makers, fellow bloggers, and other important people in the industry.  This is our introductory episode where we kick off our idea and get you ready for what’s to come. 

Sound interesting?  Here are a few things you can do to help:

  1. Subscribe – Go to your favorite podcast app and click the subscribe button.  You’ll get instant notifications when we post a new episode.
  2. Give us your Feedback – Go to our show page and leave us a comment or let us know who you want to hear. 
  3. Rate and Review – Wherever you listen to podcasts, leave us a rating and review.  Leaving a review goes a long way for helping others discover Cork Talk. 
  4. Share – If you like what you hear, please share with a friend and help them subscribe.   
Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, 1 comment
Starting off NC Wine Month in Western North Carolina

Starting off NC Wine Month in Western North Carolina

To start off our NC Wine Month celebrations, we decided to make a trip out to vineyards in far western North Carolina.  How far west?  Well, at one of the vineyards, you can see Tennessee and Georgia as well as North Carolina.  That’s right, we made a trip out to the wineries out in Murphy, Andrews, and a surprise visit to Robbinsville. 

Making our way to Murphy, NC

The Vineyard at Nottley River Vineyards
The Vineyard at Nottely River Vineyards

From our home base in Mooresville, our first stop at Nottley River Vineyards in Murphy, NC was about 4 hours away.  We took off early, made a quick stop for lunch, and made it to Nottley River Vineyards not too long after they opened.  There was already a good crowd there when we drove in, so we made our way to the tasting bar.  After the formal tasting, Steve took us out to the crush pad and gave us a sneak peek of the 2016 releases (which was a stellar year).  Most of these will be ready in Spring 2019, so we’ll be making a return visit for sure.

Our Visit in Andrews, NC

The FernCrest Tasting Room

Next up was FernCrest Winery in Andrews, NC.  This was our first visit to FernCrest and we had a great time.  Co-owner Jan Olson guided us through our tasting.  They have a small vineyard of their own, but also buy fruit from across the state and elsewhere.  One interesting fact is that each of their wines are named after a different fern, and each label has a drawing of that fern.  The white wines we tasted had a great acidity and will be perfect with some early fall foods.

Calaboose Cellars

Calaboose Cellars is just a few blocks away from FernCrest.  This winery is officially the state’s smallest self-contained winery, measuring in at about 300 square feet for the whole operation.  They focus on producing small batch wines that are very well crafted and fruit forward. Judy conducted our tasting and we were happy to see all the new wines on the list.

Mead in the Mountains

The Tasting Room at Wehrloom Honey

After we finished up, we decided to head back to our hotel.  On the way, we made a last minute decision to head to new-to-us meadery, Wehrloom Honey in Robbinsville, NC.  This unexpected stop turned out to be a great visit.  Wehrloom is an active farm with hundreds of beehives.  Honey from these hives is used to make their meads along with the other honey products they offer in their shop.  We went through a quick tasting at their tasting bar and went on a walking tour of the farm.  If you stop by, be sure to take a quick hike up the hill and see massive land tortoise that’s in with the goats and chickens. He’s a lively thing.

Read on for tasting notes of the wines at each of the locations we visited.  If you find yourself out in far Western North Carolina, we highly recommend a visit to each of these wineries.

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Our Tasting Notes

Nottley River Valley Vineyards

Standard Tasting

2014 Seyval Blanc – This wine went through partial malolactic fermentation.  It had a mellow nose of stone fruits.  The palate was rich in minerals with a flinty finish.

2015 Chardonnay – This Chardonnay is Chablis style meaning all stainless steel and no oak.  Green apple, fresh acids and a nice overall fruit profile were present on this wine.

Dry Rose – A blend of Chambourcin, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Watermelon and red fruits came through on the nose.  Nice acids, mild strawberry and a rounder profile were present on the palate.

2015 War Woman Red – This blend of both Cabernets had an herbaceous nose.  The flavors were light with strong acids and slightly twiggy tannins.

2015 Chardonell – This off-dry wine was filled with big yellow apples, nice acids and a mildly sweet profile.

2015 Riesling – This semi-sweet Riesling had a floral nose mixed with apricots and wet stones.  Overall fruit forward and well rounded.

Pre-Release Tastings

2016 Oaked Chardonnel – Aged in Hungarian oak, this wine had a very nice oak presence.  Grapey acids came through on the palate with excellent fruit character.

2016 Chardonnay – Aged in Hungarian and American oak, toasty vanilla clearly came through on the aroma.  No malolactic fermentation means this wine has great green apple notes with crisp acids.

2016 Cabernet Franc – This wine had a classic cabernet franc nose with light pepper gracing the aroma.  Green and White peper came through on the finish and were supported by a bright cherry profile.

2017 Seyval Blanc – This bubbly wine was nice and effervescent.  The nose was slightly slightly foxy with wile grape flavors balanced by a nice acidity.

FernCrest Winery

Royal White (Vidal Blanc) – This wine had a nice floral nose with subtle white fruits.  The flavors were nice and acidic with an overall pleasing profile.

Southern Lady White (Chardonnel) – The nose was of lemon cream.  The flavors were bright with citrus lemon and very zesty.

Mountain Holly Red (Bordeaux Blend) – The nose was of tomato jam and figs.  Red fruits came through on the palate with gentle tannins.

Mountainwood Red (Cynthiana) – The color on this wine was incredibly dark. Baking spices and dark fruits came through on the nose.  Big acids came through on the palate with a smooth overall profile.

Fiddlehead Red – This slightly sweet red blend had a great fruit forward profile.

Black Lady – This dessert wine of blackberry and blueberry was nicely balanced.  It was only mildly sweet with a great fruity profile.

Calaboose Cellars

2017 Seyval Blanc – Pleasing apricot and mild fruits came through on this mildly sweet white wine.

2017 Norton – This was dark and inky. Having gone through malolactic fermentation, it imparted a jammy flavor with a slightly acidic profile. Not yet released.

2017 Chambourcin – This wine had a classic Chambourcin profile with light baking spices.  Being off-dry, it highlighted the red fruit flavors with an overall smooth profile.

Sparkling Niagara – The grapey nose was unmistakably Niagara grapes.  The flavors were not too sweet with a nice fruity balance.

2017 Catawba – Fresh acids and a great grapey profile made this wine very easy to drink.

Revinoors Red – This wine made from the Sunbelt grape is brightly colored with an overall foxy profile.

Wehrloom

Dry County Dry – This mead was very herbaceous with a nice and mellow overall profile.

Home Sweet Home – This mead was made from sourwood honey. It had a nice nose, slightly sour, with a fantastic honey profile.

Black “Bear”ry – This mildly fruity mead was less sweet than the sourwood, but still had a great herbaceous profile .

Pretty in Peach – With a name that implies sweetness, this mead was surprisingly tart with clean peach flavors and a nice overall profile.

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
Library Tasting at Junius Lindsay Vineyard

Library Tasting at Junius Lindsay Vineyard

By now the fact we like to share our experiences with older vintages of NC Wine should come as no surprise to anyone. Whenever a winery is advertising a special library tasting or a vertical event, we try our hardest to attend. Most recently we had an opportunity to attend a special library tasting at Junius Lindsay Vineyards. Owner Michael Zimmerman has decided to share some of his library collection of past vintages. When we saw the announcement that his first library tasting would be his Triomphe blend, we jumped on the chance to reserve our spots.

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Looking Back at 2017

Looking Back at 2017

2017 has been another great year for NC Wine. As we look back at the year, we reflect on some of the highlights of the year as well as what we’re looking forward to in 2018.

Looking Back

If we go back three harvests to the 2015 vintage, our notes promised it would be a season for the record books. Fast forward two years and you find that several wineries already released their 2015 vintages. White wines of this vintage are selling out, but in general are fresh and crisp with brilliant fruit. 2015 reds are still drinking young but show great potential. Continue reading →

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9 Things I learned at the Wine Bloggers Conference

9 Things I learned at the Wine Bloggers Conference

So it’s been just over a month since we were out in California for the 2017 Wine Bloggers Conference. Once again we had a great time and learned much about being better bloggers and how we can better understand our place in the wine industry. Here’s a list of 9 things I learned while at this year’s conference.

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#WBC17 Live Blogging Day 2 – Red Wines

#WBC17 Live Blogging Day 2 – Red Wines

The live blogging for day 2 will be starting in just a few minutes.  Like we did yesterday, we’ll be posting about the wines that are poured at our table.  Check in soon for more details.

