Matt Kemberling

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.

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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.


Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 1 comment
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:

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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!

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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.

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