1000 Stories 2015 Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel – This is the flagship wine for the winery. Bourbon and vanilla come through predominantly on the nose. The finish is smokey and charred with a healthy dose of spice on the mid-palate. This particular batch is number 35. Each batch will be different from batch to batch.

Paradise Ridge 2015 Pinot Noir – Cherry and vanilla on the nose are light and airy. The flavors are cherry and a nice oak. Ample fruit is present throughout. This Pinot Noir is slightly lower in alcohol at just over 13%. A very nice sample.

Gracianna 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir – This vintage is the third Pinot Noir made by the winery. The nose is light with subtle cherry, leather and vanilla. There is a very nice spice that comes through on finish. Overall a very nice example of Pinot Noir.

Missouri Wine pouring the Stone Hill Winery 2015 Norton – One of the 135 wineries in the state, this wine is incredibly dark. Aged in a combination of American, French, and Hungarian oak. Blueberries and baking spices come through on the nose. Fresh and fruity flavors come through on the front and mid-palate. The finish is tannic and broad sweeping.

Theopolis Vineyards 2015 Petite Sirah – This vineyard specializes in Petite Sirah and the 2015 doesn’t disappoint. The nose is fresh and bursting with dark berries and a nice vanilla. Big red fruits and berries come through on the flavors. The tannins are bold and grippy right now, but with more time it will transform into a supple profile.

Donelan Wines 2013 Cuvée Moriah – This wine is a Grenache based wine with a splash of Syrah added in. This ode to chateauneuf is lighter in color than some of the previous wines, but it doesn’t lack in flavor. It starts with a nice dried fruit with secondary characteristics of dried herbs and an earthy mid-palate. The finish has a nice tannin balance. Definitely a wine with character.

The Hilt Wines 2015 Pinot Noir – The grapes for this wine come from a vineyard that is just 13 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Coffee and cocoa come through on the nose. Ample red fruit flavors and a juicy mid-palate make this a mouthwatering wine that is easy drinking and approachable. And for the price point of $45, it is definitely enjoyable.

Wagner Family of Wine 2015 Conundrum Red – This wine is Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. The color is dark and the nose is straightforward with vanilla and dried fruit. Dark fruits and vanilla come through as the predominant flavors. Mild tannins come through and have a slightly fruit-sweet finish.

Cliff Lede Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – This Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is the first we have had during this live blogging session. The nose is slightly floral (violets) with a mild cooling effect. The flavors are big and tannins bold. Cedar cigar box and a dark charred fruit finish are very present on this wine. Overall a very well balanced wine.

Planeta Wines La Segreta Nero D’Avola – This wine of Sicily is fruit forward and juicy. Aged completely in stainless steel, this wine is very fresh. It would be very food friendly and is quite approachable. Bottle price roughly $15.

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#WBC17 Live Blogging Day 1 – Whites & Rosés

#WBC17 Live Blogging Day 1 – Whites & Rosés

Live blogging is set to being here soon.  We’ll be using this page to document the different wines we taste throughout the event.  Check back frequently!

Antica 2015 Block A26 – This Chardonnay is only available in the winery. It is nicely oaked with ripe apples on the nose. The finish is toasty with a nice vibrant profile.

Hanna 2016 Sauvignon Blanc – The nose is zippy and citrusy. The flavors are very nice with a touch of green apple, a hint of grassy mid-palate. The winemaker has learned the nuances of this grape and tamed the wild nature into something that sings in the glass.

Leto Cellars 2014 Chardonnay – The nose is more pronounced and is moving into a more mature profile. The fruit was picked at the peak of freshness to get the best taste. Minimal interaction after picking helped to express the varietal characteristics in the wine. The flavors are broad sweeping and pleasing. A great family story to accompany a great wine.

Acumen Wine 2016 Sauvignon Blanc – 80% stainless steel and 20% new oak fermentation give this a slightly tropical banana nose. The flavors are mellow. Pears and grapefruit come through toward the end and into the finish.

William Hill Estate 2015 Chardonnay – Vanilla and butter come through big time on the nose. They have one of the most iconic views in the Napa Valley. It is buttery in flavor and has a nice balance of oak and fruit. The flavors are very soft and supple and has a really nice character. An excellent value for the $17 price point.

Dancing Coyote Wines 2016 Grüner Veltliner – A refreshing break from Chardonnay, this wine is fresh and crisp. The flavors are of fresh melon and creamed lemon. The acidity is fresh and leaves the mouth with a clean finish. Additional flavors of white peach with a slightly herbaceous note also come through.

Anaba Wines 2015 Turbine White – This Rhône style white is mostly Viognier, Grenache Blanc, and Roussanne (with a dash of other common Rhône whites). The nose is flinty and slightly smoky. The flavors are vibrant and vivid. Tangerine and citrus come through on the mid-palate and the finish is nice minerally. This is another great refreshing break. Delicious!

Paradise Ridge 2016 Sauvignon Blanc – This limited production Sauvignon Blanc is 100% stainless steel. The wine itself is crisp and bright. There’s nice citrus and a light mineral flavor. The mid-palate is mildly tropical with a nice acid balance. It’s easy going and very enjoyable. Despite a loss of their winery and tasting room buildings, the vines were spared in the recent fires. Luckily they had a good supply off-site in a bonded facility that is still available for sale. Definitely one to check out.

Breathless Wines Blanc de Noirs – 99% Pinot Noir and 1% Pinot Meunier make this quite interesting. The nose is bretty and yeasty. The flavors are a bit heavy on the biscuit with a dark subtle undertone. Fruit flavors come through as well, leaning toward strawberry and a hint of kumquat.

Vanderpump 2016 Rosé – This Cotes de Provence may seem a little out of place here in Santa Rosa, but good wine knows no bounds. The flavors are a classic Provence rosé. A nice way to finish out the live blogging round for the day.

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A Spotlight on Vermentino of the Swan Creek AVA

A Spotlight on Vermentino of the Swan Creek AVA

Our final feature in our series of lesser known grapes is a spotlight on Vermentino. As with our other spotlight features, you can find some great examples right here in North Carolina in the Swan Creek AVA.  We go into some detail about the grape itself and review six vintages from two North Carolina wineries.

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A Spotlight on Petit Manseng in North Carolina

A Spotlight on Petit Manseng in North Carolina

Continuing with our series of bringing lesser known grapes into the spotlight, we take a deeper look at Petit Manseng. This small cluster and small berry grape make a very interesting wine that most people have never heard of. This grape has great potential here in North Carolina and there are already a few vineyards who have jumped on the Petit Manseng bandwagon. One of which is Jones von Drehle Vineyards & Winery in the Yadkin Valley.

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What We’ve Been Drinking — May 2017

What We’ve Been Drinking — May 2017

May has 31 days. And with that many days, there are plenty of opportunities to drink some great North Carolina Wine. We did just that. The weather also was quite amazing, so we ended up taking a few weekends and visiting some wineries we haven’t been able to get to in a while. Also, toward the end of the month, we celebrated a milestone birthday in the only way we know how, with wine!

Check out our featured NC Wines on our Instagram feed and be sure to leave us your feedback!

Instagram post 17855162440166638 Tonight we're enjoying the 2012 Ring of Fire from @mcritchiewinery! This vintage is still showing really well. The nose is deep with black cherries and plums. The flavors are rich and smooth. It starts off with juicy dark fruits and figs. The mid-palate is filled with vanilla and fades slowly to a cedar and leather finish. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgmay2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2012 Ring of Fire from @mcritchiewinery! This vintage is still showing really well. The nose is deep with black cherries and plums. The flavors are rich and smooth. It starts off with juicy dark fruits and figs. The mid-palate is filled with vanilla and fades slowly to a cedar and leather finish. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgmay2017 ...

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A Spotlight on Roussanne and Petite Sirah

A Spotlight on Roussanne and Petite Sirah

Let’s take a minute to talk about two lesser known wine grapes, one red and one white. If you easily get fatigued from Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, these will be two varietals you need to try. The grapes in the spotlight are Roussanne and Petite Sirah. Both grapes are capable of producing a robust wine that can offer a welcome alternative to the more popular choices.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 1 comment
What We’ve Been Drinking — April 2017

What We’ve Been Drinking — April 2017

April showers bring May flowers. The onset of spring has the vineyards starting up their growing season. We made it out and about to a few wineries this month and ended up featuring around 20 wines. We’ve already got a few plans for next month so stay tuned on social media for what we’ll be up to.

In the meantime, check out our featured NC Wines on our Instagram feed and be sure to leave us your feedback!

Instagram post 17877334072049166 Tonight we're enjoying the 2011 Chambourcin from @hanoverparkvineyard! This vintage is smooth with a slight spice. The nose is leathery with a subtle hint of cloves. The flavors start with dried red berries up front. It then moves to a juicy mid-palate that leads into a finish with gentle tannins. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2011 Chambourcin from @hanoverparkvineyard! This vintage is smooth with a slight spice. The nose is leathery with a subtle hint of cloves. The flavors start with dried red berries up front. It then moves to a juicy mid-palate that leads into a finish with gentle tannins. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17855429215144478 Third #EarthDay Stop - Belle Nicho Winery!  Don't miss the Seyval Blanc!  Or the Chambourcin... Or the Traminette!  #NCWine #EarthDay2017 #DrinkLocal #ncwgapril2017

Third #EarthDay Stop - Belle Nicho Winery! Don't miss the Seyval Blanc! Or the Chambourcin... Or the Traminette! #NCWine #EarthDay2017 #DrinkLocal #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17865536335094027 Second stop - Weathervane Winery!  Don't miss the Nor'easter, an Estate Chambourcin. #NCWine #ncwgapril2017

Second stop - Weathervane Winery! Don't miss the Nor'easter, an Estate Chambourcin. #NCWine #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17879484769054774 Tonight we're having the 2015 Vermentino Superiore from @raffaldini! This bold white is a great alternative if you're seeking something different. The nose is filled with ripe peaches and nectarines. The flavors start with a touch of bright lemon up front. It then turns to a slightly creamy mid-palate and finishes again with a soft lemon finale. #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017

Tonight we're having the 2015 Vermentino Superiore from @raffaldini! This bold white is a great alternative if you're seeking something different. The nose is filled with ripe peaches and nectarines. The flavors start with a touch of bright lemon up front. It then turns to a slightly creamy mid-palate and finishes again with a soft lemon finale. #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17878504045037913 Tonight we're enjoying the 2015 Vintner Select Rosé from @elkincreekvineyard! This wine is light and fruity with a hint of sweetness. The nose is heavy on the lemon zest and citrus peel. The flavor starts with lemon up front and moves to a cranberry mid-palate and finishes with dry apple on the very end. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2015 Vintner Select Rosé from @elkincreekvineyard! This wine is light and fruity with a hint of sweetness. The nose is heavy on the lemon zest and citrus peel. The flavor starts with lemon up front and moves to a cranberry mid-palate and finishes with dry apple on the very end. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17878181758000244 A rainy Sunday afternoon is the perfect time to visit a winery. You never know what you might get to enjoy.  At @hanoverparkvineyard, we got to enjoy a bit of a 2002 Mourvèdre and a 2002 Chambourcin. Both were holding up really well!  And both are available for sale on the vintage rack!  Stop by and grab a bottle before they're gone!  #YadkinValley #NCWine #DrinkLocal #VintageWine #ncwgapril2017

A rainy Sunday afternoon is the perfect time to visit a winery. You never know what you might get to enjoy. At @hanoverparkvineyard, we got to enjoy a bit of a 2002 Mourvèdre and a 2002 Chambourcin. Both were holding up really well! And both are available for sale on the vintage rack! Stop by and grab a bottle before they're gone! #YadkinValley #NCWine #DrinkLocal #VintageWine #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17878381762021709 First stop today - @nativevines!  Don't miss the 2014 Zinfandel!  It's unoaked with good dark cherry notes with big black pepper.  Perfect for summer grilling!  #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017

First stop today - @nativevines! Don't miss the 2014 Zinfandel! It's unoaked with good dark cherry notes with big black pepper. Perfect for summer grilling! #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17854128895172903 This is the view from our special spot at @silverforkwinery. It's right between rows 5 and 6. It will always hold a special in our hearts - 10/17/15!  #NCWine #ncwgapril2017

This is the view from our special spot at @silverforkwinery. It's right between rows 5 and 6. It will always hold a special in our hearts - 10/17/15! #NCWine #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17866343767123792 Tonight we're enjoying the 2013 Syrah from @juniuslindsayvineyard! This medium bodied red wine is juicy with a subtle spice. The nose is of freshly squeezed tart cherries balanced out with leather. The flavors start out with juicy cherries up front and move to an earthy mid-palate. A soft black pepper spice comes through on the finish and fades out slowly. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2013 Syrah from @juniuslindsayvineyard! This medium bodied red wine is juicy with a subtle spice. The nose is of freshly squeezed tart cherries balanced out with leather. The flavors start out with juicy cherries up front and move to an earthy mid-palate. A soft black pepper spice comes through on the finish and fades out slowly. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17878504624033760 Second #EarthDay Stop - South Creek Vineyards and Winery!  It's always great to see Jim & Mary. Stellar wines! #NCWine #EarthDay2017 #DrinkLocal #ncwgapril2017

Second #EarthDay Stop - South Creek Vineyards and Winery! It's always great to see Jim & Mary. Stellar wines! #NCWine #EarthDay2017 #DrinkLocal #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17852699569193875 Tonight we're enjoying the 2015 Petit Verdot from @raylenvineyards! This wine is deliciously dark yet still fresh and fruit forward. The nose is clean with fresh plums and figs. The flavors start with dried blueberries that blend into a juicy mid-palate. Vanilla comes into the profile and fades out into the lingering finish. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2015 Petit Verdot from @raylenvineyards! This wine is deliciously dark yet still fresh and fruit forward. The nose is clean with fresh plums and figs. The flavors start with dried blueberries that blend into a juicy mid-palate. Vanilla comes into the profile and fades out into the lingering finish. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17853890944185368 Last stop for #EarthDay - @silverforkwinery!  Gorgeous views and great wines!  Jennifer and Ed have a great thing going!  Go see them!  Don't miss the fantastic food from Farm to Fork!  #NCWine #EarthDay2017 #DrinkLocal #ncwgapril2017

Last stop for #EarthDay - @silverforkwinery! Gorgeous views and great wines! Jennifer and Ed have a great thing going! Go see them! Don't miss the fantastic food from Farm to Fork! #NCWine #EarthDay2017 #DrinkLocal #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17854129246179294 First #EarthDay stop - @lakejamescellar!  Check out the Brown Mountain White!  It's a 2015 Viognier from the Yadkin Valley. And don't worry if you don't do dry wine. They  plenty of sweet wines too.  #NCWine #EarthDay2017 #DrinkLocal #ncwgapril2017

First #EarthDay stop - @lakejamescellar! Check out the Brown Mountain White! It's a 2015 Viognier from the Yadkin Valley. And don't worry if you don't do dry wine. They plenty of sweet wines too. #NCWine #EarthDay2017 #DrinkLocal #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17855533570150859 Tonight we're enjoying the 2013 Chardonnay from @mcritchiewinery! This white wine has smooth and buttery flavors. The nose is of baked yellow apples and subtle wet stone. The flavors start off on a smooth note. Yellow apple comes to the mid-palate and it ends on a creamy finish with a touch of lemon peel.  #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2013 Chardonnay from @mcritchiewinery! This white wine has smooth and buttery flavors. The nose is of baked yellow apples and subtle wet stone. The flavors start off on a smooth note. Yellow apple comes to the mid-palate and it ends on a creamy finish with a touch of lemon peel. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17853207121144622 Tonight we're enjoying the Morton from @sanctuaryvineyards!  This red blend of the five Bordeaux grapes (Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot) is smooth and easy drinking.  The nose is cherry and oak. This carries through to the palate along with a slight leathery note.  A perfect ending to the evening!  #NCWine #WineWednesday #ncwgapril2017

Tonight we're enjoying the Morton from @sanctuaryvineyards! This red blend of the five Bordeaux grapes (Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot) is smooth and easy drinking. The nose is cherry and oak. This carries through to the palate along with a slight leathery note. A perfect ending to the evening! #NCWine #WineWednesday #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17866711927105287 Tonight we're enjoying the Traminette from Belle Nicho Winery! This light bodied white wine is quite delicious. The nose is filled with dried flower petals with a subtle pear. The flavors start out delicate with a soft floral note. It moves to a spicy mid-palate that fades to a white peach finish. #NCWine #ncwgapril2017

Tonight we're enjoying the Traminette from Belle Nicho Winery! This light bodied white wine is quite delicious. The nose is filled with dried flower petals with a subtle pear. The flavors start out delicate with a soft floral note. It moves to a spicy mid-palate that fades to a white peach finish. #NCWine #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17877404425023221 Tonight we enjoyed the 2005 Mourvèdre from @hanoverparkvineyard! This wine was impeccably smooth and had a well balanced profile favoring earthy leather notes as well as secondary notes of dried herbs. It paired well with the lamb dinner and conversation with friends. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017

Tonight we enjoyed the 2005 Mourvèdre from @hanoverparkvineyard! This wine was impeccably smooth and had a well balanced profile favoring earthy leather notes as well as secondary notes of dried herbs. It paired well with the lamb dinner and conversation with friends. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17852810713187585 We had a fun day!  We enjoyed lunch, a shared beer flight and a wine tasting at @morganridgevineyards!  Then we headed to Zimmerman Vineyards | Trinity, NC for the White Merlot release. We followed that with a stop at @bullcityciderworks - Lexington!  A great Saturday!  #NCWine #NCCider #DrinkLocal #ncwgapril2017

We had a fun day! We enjoyed lunch, a shared beer flight and a wine tasting at @morganridgevineyards! Then we headed to Zimmerman Vineyards | Trinity, NC for the White Merlot release. We followed that with a stop at @bullcityciderworks - Lexington! A great Saturday! #NCWine #NCCider #DrinkLocal #ncwgapril2017 ...

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Instagram post 17879196232012085 Final stop - @juniuslindsayvineyard!  We got a sneak peek of the 2016 Special Delivery Rosé. Grenache and Petite Sirah with notes of strawberry and watermelon in classic Provence style!  It will be released on May 19th!  Be sure to come out and stock up!  Rosé goes with everything from grilled meats to Thanksgiving turkey!  #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017

Final stop - @juniuslindsayvineyard! We got a sneak peek of the 2016 Special Delivery Rosé. Grenache and Petite Sirah with notes of strawberry and watermelon in classic Provence style! It will be released on May 19th! Be sure to come out and stock up! Rosé goes with everything from grilled meats to Thanksgiving turkey! #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgapril2017 ...

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What We’ve Been Drinking — March 2017

What We’ve Been Drinking — March 2017

In like a lion and out like a lamb, they say. March has come to a close and with it starts the growing season in the vineyards. The vines are starting to wake up and bud break is eminently upon us (for better or worse). Midway through the month, we were lucky enough to attend the Showcase of Fine North Carolina Wines. This showcase featured the twelve winning wines in the NC Fine Wines competition. More details on that in our post soling soon.

Check out our featured NC Wines on our Instagram feed and be sure to leave us your feedback!

Instagram post 17863013806118809 Tonight we're enjoying the 2015 Girasole from @raffaldinivineyards!  This dry rosé gives a big strawberry nose. Those strawberries continue on the palate along with watermelon. It's a perfect pairing with grilled salmon or just about anything! #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2015 Girasole from @raffaldinivineyards! This dry rosé gives a big strawberry nose. Those strawberries continue on the palate along with watermelon. It's a perfect pairing with grilled salmon or just about anything! #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 ...

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Instagram post 17851052584168618 We had a fun afternoon touring some of the Vineyards of Swan Creek Trail! 
Our first stop was @raffaldinivineyards for the reveal of their new collaboration with @jolovineyards. The blend of Montepulciano from Raffaldini and Chambourcin from JOLO is called RaRa Sisboombah. Jay and JW hope to make this an annual collaboration!

Our next stop was @piccionevineyards for the 2014 Sangiovese release. This wine was full of cherry, vanilla and oak. It paired nicely with the risotto from the visiting food truck.

Finally, we stopped in to try the newly released 2014 Cabernet Franc from Dobbins Creek Vineyards!  Earthy with a big cherry finish, this wine would pair well with pork or mushrooms! 
It was a fun day! #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 #2014ncwine

We had a fun afternoon touring some of the Vineyards of Swan Creek Trail! Our first stop was @raffaldinivineyards for the reveal of their new collaboration with @jolovineyards. The blend of Montepulciano from Raffaldini and Chambourcin from JOLO is called RaRa Sisboombah. Jay and JW hope to make this an annual collaboration! Our next stop was @piccionevineyards for the 2014 Sangiovese release. This wine was full of cherry, vanilla and oak. It paired nicely with the risotto from the visiting food truck. Finally, we stopped in to try the newly released 2014 Cabernet Franc from Dobbins Creek Vineyards! Earthy with a big cherry finish, this wine would pair well with pork or mushrooms! It was a fun day! #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17865830884072617 Tonight we're having the 2014 Cabernet Franc from @jonesvondrehle! This rich red wine is bold in flavor with a refined profile. The nose big with caramelized figs and vanilla. The flavors lean more toward leather and tar with dried berries on the mid-palate. It finishes long with a subtle vanilla carrying through to the end. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017

Tonight we're having the 2014 Cabernet Franc from @jonesvondrehle! This rich red wine is bold in flavor with a refined profile. The nose big with caramelized figs and vanilla. The flavors lean more toward leather and tar with dried berries on the mid-palate. It finishes long with a subtle vanilla carrying through to the end. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 ...

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Instagram post 17851261042167304 Tonight we're enjoying the 2012 Chambourcin from @hanoverparkvineyard! This delightful red wine is complex and deep. The nose has a subtle hint of baking spices with an underlying tomato jam note. The flavors starts with the tomato jam and move quickly to an earthy mid-palate. The finish has gentle tannins and lingers on. #YadkinValley #NCWine 
As we sip on this wine, we are also paying tribute to a recently departed figure in the wine industry. Earlier this week we learned of the passing of Glenn Kelly, our local Riedel glassware salesman. His appreciation for North Carolina wine and fine glassware was truly an inspiration for many. He will be missed by all who knew him. #ncwgMarch2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2012 Chambourcin from @hanoverparkvineyard! This delightful red wine is complex and deep. The nose has a subtle hint of baking spices with an underlying tomato jam note. The flavors starts with the tomato jam and move quickly to an earthy mid-palate. The finish has gentle tannins and lingers on. #YadkinValley #NCWine As we sip on this wine, we are also paying tribute to a recently departed figure in the wine industry. Earlier this week we learned of the passing of Glenn Kelly, our local Riedel glassware salesman. His appreciation for North Carolina wine and fine glassware was truly an inspiration for many. He will be missed by all who knew him. #ncwgMarch2017 ...

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Instagram post 17851974295152156 Tonight we're having the 2014 Cabernet Franc from @divinellamavineyards! This lively red wine is filled with fresh cherry and a light finish. The nose is light with subtle leather supported by ripe cherry. The flavor starts with the cherry up front, then it moves to a vanilla mid-palate before finishing cleanly. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 #2014ncwine

Tonight we're having the 2014 Cabernet Franc from @divinellamavineyards! This lively red wine is filled with fresh cherry and a light finish. The nose is light with subtle leather supported by ripe cherry. The flavor starts with the cherry up front, then it moves to a vanilla mid-palate before finishing cleanly. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17866408378075739 Tonight we're enjoying the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from @lazyelm! This cab is bigger than what you would expect from an east coast cab. The nose is complex with woody notes mixing with a lighter plum undertone. The flavor is bold and leathery with dried dark fruits on the mid-palate and finish. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from @lazyelm! This cab is bigger than what you would expect from an east coast cab. The nose is complex with woody notes mixing with a lighter plum undertone. The flavor is bold and leathery with dried dark fruits on the mid-palate and finish. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 ...

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Instagram post 17875090078061399 Tonight we're having the 2013 Petite Sirah from @juniuslindsayvineyard! This dark red is delicate yet leaves quite the impression. The nose is inky with dried fruit skins and a hint of black cherry. The flavors start with juicy red fruits and move quickly to a black pepper mid-palate. The finish is long with a drying sensation that lingers on. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017

Tonight we're having the 2013 Petite Sirah from @juniuslindsayvineyard! This dark red is delicate yet leaves quite the impression. The nose is inky with dried fruit skins and a hint of black cherry. The flavors start with juicy red fruits and move quickly to a black pepper mid-palate. The finish is long with a drying sensation that lingers on. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 ...

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Instagram post 17880238756026622 Tonight we're enjoying the 2011 Barbera from Hutton Vineyards! A few years in the bottle has done great things to this wine. The nose is earthy with dried herbs. The flavors are complex and refined. There are rich fruits balanced by violets and subtle graphite on the finish. If you still have a bottle of this around, you're in for a treat! #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2011 Barbera from Hutton Vineyards! A few years in the bottle has done great things to this wine. The nose is earthy with dried herbs. The flavors are complex and refined. There are rich fruits balanced by violets and subtle graphite on the finish. If you still have a bottle of this around, you're in for a treat! #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 ...

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Instagram post 17875856569053944 Tonight we're enjoying the 2015 Barrel Chardonnay from @raylenvineyards! This wine is intense for a Chardonnay. The nose is ripe with fresh yellow apples balanced with toasty oak. The flavors are rich and vibrant, leaning on well ripened apples and soft vanilla. The bright acidity carries through into the finish and lingers on. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2015 Barrel Chardonnay from @raylenvineyards! This wine is intense for a Chardonnay. The nose is ripe with fresh yellow apples balanced with toasty oak. The flavors are rich and vibrant, leaning on well ripened apples and soft vanilla. The bright acidity carries through into the finish and lingers on. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 ...

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Instagram post 17864479780107850 Tonight we're enjoying the 2015 vintage of The Triangle from @sanctuaryvineyards! This blend of Viognier, Roussanne, and Albariño is crisp and refreshing. The nose is balanced between ripe pears and tropical fruits. The flavors start out tropical with pineapple upfront. It moves to a mineral rich mid-palate and finishes clean. #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2015 vintage of The Triangle from @sanctuaryvineyards! This blend of Viognier, Roussanne, and Albariño is crisp and refreshing. The nose is balanced between ripe pears and tropical fruits. The flavors start out tropical with pineapple upfront. It moves to a mineral rich mid-palate and finishes clean. #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 ...

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Instagram post 17870405671064362 We had a fun day in the Yadkin Valley!  We tasted and bought wine at Cellar 4201, @divinellamavineyards, Flint Hill Vineyards and @brandonhillsvineyard! A fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon!  #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017

We had a fun day in the Yadkin Valley! We tasted and bought wine at Cellar 4201, @divinellamavineyards, Flint Hill Vineyards and @brandonhillsvineyard! A fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon! #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 ...

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Instagram post 17853488188147511 Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Sangiovese Classico from @raffaldinivineyards! The nose is filled with dark fruits and subtle baking spice. The flavors are bbold with plums and leather. The mid-palate is smooth and it flows evenly into the finish. Nice tannins linger on and fade out slowly. #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 #2014ncwine

Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Sangiovese Classico from @raffaldinivineyards! The nose is filled with dark fruits and subtle baking spice. The flavors are bbold with plums and leather. The mid-palate is smooth and it flows evenly into the finish. Nice tannins linger on and fade out slowly. #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17852396764154491 Tonight we're enjoying the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Mountain Brook Vineyards! A nice full-bodied red, it is well balanced between fruit and tannins. The nose is rich with dark red fruits and a warm vanilla. The flavors start with fresh black plums. It moves to a nice oaky mid-palate that turns to back to dried red fruits on the finish. #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Mountain Brook Vineyards! A nice full-bodied red, it is well balanced between fruit and tannins. The nose is rich with dark red fruits and a warm vanilla. The flavors start with fresh black plums. It moves to a nice oaky mid-palate that turns to back to dried red fruits on the finish. #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 ...

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Instagram post 17875264234036273 Tonight we're enjoying the 2013 Petit Verdot from @roundpeakvineyards!  Plums, coffee, vanilla and leather make for a complex nose. The palate begins dark fruits. It moves to slight leather note at the mid-palate and finishes with a hint of coffee. The color is inky and dark. A big, full bodied wine!  #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2013 Petit Verdot from @roundpeakvineyards! Plums, coffee, vanilla and leather make for a complex nose. The palate begins dark fruits. It moves to slight leather note at the mid-palate and finishes with a hint of coffee. The color is inky and dark. A big, full bodied wine! #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 ...

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Instagram post 17854852717132034 Tonight, we're enjoying the 2013 Chambourcin from @thefarmatdovervineyards!  The nose shows cherry with a hint of licorice. The palate is cherry then oaky vanilla finishing with a hint of licorice. There's also a bit of that classic Chambourcin baking spice!  A fantastic wine! #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017

Tonight, we're enjoying the 2013 Chambourcin from @thefarmatdovervineyards! The nose shows cherry with a hint of licorice. The palate is cherry then oaky vanilla finishing with a hint of licorice. There's also a bit of that classic Chambourcin baking spice! A fantastic wine! #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 ...

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Showcase of North Carolina Fine Wines

Showcase of North Carolina Fine Wines

In mid-March, the North Carolina Fine Wines Competition took to the road and held its first showcase event. The showcase had on display all 12 of the winning wines from North Carolina. This first showcase was at the Duke mansion in Charlotte. The doors opened and the crowds made their way in to pick up their Riedel glass and make their way through the tasting sheet. Continue reading →

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What We’ve Been Drinking — February 2017

What We’ve Been Drinking — February 2017

A short month, yet a good month for North Carolina wine. Two important wine “holidays” also took place; National Drink Wine Day (February 18, we had the Petite Sirah from Junius Lindsay) and Open that Bottle Night (February 25 we opened the2007 Merlot from McRitchie). In total for the month, we had 15 fantastic NC Wines (with a short break at the beginning of the month).
Check out our featured NC Wines on our Instagram feed and be sure to leave us your feedback!

Instagram post 17873146138059407 Tonight we're enjoying the 2015 Riesling from Midnight Magdalena Vineyards! Unlike many sweet Rieslings you find in the grocery store, this one is dry. The nose is is fruity with notes of creamed lemon, honey, and tangerine. The flavor is bright with a light acidity up front. It moves to a mineral rich mid-palate which turns to light citrus before finishing out cleanly. #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine  #ncwgFeb2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2015 Riesling from Midnight Magdalena Vineyards! Unlike many sweet Rieslings you find in the grocery store, this one is dry. The nose is is fruity with notes of creamed lemon, honey, and tangerine. The flavor is bright with a light acidity up front. It moves to a mineral rich mid-palate which turns to light citrus before finishing out cleanly. #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgFeb2017 ...

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Instagram post 17862257590099400 Tonight we're enjoying the 2015 Carolinius from @raylenvineyards! Dark and inky, this red is quite heavy for being a younger wine.  The nose is deep with dark cherries and a touch of vanilla. The flavors start out fruity with macerated blueberries and figs that move to a nicely oaked mid-palate. It finishes long with medium-heavy tannins. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgFeb2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2015 Carolinius from @raylenvineyards! Dark and inky, this red is quite heavy for being a younger wine. The nose is deep with dark cherries and a touch of vanilla. The flavors start out fruity with macerated blueberries and figs that move to a nicely oaked mid-palate. It finishes long with medium-heavy tannins. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgFeb2017 ...

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Instagram post 17862297757097385 For #OpenThatBottleNight we decided on the 2007 Merlot from @mcritchiewinery! It's holding up quite well and this wine is still going strong. The nose mellowed out nicely and had a hint of dried herbs and vanilla. The flavors were still fruit forward, but were mellow and even. It still could have gone another 3-5 years but we enjoyed it today! #YadkinValley  #NCWine #ncwgFeb2017

For #OpenThatBottleNight we decided on the 2007 Merlot from @mcritchiewinery! It's holding up quite well and this wine is still going strong. The nose mellowed out nicely and had a hint of dried herbs and vanilla. The flavors were still fruit forward, but were mellow and even. It still could have gone another 3-5 years but we enjoyed it today! #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgFeb2017 ...

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Instagram post 17873619838048495 Tonight we're enjoying the 2012 Cabernet Franc from @jonesvondrehle! This red is a great balance of juicy fruits and delicate oak. The nose is filled with dark ripe fruits -- plums, figs and cherries all rolled into one. The ripe fruits carry into the flavors up front. It then moves to vanilla on the mid-palate turning to soft tannins and red fruits on the finish. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgFeb2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2012 Cabernet Franc from @jonesvondrehle! This red is a great balance of juicy fruits and delicate oak. The nose is filled with dark ripe fruits -- plums, figs and cherries all rolled into one. The ripe fruits carry into the flavors up front. It then moves to vanilla on the mid-palate turning to soft tannins and red fruits on the finish. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgFeb2017 ...

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Instagram post 17864797042077410 Tonight we're enjoying the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon from Flint Hill Vineyards! This red is medium-bodied and full of flavor. The nose is mellow with dried herbs and sweet cherries. The flavors unfold with each sip. It starts with a subtle dried cranberry that slowly move to a slightly spicy mid-palate. Dried red fruits show up as it moves to the finish. It ends on a pleasant plum note and fades out slowly. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgFeb2017

Tonight we're enjoying the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon from Flint Hill Vineyards! This red is medium-bodied and full of flavor. The nose is mellow with dried herbs and sweet cherries. The flavors unfold with each sip. It starts with a subtle dried cranberry that slowly move to a slightly spicy mid-palate. Dried red fruits show up as it moves to the finish. It ends on a pleasant plum note and fades out slowly. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgFeb2017 ...

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What We’ve Been Drinking — January 2017

What We’ve Been Drinking — January 2017

The first month of a fresh new year has drawn to a close. January was a good month for NC Wine, too. The annual NC Winegrowers Conference took place in Winston-Salem around half way into the month. We were able to attend both days of the conference this year (no snowstorm got in our way) and the attendance was incredible! Each session was packed and we learned a lot about some of the current issues wine makers and grape growers are facing. Of course, we also presented on the importance of hashtags in social media. Everyone had a great time and we got a ton of good pictures. To see for yourself, head over to Instagram and search for the hashtag #NCWine.

Check out our featured NC Wines on our Instagram feed and be sure to leave us your feedback!

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What We’ve Been Drinking — December 2016

What We’ve Been Drinking — December 2016

The final month of 2016 has come and gone. As the weather turned cooler, our choices tended to lean more to the red side. As we counted down the days of 20316, we did have a few highlights to the month. A vintage tasting at Hanover Park Vineyards greeted us with a fantastic selection of well aged wines. One of these was truly surprising to see, a 2011 Viognier. Normally white wines are best when drunk within a year or two of the harvest. This particular bottle has seen 5 years in the bottle. As such the flavors were incredibly deep with cream and honey gracing the palate. This was truly one incredible wine.

Also worth noting, we finally made our way to an event where Dover Vineyards was pouring their wines. These small batch wines have a lot to offer. We really enjoyed the 2012 and 2013 vintages of their Chambourcin. Both were full bodied and well balanced. We look forward to getting back and trying more of their wine.

Here’s to looking ahead to 2017 and hoping for another great year of wine. Cheers!

Check out our Instagram feed for a recap of our December selections.

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What We’ve Been Drinking — November 2016

What We’ve Been Drinking — November 2016

November always seems like such a whirlwind of a month! Family visits, holiday parties and a few vineyard trips filled up our calendar. Among the highlights we made a visit to two new wineries (Midnight Magdelena Vineyards and the newly re-opened West Bend Vineyards) as well as took part in an impromptu botteling at Hanover Park Vineyards!  We’re excited to see what the next month brings with it!

Check out our Instagram feed for a recap of our November selections.

Instagram post 17865778168011147 Happy International Merlot Day!  To celebrate, we're enjoying the 2007 Merlot from @brandonhillsvineyard! This wine is still in a great spot!  The color is deep dark red. The nose is rich stewed cherries. The palate gives rich black cherry with notes of cedar, leather and tobacco. It's full bodied with a pleasant lingering finish that's smooth and leaves you wanting more!  #MerlotDay #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgnov2016

Happy International Merlot Day! To celebrate, we're enjoying the 2007 Merlot from @brandonhillsvineyard! This wine is still in a great spot! The color is deep dark red. The nose is rich stewed cherries. The palate gives rich black cherry with notes of cedar, leather and tobacco. It's full bodied with a pleasant lingering finish that's smooth and leaves you wanting more! #MerlotDay #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgnov2016 ...

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What We’ve Been Drinking October 2016

What We’ve Been Drinking October 2016

Half way through November and we remembered we didn’t post our recap of last month! October was one busy month! For us, it involved a trip out to the coast to visit Sanctuary Vineyards. On our return trip, we made a quick stop at the NC State Fair and sampled a few wines from those who were out sampling for the public. It was a tasty month and we are already making progress on our November.

Continue reading →

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Sanctuary Vineyards: Making #NCWine in the Outer Banks

Sanctuary Vineyards: Making #NCWine in the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks of the North Carolina coastline have long been a vacationer’s sweet spot. The long, narrow islands of sand and grasses serve as a natural barrier protecting the interior waterways from the harsh currents of the ocean. Just across the Currituck sound in Jarvisburg is something no one would have expected to see — a vineyard, growing European grapes. The vineyard in the spot light is none other than Sanctuary Vineyards. Continue reading →

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NC Wine Month 2016 Recap

NC Wine Month 2016 Recap

Yet another wine month has come and gone. This month, we really stepped it up with our wine postings and winery visits. At the end of the month, we co-hosted a #winechat takeover. There were lots of new participants this year and we had a ton of great questions! One thing we noticed is the increased number of #NCWine and #NCWineMonth hashtags! This is great news for keeping our consistent brand strong and getting the word out there about #NCWine.

Read on for a photo roll of our NC Wine Month adventures.

Instagram post 17851709464124098 It's a new month! It's a new #NCWineMonth!  It's also #CabernetDay, so it's the perfect day for a new Cabernet Sauvignon from a new North Carolina winery!  Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from Roaring River Vineyards!

This cab is light and fruity.  The nose is light cherries, plums and lightly crushed rose petals. The palate is rich with notes of black plums. It's fruity but rounds out with a nice earthy finish. A prime example of a North Carolina cab! 
If you haven't visited Roaring River Vineyards, go check them out!  There's great wine, great food, great beer, a beautiful setting and wonderful people!

#YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgNCWineMonth16

It's a new month! It's a new #NCWineMonth! It's also #CabernetDay, so it's the perfect day for a new Cabernet Sauvignon from a new North Carolina winery! Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from Roaring River Vineyards! This cab is light and fruity. The nose is light cherries, plums and lightly crushed rose petals. The palate is rich with notes of black plums. It's fruity but rounds out with a nice earthy finish. A prime example of a North Carolina cab! If you haven't visited Roaring River Vineyards, go check them out! There's great wine, great food, great beer, a beautiful setting and wonderful people! #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgNCWineMonth16 ...

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What We’ve Been Drinking: July 2016

What We’ve Been Drinking: July 2016

Another late posting, but we’ve been busy during the month of August! July was another hot month, but we found some great wines to keep us cool. We also made our way to another new winery in July! Roaring River Vineyards opened its doors in mid July so we couldn’t resist making a visit.   It was so peaceful and serene we didn’t want to leave!  We made a few other winery trips during the month and picked up another set of Riedel glasses during a special tasting event at Hanover Park.  It was a great way to beat the heat of summer!

Check out our Instagram for a recap of what we had during the month of July:

Instagram post 17849099464096454 We had a great visit at @childresswines!  Thanks to Julia and Sherry for taking care of us!  Thanks to Olga for the exceptional service at our tasting!  We'll see you soon!  Cheers!  #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016

We had a great visit at @childresswines! Thanks to Julia and Sherry for taking care of us! Thanks to Olga for the exceptional service at our tasting! We'll see you soon! Cheers! #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016 ...

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Instagram post 17859027988015281 Tonight we're enjoying the 2015 Vermentino Superiore from @raffaldinivineyards!  The smell of preserved lemons greets you on the nose. The palate gives you mild acidity with hints of sage and a lemony finish. It's a delightful accompaniment to a creamy, garlicky pasta dish! #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016

Tonight we're enjoying the 2015 Vermentino Superiore from @raffaldinivineyards! The smell of preserved lemons greets you on the nose. The palate gives you mild acidity with hints of sage and a lemony finish. It's a delightful accompaniment to a creamy, garlicky pasta dish! #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016 ...

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Instagram post 17859593647005219 Tonight we're having the 2011 Petit Verdot from @shelton_vineyards! This wine is deep in color and flavors, yet isn't too heavy to enjoy on a hot summer day. The nose is full of vanilla with a touch of spice. The flavors are fruit forward with a toasty finish. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016

Tonight we're having the 2011 Petit Verdot from @shelton_vineyards! This wine is deep in color and flavors, yet isn't too heavy to enjoy on a hot summer day. The nose is full of vanilla with a touch of spice. The flavors are fruit forward with a toasty finish. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016 ...

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Instagram post 17849706856092070 Tonight we're having the 2014 Petit Manseng from @jonesvondrehle! The nose is intense showing lemons, honey, pears and fresh cut melon. The flavors are bright and cheery, starting with lemon before it moves into an intense tropical creamy mid-palate. The finish is long and lingering with dried herbs and coconut. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016

Tonight we're having the 2014 Petit Manseng from @jonesvondrehle! The nose is intense showing lemons, honey, pears and fresh cut melon. The flavors are bright and cheery, starting with lemon before it moves into an intense tropical creamy mid-palate. The finish is long and lingering with dried herbs and coconut. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016 ...

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Instagram post 17849796904119960 Let's play with glasses and @hanoverparkvineyard wine! #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016

Let's play with glasses and @hanoverparkvineyard wine! #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016 ...

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Instagram post 17850459382113553 It's a beautiful day in wine country! The view at @raffaldinivineyards is hard to beat! #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016

It's a beautiful day in wine country! The view at @raffaldinivineyards is hard to beat! #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016 ...

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Instagram post 17850108622077934 Tonight we're having the 2014 Cabernet Franc from @silverforkwinery! A medium bodied red, the nose offers dark red raspberries with a hint of cedar. The flavors are mellow with a fruity mid-palate that fades to a toasty finish. #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016

Tonight we're having the 2014 Cabernet Franc from @silverforkwinery! A medium bodied red, the nose offers dark red raspberries with a hint of cedar. The flavors are mellow with a fruity mid-palate that fades to a toasty finish. #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016 ...

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Instagram post 17859031459010969 Tonight we're having the 2012 Ring of Fire from @mcritchiewinery! This distinctive red blend of Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Sangiovese creates a wine that is bold, even and full of flavors. A nose of black fruits moves to a dried fruit flavor when you sip it. The finish is dry with a touch of cocoa and tobacco. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016

Tonight we're having the 2012 Ring of Fire from @mcritchiewinery! This distinctive red blend of Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Sangiovese creates a wine that is bold, even and full of flavors. A nose of black fruits moves to a dried fruit flavor when you sip it. The finish is dry with a touch of cocoa and tobacco. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016 ...

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Instagram post 17849205367108415 Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Viognier from @hanoverparkvineyard!  Tropical notes of pineapple along with candied pear make for marvelous nose.  The palate is creamy tropical goodness with pineapple shining through along with hints of pear. This wine IS art!  #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016

Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Viognier from @hanoverparkvineyard! Tropical notes of pineapple along with candied pear make for marvelous nose. The palate is creamy tropical goodness with pineapple shining through along with hints of pear. This wine IS art! #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016 ...

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Instagram post 17858599780032444 It's a perfect day for Special Delivery Rosé from Junius Lindsay Vineyard!  Simply one of the best #NCWine Rosés around!  #YadkinValley #ncwgjuly2016

It's a perfect day for Special Delivery Rosé from Junius Lindsay Vineyard! Simply one of the best #NCWine Rosés around! #YadkinValley #ncwgjuly2016 ...

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Instagram post 17858591740003478 Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Viognier from @jonesvondrehle!  A nose of apple and pear with hints of coconut and vanilla invite you to take a sip. The palate delights with apple and hints of citrus peel and mineral undertones. It's well balanced and crisp!  A great wine for Monday evening!  #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016

Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Viognier from @jonesvondrehle! A nose of apple and pear with hints of coconut and vanilla invite you to take a sip. The palate delights with apple and hints of citrus peel and mineral undertones. It's well balanced and crisp! A great wine for Monday evening! #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016 ...

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Instagram post 17857706986008919 Tonight we're having the 2013 Montepulciano from @piccionevineyards! This dark and earthy red has a brilliant nose of purple flowers and touch of sugar plums. The flavors are bold, starting off with delicate blueberries that quickly moves to a tart cherry vanilla mid-palate. The finish is long and drawn out with soft tannins and a hint of toasted oak. #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016

Tonight we're having the 2013 Montepulciano from @piccionevineyards! This dark and earthy red has a brilliant nose of purple flowers and touch of sugar plums. The flavors are bold, starting off with delicate blueberries that quickly moves to a tart cherry vanilla mid-palate. The finish is long and drawn out with soft tannins and a hint of toasted oak. #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016 ...

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Instagram post 17858316886011272 Happy Independence Day everyone!  We hope you're celebrating with a bottle of NC Wine!  We are!  Tonight it's the dry Rosé of Merlot from @parkerbinnsvineyardandwinery!  A nose of strawberries and watermelon leads to a palate of tart watermelon. This wine is crisp with balanced acidity!  It's perfect for a hot, humid day! #NCWine #4thofJuly #DrinkLocal #ncwgjuly2016

Happy Independence Day everyone! We hope you're celebrating with a bottle of NC Wine! We are! Tonight it's the dry Rosé of Merlot from @parkerbinnsvineyardandwinery! A nose of strawberries and watermelon leads to a palate of tart watermelon. This wine is crisp with balanced acidity! It's perfect for a hot, humid day! #NCWine #4thofJuly #DrinkLocal #ncwgjuly2016 ...

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Instagram post 17849144803107354 Tonight we're having the 2014 Barrel Chardonnay from @laurelgrayvineyards! This big and bold Chardonnay has a blast of toasty vanilla on the nose, with a rich butterscotch in the background. The flavors are just as full, playing up the rich buttery vanilla, ending with a toasted caramel finish. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016

Tonight we're having the 2014 Barrel Chardonnay from @laurelgrayvineyards! This big and bold Chardonnay has a blast of toasty vanilla on the nose, with a rich butterscotch in the background. The flavors are just as full, playing up the rich buttery vanilla, ending with a toasted caramel finish. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016 ...

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Instagram post 17848868602081311 Our final stop today was to see Barry, Kathy & Marge at Misty Creek Vineyards!  Always a treat! #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016

Our final stop today was to see Barry, Kathy & Marge at Misty Creek Vineyards! Always a treat! #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016 ...

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Instagram post 17848881757087355 Our third stop earlier today was @raylenvineyards!  Thanks to Erin for our great tasting. The new Eagle's Select is superb! #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016

Our third stop earlier today was @raylenvineyards! Thanks to Erin for our great tasting. The new Eagle's Select is superb! #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016 ...

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Instagram post 17859387997036312 Tonight we're enjoying the 2013 Bella Misto from @raffaldinivineyards! This red blend is full bodied yet easy going. Toast and fresh red fruit is present on the nose. The flavors play up black cherries and vanilla with a hint of cedar on the finish. #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016

Tonight we're enjoying the 2013 Bella Misto from @raffaldinivineyards! This red blend is full bodied yet easy going. Toast and fresh red fruit is present on the nose. The flavors play up black cherries and vanilla with a hint of cedar on the finish. #NCWine #ncwgjuly2016 ...

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Reflecting on #WBC16: Our Insights

Reflecting on #WBC16: Our Insights

Well the Wine Bloggers Conference 2016 edition is now over and Lodi, CA can go back to the harvest that is quickly approaching. This year was our first year in attendance. When we arrived in Lodi last week, we weren’t sure what to expect. Sure, we read up on the conference and joined in on the numerous web stream chats from @WineAntics. But still, we were a little unsure what would happen. If you don’t read the rest of this post, you can take away this one piece of info. We absolutely loved this conference and we gained so many valuable insights, that it will now be on our calendar for years to come.

Let me first start out with a quick overview of the conference schedule. The first two days were jam-packed with information sessions, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and live wine blogging (aka speed tasting). Of course, there was plenty of time for meals, mingling, and making valuable contacts in the blogging industry. The final day of the conference was only a half day, but the ratio of insights to time spent sitting was the highest of the entire conference.

I’ll get to a post about the first two days in the next coming days, but I wanted to focus on the last day first. The break out session that day only had two options, so Joe and I decided to divide and conquer. I ended up heading to the session titled “Increasing your Audience and Engagement” presented by husband and wife team @marycressler and @emberandvine. Their award-winning blog Vindulge and their popularity across their social platforms made them ideal presenters for this topic.

There were so many takeaways from this session, that I now have weeks worth of homework ahead of me and I could write post after post about everything they taught me. The point that resonated with me the most was probably this; instead of trying to build an audience of new readers, we need to focus our writing and posts on those who already read our blog. By focusing on our readers we will end up writing better, writing more often, and gain a base of loyal readers. The rest of the popularity equation will eventually unfold after this first key step.

Our Message to You

So here’s to you, our loyal readers. Thank you for sticking with us and for reading each of our posts and reviews. We really appreciate your comments and feedback, so please let us know what else we can do to make it more interesting for you.

We’ll be posting more about the Wine Bloggers Conference in the next coming days, so keep an eye out for more posts. As we continue our journey of taking NC Wine to the next level, we’ll also be making a few improvements on our blog and our social media outlets. Even though we only went to one WBC so far, we feel ready to take on the world. Cheers!

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Live Wine Blogging at #WBC16 — Red Wines

We’re back at it for day number two. This time we’ll be enjoying an assortment of red wines. The setup is the same; several tables filled with bloggers with a winery bringing their wines to the table. We’ll have 5 minutes per wine and we’ll be posting our reviews here. You can also find our reviews on Twitter, so check back between 3:30 and 4:30 Pacific Time for more info!

the tastings—

Cultivar Winery – 2013 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Posted: August 13, 2016 at 7:30 pm
Entry level Napa blend. Dark color, even to the edge of the glass. Classic Napa nose, red fruits, a touch of herbs. Big, bold, fruity, almost chewy. High alcohol on the finish, very hot. Yet still maintains a fruity balance.

Klinkerbrick – 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Posted: at 7:24 pm
A first release of this varietal. Deep and even in color and quite expressive on the nose. A cooling first sip reveals a very nice fruit profile with soft tannins. It’s still youthful, so it’ll be interesting to see what it does in the years to come.

Peirano Estate Vineyard – 2013 The Other

Posted: at 7:19 pm
A red blend mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Rich color, not deep but still bright. Classic nose of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot notes, big cherry with hints of vanilla and oak. Fruity flavor, very vibrant with a well balanced oak mid-palate. An excellent value (12.99 average retail).

Michael David Winery – 2013 Inkblot Cabernet Franc

Posted: at 7:13 pm
A smokey nose with a touch of dried black cherries. Fresh black cherries start out on the front, then move into a mineral rich, almost flinty, finish. Vanilla is present on the mid-palate as well, then fades quickly before the finish.

Prie Winery – 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon

Posted: at 7:09 pm
A complex nose, earthy and hints of sage and possibly thyme lingering around. Cooling on the first sip. Dried fruits throughout with a bit of a lighter body than the other wines tasted so far. Another refreshing change from the heavier cabs just a bit more to the north.

Lange Twins Vineyard – 2014 Nero D’Avola

Posted: at 7:04 pm
Earthy nose, almost a little nutty. Big fruit forward profile. Tannins and oak are well balanced with a delicate herbal undertone. Light cassis on the finish; a different wine than the others in the lineup.

Harney Lane Winery – 2013 Zinfandel

Posted: at 6:59 pm
Garnet in color, even color distribution. Clean youthful nose, dried red fruits, maybe a touch of spice. Big fruit flavors, distinctive. Hints of herbal mid-palate and a bit more savory. Nice oaky finish, long with a drying end.

Oak Ridge Winery – 2014 OZV Zinfandel & 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Posted: at 6:55 pm
OZV: A full juicy nose, hints of vanilla and a woody backbone. Big fruit forward flavors, leaning on black fruits and well ripened blueberries.
Cabernet Sauvignon: lighter in color, very dependable. Classic cab nose, red fruits with an oaky balance. Bigger fruit with a lighter finish. A nice Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon.

Abundance Winery – 2013 Carignane & Copius Red

Posted: at 6:51 pm
Carignane: Medium purple color with a slight pink on the outer rim. Bold caramel and a hint of plums.
Copius red: 50/50 Carignane Cabernet a bit more smokey with a bigger fruit mid-palate.

Klinkerbrick Vineyards – 2013 Farrah Syrah

Posted: at 6:43 pm
A single vineyard Syrah poured by none other than Farrah herself! Deeply colored and a light licorice nose with a plum note in the background. The flavors are bold with dark red fruits and dried berries. Big pepper on the finish with a touch of smoke and vanilla.

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Live Wine Blogging at #WBC16 — White & Rosé

We’re covering the live wine blogging at the Wine Bloggers Conference 2016.  Here’s the set up. We’ll have 5 minutes to hear about a wine, taste it, think on it and then write about it. Here you’ll find a list of the wines with a short write up. Check back from 3-4 (west coast time) as there will be several updates.  We’re also posting on social media, so check out the badges at the bottom of the page to find out more.

the tasting

The Final Round: Michael David Winery Sauvignon Blanc

Posted: August 12, 2016 at 6:56 pm
The 2015 vintage is what’s in the glass. A pale yellow wine, it is star bright with a clean appearance. The nose is slightly grassy with a clean profile. The flavor is clean with a fresh profile. There is a nice acidity throughout with a nice mineral finish. Candied lemon peel is present in the mid-palate with a nice finish.

d’Art Vineyards 2015 White Barbera

Posted: at 6:51 pm
The wine is brilliant in color, appearing pale yellow. The nose is slightly yeasty with a touch of ripe grape skins. The flavors are big on Apple and pears with a very fresh and fruit forward presentation. The finish is creamy with a very pleasing flavor of honeyed fruit.

Lange Twins Vineyard 2015 Rosé

Posted: at 6:46 pm
This vintage is 100% Sangiovese. The color is a light red-pink, almost toasted salmon in hue. The nose leans more toward strawberry with a green hull background. Bigger strawberry and watermelon flavor today than what we tasted yesterday when we visited the vineyard. The finish is medium with a cherry skin finale.

Bokisch Vineyards 2015 Albariño

Posted: at 6:41 pm
A grassy nose, it reminds me more of Sauvignon Blanc. There’s a hint of something green and herbal hiding in the flavors are very nice. A mild acidity is present on the front, then it moves into a tropical and mild mid-palate. The finish is long with mild intensity of pineapple and sage.

Harney Lane Winery Albariño

Posted: at 6:36 pm
2015 vintage. This wine has a bright tropical nose with a crisp profile. It’s quite clean with a pale yellow-green color. The acidity is bright and up front with an almost prickly sensation on the tongue. The finish is medium intensity with a creamy lemon curd profile. Different than the others we have sampled so far today.

Lucas Winery 2001 Chardonnay

Posted: at 6:31 pm
Bold golden color. Creamy Apple nose with a touch of honey in the background. Full body, very light acids and a creamy finish. A 15 year old Chardonnay that is holding up incredibly well. This wine isn’t ending up in the dump bucket. Quite delicious!

Peirano Estate Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay

Posted: at 6:26 pm
A touch of oak with 50% malolactic fermentation. Medium straw color. Big oaky nose, subtle minerality. Nice and buttery with green apple and yellow apples on the mid-palate. The finish is lingering with subtle acidity on the finish.

Oak Ridge – OZV Rosé

Posted: at 6:21 pm
Old Zinfandel vines. Watermelon pink in color, slightly ruddy. Woody nose, slight hint of fruit in the background. Nice acidity. Hints of strawberries and raspberries. Very refreshing alternative to other heavy zin based rosés. A nice refreshing rosé.

Troon Vineyard – Southern Oregon

Posted: at 6:12 pm
2015 Troon Blue Kabel Longue Carabine
Medium yellow in color, delicate nose with a primary note of white stone fruit. Creamy flavors with a very ripe fruit profile. Almost a little hot on the finish. 43% Marsanne, 27% Viognier, 12% Vermentino, with Riesling, Roussanne and Sauvignon rounding it out. Full flavor, very complex.

Corner 103 – Sonoma Valley

Posted: at 6:05 pm 
100% Sauvignon Blanc. Lighter in color, flinty mineral nose. Almost smokey. White peaches and a nice acidity on the palate. The finish is longer than the previous wine, but it has a bit more flavor. Lighter in body, the flavors are a little exotic with tropical flavors and some grapefruit on the mid-palate.

 

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
July Tour of Five Yadkin Valley Wineries

July Tour of Five Yadkin Valley Wineries

The first weekend in July, we decided to make our way to a few Yadkin Valley wineries.  Although we didn’t get to wine each day of the weekend, we were able to make it on Friday and Saturday. Read on for a recap of our visits to Hanover Park Vineyards, Childress Vineyards, Junius Lindsay Vineyards, RayLen Vineyards, and Misty Creek Vineyards.

Empty bottles at Hanover Park

After an evening of tasting library wines, there’s bound to be a few empty bottles.

Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments