A Century Farm of Six Generations

A Century Farm of Six Generations

In this episode, we sit down with Jonah Hoosier of Stony Knoll Vineyards in Dobson, NC. Jonah is director of operations at Stony Knoll which includes vineyard management and winemaker.

Stony Knoll Vineyard is situated on a century family farm that has been farmed for over 120 years. Jonah is part of the sixth generation of the family. Farming the land has been a part of the history of the family and continues to be a strong part about what makes Stony Knoll special.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This time, we have an interesting conversation about thiols. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

Closing Content

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!

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night – NC Wine Month 2022 Kickoff

Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night – NC Wine Month 2022 Kickoff

NC Wine Month

We hosted our first ever Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Nights in 2020 to celebrate our local wine industry during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  We continued with another in 2021 to kickoff North Carolina Wine Month. So, in 2022, continue to support the industry and to kickoff off North Carolina Wine Month, we’re hosting another  Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night.  Join us on Sunday, May 1, 2022, to celebrate our local wine industry and all that we love about North Carolina Wine.

So how can you participate?

  1. Select a bottle of North Carolina Wine, Mead, or Cider.
  2. Open it on the evening of May 1, 2022.
  3. Take a picture and post on social media.
  4. Share why you chose that bottle, who you shared it with, and more.
  5. Tag the winery, vineyard, meadery, or cidery and tag us too @NCWineGuys.
  6. And use #NCWineNight and #NCWineMonth on your posts!  

Wineries and vineyards across the state are planning special events and promotions. 

And be sure to share our Facebook Event with your friends and family!

And don’t forget to share your love of North Carolina Wine during all of May using hashtags #NCWine and #NCWineMonth!

Cheers!

 

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, Wine, 0 comments
Recreating Ancient Methods

Recreating Ancient Methods

This episode features Nico von Cosmos from Stardust Cellars in North Wilkesboro, NC! At Stardust Cellars, Nico focuses on recreating ancient winemaking techniques including overwintering, ancestral sparkling wines and meads, and wild fermentations.

Biodynamic practices in winemaking and farming are also a driving force that sets Stardust Cellars apart from the others. Biodynamic is an old concept about living with the land. This means growing grapes and other crops while using what natures provides to help counteract pests and other vineyard problems. It is not an easy practice, but it does pay off in terms of quality and environmental impact.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. They explore esters and how versatile they are in wines. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

Closing Content

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.

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine & Grape Council. You can find out more information about the council by going to their website https://www.ncwine.org

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
In the Wine Light – Appalachian High Country AVA

In the Wine Light – Appalachian High Country AVA

AVAs for North Carolina

American Viticultural Areas in North Carolina

In the Wine Light we continue our series on American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in North Carolina.  Our focus in this post is the fifth AVA in North Carolina, the Appalachian High Country.  This is North Carolina’s second AVA shared with another state.  In this case, it is two states, Tennessee and Virginia.

Linville Falls Winery - Linville Falls, NC

Linville Falls Winery – Linville Falls, NC

The petition for creating the Appalachian High Country AVA originated from Johnnie James, owner of Bethel Valley Farms on behalf of the High Country Wine Growers Association.  The area has been known as the High Country for many years due to the higher elevations of the Appalachian Mountains.

Banner Elk Winery - Banner Elk, NC

Banner Elk Winery – Banner Elk, NC

The Appalachian High Country AVA is distinguished from the surrounding areas and other AVAs due to topography, climate, and soils.  At the time of the petition to establish the AVA, there were 21 vineyards and 10 wineries.

Due to the shorter growing season and cooler climate of the high country, hybrid grapes varieties are more widely grown.  Seyval Blanc, Marquette, Marechal Foch, Frontenac, and Vidal Blanc are some of the most popular varieties.  You can also find vinifera varieties in smaller quantities such as Riesling and Pinot Noir.

Vineyard at Grandfather Mountain Vineyard  & Winery - Banner Elk, NC

Vineyard at Grandfather Mountain Vineyard & Winery – Banner Elk, NC

Also, most vineyards are planted on slopes with angles of 30 degrees or greater.  This also means vineyards tend to be terraced to prevent erosion.  Due to this harvesting is mostly done by hand.

The High Country is a popular destination in any time of year.  From Christmas tree farms and skiing in the winter to the blooms of late spring and summer to the colorful leaves of fall, there’s plenty to enjoy year round.  Plus, there’s great wine too!

Quick Facts

Name:  Appalachian High Country

Petitioner:  Johnnie James, owner of Bethel Valley Farms on behalf of the High Country Wine Growers Association

Effective Date:  November 28, 2016

Square Miles:  2,400

Counties within boundaries:  All or Portions of Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, and Watauga Counties in North Carolina; Carter and Johnson Counties in Tennessee; and Grayson County in Virginia

Geography:  Elevation ranges from 1338 ft to over 6000 ft with most vineyards planted between 2290 ft to 4630 ft

Climate:  The average annual temperature is 51.5 degrees with a growing season that averages 139 days.

Soil:  Derived from igneous and metamorphic rocks such as granite and gneiss; Well-drained with a fine, loamy texture

Source:  TTB Website

#InTheWineLight #NCWine #AppalachianHighCountry

 

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Upper Hiwassee Highlands AVA

In the Wine Light – Upper Hiwassee Highlands AVA

AVAs for North Carolina

American Viticultural Areas in North Carolina

In the Wine Light we continue our series on American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in North Carolina.  Our focus in this post is the fourth AVA in North Carolina, the Upper Hiwassee Highlands.

Hiwassee River Basin

Hiwassee River Basin

The petition for creating the Upper Hiwassee Highlands AVA originated from Eric Carlson, owner of Calaboose Cellars, on behalf of himself and members of the Vineyard and Winery Operators of the Upper Hiwassee River Basin group.

FernCrest Winery Tasting Room - Andrews, NC

FernCrest Winery Tasting Room – Andrews, NC

Name

The Upper Hiwassee Highlands name was chosen due to the AVA’s location along the upper portions of the Hiwassee River, from the river’s headwaters in Towns County, Georgia, to the Hiwassee Dam on Hiwassee Lake in Cherokee County, North Carolina. The portion of the river that flows north of the dam, outside the proposed viticultural area, is often referred to as the “lower” river.  Highlands denotes the high, rugged, regions of the southern portion of the Appalachians and are terms used by businesses and organizations within the AVA.

 
Nottely River Valley Vineyards Tasting Room - Murphy, NC

Nottely River Valley Vineyards Tasting Room – Murphy, NC

Shared with Georgia

Upper Hiwasee Highlands was the first AVA in North Carolina to be shared with another state, in this case, Georgia.  It covers portions of Cherokee and Clay counties in southwestern North Carolina and portions of Town, Union, and Fannin Counties in northern Georgia.

Nottely River Valley Vineyards - Murphy, NC

Nottely River Valley Vineyards – Murphy, NC

At the time of the petition in 2013 there were 26 commercial vineyards located throughout the proposed viticultural area, growing approximately 54 acres of French-American hybrids, American grape varieties, and Vitis vinifera.

Today the Upper Hiwassee Highlands AVA continues to produce top quality grapes and wines.  From the scenic mountain views to the quaint mountain towns and friendly people, it’s a great wine destination for North Carolina.

Quick Facts

Name:  Upper Hiwassee Highlands

Petitioner:  Eric Carlson, owner of Calaboose Cellars, on behalf of himself and members of the Vineyard and Winery Operators of the Upper Hiwassee River Basin group

Effective Date:  August 14, 2014

Square Miles:  690

Counties within boundaries:  Portions of Cherokee and Clay in North Carolina and Towns, Union, and Fannin in Georgia

Geography:  Elevation ranges from 2000 to 2400 ft which is lower than most of the surrounding area and the AVA boundary approximating the boundary of the watershed for the upper portion of the Hiwassee River

Climate:  Warmer than the surrounding regions to the north, east, and south and slightly cooler than the region to the west with 161 to 168 freeze free days 

Soil:  Deep, moderately to well drained, and moderately fertile

Source:  TTB Website

#InTheWineLight #NCWine #UpperHiwasseeHighlands

 

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Haw River Valley AVA

In the Wine Light – Haw River Valley AVA

AVAs for North Carolina

American Viticultural Areas in North Carolina

In the Wine Light we continue our series on American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in North Carolina.  Our focus in this post is the third AVA in North Carolina, the Haw River Valley.

Haw River

Haw River

The petition for creating the Haw River Valley AVA originated from Patricia McRitchie on behalf of local grape growers and winemakers.  The Haw River Valley name was chosen because the Haw River.  

Grove Winery - Gibsonville, NC

Grove Winery – Gibsonville, NC

The Haw River’s name is derived from the Sissipahaw Native Americans who once lived in small villages along the river.  The boundaries of the AVA are composed of nearly all of the Haw River’s watershed.  At the time of the petition there were over 60 acres of vineyards and 6 wineries within the proposed boundaries.

Grapes growing at Grove Winery - Gibsonville, NC

Grapes growing at Grove Winery – Gibsonville, NC

Today the Haw River Valley continues to be an important wine growing region for North Carolina.  Situated between the booming Research Triangle and the Piedmont Triad, it’s easily accessible from two of North Carolina’s largest metropolitan areas.

Quick Facts

Name:  Haw River Valley

Petitioner:  Patricia McRitchie on behalf of local grape growers and winemakers

Effective Date:  April 29, 2009

Square Miles:  868

Counties within boundaries:  Portions of Guilford, Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Orange, and Rockingham

Geography:  Elevation ranges from 350 ft in the southeastern corner of the boundary to over 800 ft in the northwestern corner

Climate:  Temperatures are moderate with more precipitation as compared to the surrounding areas. The growing season and frost-free days generally run from April 1 to November 1.

Soil:  Variety of soil types that are deep and well drained;  These tend to be acidic with low fertility.

Source:  TTB Website

#InTheWineLight #NCWine #HawRiverValley

 

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Swan Creek AVA

In the Wine Light – Swan Creek AVA

AVAs for North Carolina

American Viticultural Areas in North Carolina

In the Wine Light we continue our series on American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in North Carolina.  Our focus in this post is the second oldest and only AVA to overlap another AVA in North Carolina, the Swan Creek AVA.

Raffaldini Vineyards - Ronda, NC

Raffaldini Vineyards – Ronda, NC

The petition for creating the Swan Creek AVA originated from Raffaldini Vineyards on behalf of the original Vineyards of the Swan Creek trade association.  The Swan Creek name was chosen because the community in the center of the AVA is known as Swan Creek.  Also, East and West Swan Creeks run north from the Brushy Mountains and form Swan Creek which empties into the Yadkin River three miles west of Jonesville.

Merlot growing at Shadow Springs Vineyard - Hamptonville, NC

Merlot growing at Shadow Springs Vineyard – Hamptonville, NC

After the Civil War, farming become a primary focus of the area which continues today.  At the time of the petition in 2006, there were three wineries and 75 acres of vineyard within the proposed AVA’s boundaries.

Budbreak at Laurel Gray Vineyards - Hamptonville, NC

Budbreak at Laurel Gray Vineyards – Hamptonville, NC

Today, the Swan Creek AVA is home many more acres of vineyards with seven tasting rooms.  More tasting rooms, vineyards, and wineries will be opening within the next few years.  Currently, the Swan Creek AVA has the most dense concentration of vineyards and wineries in North Carolina.

View of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Piccione Vineyards - Ronda, NC

View of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Piccione Vineyards – Ronda, NC

Quick Facts

Name:  Swan Creek

Petitioner:  Raffaldini Vineyards on behalf of the original Vineyards of Swan Creek Association

Effective Date:  May 27, 2008

Acres:  96,000

Counties within boundaries:  Portions of Wilkes, Yadkin, and Iredell

Overlap with Yadkin Valley:  The northern 60% of the Swan Creek AVA is also a part of the Yadkin Valley AVA.  The lower 40% is outside of the boundaries of the Yadkin Valley.

Geography:  Elevation ranges from 1000 ft to 2000 ft within the AVA boundaries with the Brushy Mountain being a prominent feature

Climate:  Temperatures and precipitation are slightly cooler and less wet than the rest of the Yadkin Valley partly due to the Brushy Mountains

Soil:  Primarily saprolite, a soft, clay-rich soil derived from weathered felsic (acidic) metamorphic rocks of the Inner Piedmont Belt such as granites, schists, and gneisses

Source:  TTB Website

#InTheWineLight #NCWine #SwanCreek

 

 

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – National Drink Wine Day

In the Wine Light – National Drink Wine Day

National Drink Wine Day

In the Wine Light is National Drink Wine Day.  National Drink Wine Day is celebrated annually on February 18th.  This is not to be confused with National Wine Day which is celebrated annually on May 25th.

According to the the National Drink Wine Day website, the wine holiday is meant “to spread the love and health benefits of wine.”  The site goes on to say, “Wine has played an important role in history, religion and relationships.  We embrace the positive benefits of wine such as new friends, reduced risk of heart disease and the enhancement of food and life.”

National Drink Wine Day was founded by Todd McCalla.  In addition to their website, you can learn more and celebrate by following them on Facebook and Twitter.

Some of you could be like us and celebrate this wine holiday regularly.  But give it an extra special try on February 18th!

Support Local #NCWine

And if you want to join the conversation about local North Carolina Wine, join our Facebook group, Support Local North Carolina Wine – #NCWine!

Cheers!

#InTheWineLight #NationalDrinkWineDay #DrinkWineDay

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 1 comment
Ciders of Opportunity

Ciders of Opportunity

This episode features Lyndon Smith, Amie Fields, Kether Smith, and Deric McGuffey from Botanist & Barrel Cidery & Winery! Botanist & Barrel has two locations. The farm, production site, and original tasting room is located in Cedar Grove, NC. They opened a second tasting room in Asheville in 2021 which sells their products as well as other natural wines and ciders.

At Botanist & Barrel, they focus on being minimalistic and wild. This means they work with what nature gives them. The only tools they work with are time, temperature, and the barrels they work with. Working in this way, they can produce a wine or cider that is a true expression of terroir. Another philosophy they follow is less is more. This concept lead to their first pet nat cider (also called Less is More) and captures everything they’re trying to do.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. They explore methoxypyrazines and how they impact wines. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

Closing Content

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.

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine & Grape Council. You can find out more information about the council by going to their website https://www.ncwine.org

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
In the Wine Light – Yadkin Valley AVA

In the Wine Light – Yadkin Valley AVA

AVAs for North Carolina

American Viticultural Areas in North Carolina

In the Wine Light we continue our series on American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in North Carolina.  Our focus in this post is the oldest and largest AVA in North Carolina, the Yadkin Valley.

Shelton Vineyards in Dobson, NC

The petition for creating the Yadkin Valley AVA originated from Patricia McRitchie on behalf of Shelton Vineyards.  The Yadkin Valley name was chosen because the area had been known as the Yadkin Valley since pre-colonial days with the Yadkin River being a prominent feature.

Vineyard #1 at Westbend Vineyards – The first Vinifera planting in the Yadkin Valley

At the end of the 20th Century, the once thriving tobacco growing region was turning to a new crop, wine grapes.  At the time of the petition there were over 30 growers within the original boundaries of the AVA and 3 bonded wineries.

Cabernet Sauvignon growing at Hanover Park – The second winery in the Yadkin Valley

A petition by Alliston Stubbs of Cedar Ridge Vineyards in Reeds, NC asked to include additional land in Davie and Davidson Counties in the new AVA.  This petition was accepted. Other petitions to expand the area of the AVA were denied.

Yadkin Valley AVA

Boundaries of the Yadkin Valley AVA

Today the Yadkin Valley is home to some of the most premier wineries in North Carolina.  New vineyards are being planted and new wineries are coming online.  The region and AVA are fast becoming a wine tourism destination.

Quick Facts

Name:  Yadkin Valley

Petitioner:  Patricia McRitchie on behalf of Shelton Vineyards

Effective Date:  February 7, 2003

Acres:  1,416,000

Counties within boundaries:  Wilkes, Surry, Yadkin, and portions of Stokes, Forsyth, Davie, and Davidson

Geography:  Elevation ranges from 3800 ft in Northwest Wilkes County to 694 in Northwest Davie County. Latitude is between 36°00′ and 36°30′ N.

Climate:  Temperatures and precipitation are moderate as compared to the surrounding areas. The growing season and frost-dates fall within the optimum range for cultivation of premium vinifera grapes.

Soil:  Soils are mostly clay with clay or fine Loamy subsoils with good drainage.  The tend to be acidic with low fertility.

Source:  Federal Register

#InTheWineLight #NCWine #YadkinValley

 

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – American Viticultural Areas

In the Wine Light – American Viticultural Areas

AVAs for North Carolina

American Viticultural Areas in North Carolina

In the Wine Light we’re revisiting our series on American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) with a particular focus on the six AVAs in North Carolina.  Over the next few months, we’ll dive into each of these six North Carolina AVAs.  We’ll also look at the seventh proposed AVA that’s pending approval.

But we’ll start with what is an AVA.  The Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is the government agency charged with approving and designating new AVAs.  Per their website:

An American Viticultural Area, or AVA, is a specific type of appellation of origin used on wine labels. An AVA is a delimited grape-growing region with specific geographic or climatic features that distinguish it from the surrounding regions and affect how grapes are grown. Using an AVA designation on a wine label allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers identify wines they may purchase.

So, an AVA is a designated grape-growing region within the United States that has specific geographic features or a unique climate that distinguishes it from other grape growing regions.  Our AVAs are similar to appellation designations in France (AOC/AOP) and Italy (DOC/DOCG) although not as stringent.  For example, American AVAs don’t restrict what grapes can be grown in a given AVA .

An AVA designation allows winemakers to taut the unique terroir of a particular region. Some AVAs come with a level of prestige allowing wines to claim higher selling prices.  A wine with an AVA designation must be made of at least 85% of the grapes in the wine having been grown within the AVA.

According to the TTB’s website, to establish a new AVA, you must have these three things:

  1. A proposed name, as well as evidence showing that the name is currently used to describe the region of the proposed AVA.
  2. A description of the geographic and/or climatic features that distinguish the proposed AVA from the surrounding regions and have an effect on how grapes are grown, along with evidence to support your claims of these distinctive features.
  3. A written description of the proposed AVA boundary and the appropriate U.S.G.S topographic maps with the boundary drawn on it.

The petition undergoes a lengthy review and approval process sometimes taking years.

What would you like to know about AVAs in North Carolina?  Leave us a comment.

#InTheWineLight #NCWine #AVA

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 3 comments
Roads of Gold – Golden Roads Vineyards

Roads of Gold – Golden Roads Vineyards

Welcome to season 4 of Cork Talk! This episode features Chad and Crista Guebert from Golden Road Vineyards in State Road, NC! Chad and Christa opened the tasting room at the vineyard just last year. Both of them have a background in IT consulting and decided they wanted to get away from their computer screens and do something they are passionate about.

They purchased Golden Road Vineyard in 2018. At the time, it was an established vineyard which was an important factor in their decision. They began their wine journey in Virginia where they took wine education and winemaking classes through classes offered at a local community college in collaboration with local Virginia wineries. Their search for vineyards in Virginia kept pushing them further south and eventually they found a home just over the border here in North Carolina.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This season, Jesse and Jessica will take us through the different components that go into the flavors we taste and aromas we smell. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

Closing Content

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!

We also touch on a very important topic. The Spotted Lantern Fly is an invasive species that is threatening grapes and other food crops on the east coast. For more information, head to YouTube to watch this video from North Carolina Agriculture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIPcYSXsqhk

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Festivus 2021 – Airing of Wine Grievances!

In the Wine Light – Festivus 2021 – Airing of Wine Grievances!

In the Wine Light today, December 23, 2021, is the celebration of Festivus.  Created in 1966 by Daniel O’Keefe and popularized during an episode of the hit TV show, Seinfeld, Festivus is celebrated with Feats of Strength and the Airing of Grievances.  So, in that spirit, we’re back for the fourth year to air a few wine grievances.  This is our one post a year that’s not entirely positive.  Many of these grievances are repeats from previous years, but there are a new one or two and some updates.  So, sit back, pour a glass, and read on!

These are in no particular order:

No Free Time Meme

  • Too Busy.  Our lives in 2021 were just too busy with other obligations to have much time for visiting wineries and posting about them.  2022 doesn’t appear that it will get a ton better, so bare with us as we do the best we can.

  • Too many hashtags or using hashtags that don’t apply.  This still gets on our nerves.  You don’t need 14 million hashtags on your post especially if they’re hashtags no one else uses.  And just because you’re drinking wine in a given region, that doesn’t make it a regional wine.  So, don’t post about the Apothic Red you’re drinking in Charlotte and call it #NCWine.  Wine is about a sense of place.  Apothic Red’s place is not in your wine glass.

  • Poor tasting glasses.  We’re still glass snobs.  Please no glasses with the “lip” around the rim.  These just don’t show wines well.  Upgrade the glass and the experience!

Just say no to stemless wine glasses

  • Stemless glasses.  Some people love them.  We hate them.  You’re constantly holding your glass by the bowl and then warming the wine with your hand which can then affect the taste.  Stick with a stemmed glass which brings us to our next grievance.

The Incorrect & Correct Way to Hold a Wine Glass

  • Holding a wine glass improperly.  You should hold the glass by the stem.  We did a whole blog post about it.

  • “Fruited” wines.  We’re still wondering why do we need pomegranate, green apple, cranberry, cherry, pineapple and umpteen other fruits added to our perfectly fruity grape wines?  Wine grapes produce wines with an abundance of fruit flavors. Let the grapes speak for themselves.  And if you want a fruit wine, then just make it from fruit.

  • Wine slushies.  Seriously, why is this still a thing?  Ok, maybe in the summer then it’s 95 degrees and 10,000% humidity, but wine is already extra calories, do you really need all that extra sugar?

  • Children in at wineries and vineyards.  It’s sad that this is still an issue.  This is our #2 grievance (behind being too busy) if we had to rank them.  Children can’t drink.  Don’t bring them with you to a winery.  Wining is an adult thing and many of us wish to adult in peace and quiet.  But, please bring your well behaved dogs and cats.  We love pets!

  • Farm to fork restaurants who don’t have local wine on their lists.  This is probably #3 on our grievance list right after the kids at wineries.  Don’t call yourself a farm to fork locavore restaurant if you don’t have local wine on this list.  There’s just no excuse!  And make those wines available for pick up for those who don’t want to eat inside a restaurant right now.

So, that’s our list for this year.  And keeping with this theme, leave us your comments of what’s your grievances are.  Just avoid personal attacks.

Cheers and Happy Festivus for the rest of us!

#InTheWineLight #Festivus

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
Cork Talk Holiday Episode!

Cork Talk Holiday Episode!

In this episode, we sit down with four of our blogger friends to bring you a special Holiday Episode! In this episode, we feature Pam from Food and Wine Chronicles, Jessica from the Wine Mouths, Arthur from Merlot 2 Muscadine, and Dave from Vino-Sphere! We talk about the things you should look for in a holiday wine pairing. We then move on to suggested wine styles to consider for your holiday table (oh yes, and we do talk about Joe’s mulled wine).

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This time they talk to us about Cabernet Franc. 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.

Closing Content

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!

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Mulled Wine and Cider

In the Wine Light – Mulled Wine and Cider

In the Wine Light and just in time for the holidays is Mulled Wine and Cider!

Mulled Wine and Cider are always favorites in the cooler months of the year.  We often serve Mulled Wine during the holidays or on days with wintry weather.  We have gone through several iterations of recipes.  Most have been made just using red wine as a base with bit of bourbon.  A few years ago, we found a recipe that incorporated wine, cider, bourbon and tawny port.  We have played with it a bit and would like to share it with you.

If you are looking for a warm mulled drink that is just slightly sweet, give this recipe a try.  If you would like a sweeter version, you could always add honey or brown sugar to taste or start with a sweeter wine.

Start with spices.  You will need cardamom, whole cloves, star anise, whole black peppercorns, whole allspice, cinnamon sticks, and a whole nutmeg.

Crack the cardamom pods.  Toast the cracked cardamom pods, star anise, cloves, peppercorns, and allspice berries in a skillet for just a few minutes.  Two – three minutes is all you need.  Stir constantly to prevent burning. The smell will be divine!

Next, make your cheesecloth bundle with sliced ginger, orange peel, and your toasted spices.  Secure with butcher’s twine.

In your slow cooker, pour in your liquid ingredients including the juice of half an orange.  Stir.

Add your cheesecloth bundle, cinnamon sticks, and sprig of rosemary.  Heat on low for two hours.  Then remove cheesecloth and sprig of rosemary.  Grate fresh nutmeg.  Stir.  Heat on low another two hours.  Remove cinnamon sticks and turn setting to warm.  Serve warm.

Here is the full recipe:

INGREDIENTS

3 Whole Star Anise

5 Whole Green Cardamom Pods, Cracked

1 Teaspoon Whole Cloves

1 Teaspoon Whole Allspice Berries

½ Teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns

1 Teaspoon Grated Orange Peel

1.5” Fresh Ginger, Peeled and Sliced Thinly

2 cups Apple Cider

1 bottle Dry Red Wine

1 cup Tawny Port

¼ cup Bourbon

Juice of ½ an Orange

6” Sprig of Rosemary

3 Cinnamon Sticks

Freshly Grated Nutmeg

4 Quart Slow Cooker

Cheesecloth

Butcher’s Twine

METHOD

  1. Heat small non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once the skillet is hot, add Star Anise, Cardamon, Cloves, Allspice, and Black Peppercorns.
  3. Toast for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  4. Place toasted spices in cheesecloth along with Grated Orange Peel and Ginger.
  5. Secure with Butcher’s Twine.
  6. Pour wine, cider, port, and bourbon into slow cooker.
  7. Add cheesecloth bundle, rosemary sprig, and cinnamon sticks.
  8. Stir.
  9. Set slow cooker to low.
  10. Heat for 2 hours.
  11. Remove rosemary and cheesecloth bundle.
  12. Grate a dash or two of fresh nutmeg.
  13. Stir.
  14. Continue to heat on low for another hour or two. 
  15. Remove cinnamon sticks.
  16.  Set slow cooker to Warm until ready to serve.
  17. Serve warm.

#InTheWineLight #MulledWine #MulledCider

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, Wine, 1 comment
In the Wine Light – Cabernet Franc Day

In the Wine Light – Cabernet Franc Day

In the Wine Light is Cabernet Franc Day.  This wine holiday is celebrated annually on December 4th.

Origins

According to the Cab Franc Day website, Cabernet Franc is believed to have been established in the Libournais region of southwest France sometime in the 17th century, when Cardinal Richelieu transported cuttings of the vine to the Loire Valley.  December 4th is the anniversary of Cardinal Richelieu’s death which is why we celebrate Cab Franc Day on that date.

Parent Grape

Cabernet Franc is also the parent grape of at least three other Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carménère. It is also the parent to an obscure Spanish variety known as Hondarribi Beltza found mostly in the Basque Country.

Plantings Around the World

In addition to its native Basque region in France, Cab Franc is planted elsewhere in France in Bordeaux and most famously in the Loire Valley.  There are also significant plantings in the Italy, Spain, Chile, and the US.

Cabernet Franc has gained a large footing on the East Coast of the US.  It’s popular in the Finger Lakes and on Long Island in New York as well as Virginia.  Cab Franc continues to gain footing in North Carolina as well.  It’s one of our favorite varieties and pairs wonderful with North Carolina BBQ, either Lexington-Style or Eastern-Style.  

In North Carolina

One of the largest planting of Cabernet Franc in North Carolina is the six acres at RayLen Vineyards in Mocksville.  We reached out to winemaker Steve Shepard for some thoughts on growing Cab Franc in the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina. Steve tell us, “Cab Franc has been a work horse for us in that we utilize it in many ways.”

RayLen 2019 Rosé of Cabernet Franc

Steve goes on to tell us that RayLen’s vineyard is planted with 3 of the highest rated French clones, 214, 327, and 312. He gave us more detailed information on each clone:

  • Clone 214 is known to express raspberry and violet flavors and recommended not to exceed more than 50% of the planting.  
  • Clone 327 recommended not to exceed 30% of the planting as it produces structured and powerful wines.  Our block is 52% clone 214 and 48% clone 327.  The fruit from these clones are used to produce Cab Franc varietal, and in blends Carolinius, Category 5, Eagle Select.
  • Clone 312 is known as a higher yielding than average so it sets the stage for a Rose.  Our Cab Franc Rose is produced from this block, clone 312.
RayLen 2018 Cabernet Franc

RayLen 2018 Cabernet Franc

Steve mentions that “Generally, Cab Franc in the vineyard preforms better than most other vinifera reds.”  It is more tolerant of heat, wet and disease.  In the winery, on bountiful years, Steve is able to separate the clones throughout the aging process before he establishes the final blend.  He says, “It’s interesting to note the unique characteristics of each and how they knit together.”

In addition to RayLen’s Cabernet Franc varietal, Cab Franc based blends, and Cab Franc rosé, there are many other delightful Cabernet Francs in the state.  Just a few of our favorites include (but not limited to) Cab Francs from Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery, Laurel Gray Vineyards, South Creek Vineyards and Winery, Hanover Park Vineyard, Burntshirt Vineyards, and Childress Vineyards.

Do you have a favorite Cabernet Franc?  How are you celebrating?

#CabFrancDay #CabernetFrancDay #InTheWineLight

 

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
Enjoy Your Path – Marked Tree Vineyard

Enjoy Your Path – Marked Tree Vineyard

This episode features Tim Parks and Lance Hiatt of Marked Tree Vineyard in Hendersonville, NC! We visited the vineyard in the early fall (a perfect time of year) and recorded this conversation with Tim and Lance. Their love of wine started when Lance visited Chablis many years ago. Together, the pair visited many wine regions across the globe. It was the east coast wineries that really made them consider running a vineyard as an option.

The story behind the Marked Tree is that Native Americans would use a bent tree to mark a path. These Marked Trees would guide you along a path to different destinations, depending on the type of tree they used. At Marked Tree Vineyards, Tim and Lance encourage you to relax and enjoy the path you’re on.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This time they talk to us about Syrah. 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.

Closing Content

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!

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – International Merlot Day

In the Wine Light – International Merlot Day

Merlot Growing at Laurel Gray Vineyards

Merlot Growing at Laurel Gray Vineyards
Photo provided by Kim Myers, Co-Owner, Laurel Gray Vineyards

In the Wine Light is International Merlot Day.  This wine holiday is celebrated annually on November 7th.

Merlot is one of the most widely planted and noble wine grapes in all the world.  It typically is one of first red grapes to bud break, so it sometimes has issues with the late spring frosts we see here in North Carolina.  Due to the earlier bud break, it’s often one of the first red grapes to be harvested.

Merlot hails from Bordeaux and is an offspring of Cabernet Franc making it a sibling to Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, and Malbec.  It wasn’t until around 2009 that Merlot’s other parent was discovered via DNA testing.  This obscure variety, Merlot’s mother, is formally known as Magdeleine Noire des Charentes.

Sales of Merlot increased in the 1990s along with other red wines following the airing of the 60 Minutes segment on the French Paradox.  Then sales fell nearly 2% following the release of the 2004 movie Sideways which unfairly degraded Merlot.  Merlot has since made a comeback.

Baby Jack Loves Laurel Gray Merlot

Even babies love merlot! This is Baby Jack with merlot from Laurel Gray Vineyards in 2007. These grapes made a 100% estate wine that later won Best in Show at the NC State Fair Wine Competition.
Photo provided by Kim Myers, Co-Owner, Laurel Gray Vineyards

Merlots are often known for being full bodied with medium tannins.  Classic flavors are black cherry, raspberry, and plum.

There are many delightful Merlots in the state.  Just a few of our favorite include (but not limited to) Merlots from Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery, Laurel Gray Vineyards, South Creek Vineyards and Winery, and McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks.

What do you like about Merlot?  How are celebrating this iconic variety?

#MerlotDay #InTheWineLight

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Linden Vineyards

In the Wine Light – Linden Vineyards

In the Wine Light is Linden Vineyards. On our return from our trip to the Finger Lakes this summer, we made a couple of stops in Virginia.  Our second stop was at Linden Vineyards in Linden.  

We first visited Linden Vineyards in October of 2019.  We had tasted Linden’s wines previously at an American Wine Society Conference in 2015.  Owner Jim Law led a session on “Site Specific Variations in Wine”.  During this session we tasted Chardonnays and Cabernet Francs from various Linden sites.

Hardscrabble Vineyard - Linden Vineyards - Linden, VA

Hardscrabble Vineyard – Linden Vineyards – Linden, VA

Backstory

Linden Vineyards began in 1985 with the establishment of the Hardscrabble Vineyard.  This site, once an apple orchard, had long been abandoned.  Eight acres were planted with mostly grafted and propagated in-house from budwood obtained from the few local vineyards in the surrounding area. The first planting consisted of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Vidal Blanc, and Seyval Blanc as noted on Linden’s website.  The first commercial vintage was 1987.

There are currently 22 acres under vine across 3 vineyard sites:  Hardscrabble, Avenius, and Boisseau.  Avenius is a nearby site first planted in 1996.  Boisseau, a warmer site, is located in Front Royal, VA.  

Jim Law has been a well-respected member of the Virginia Wine community for decades.  That respect extends down to North Carolina as we have heard numerous people sing Jim’s praises.  Jim willingly shares his knowledge and expertise and is a mentor to many.

Barrel Room - Linden Vineyards - Linden, VA

Barrel Room – Linden Vineyards – Linden, VA

Winemaking Philosophy

Linden Vineyards has a distinctive winemaking philosophy.  A recent social media post described it as palate-based winemaking.  Extraction decisions are made solely on taste. They note that taste is somewhat subjective, so the try to discipline their tasting regiment by taking two samples every two days from each lot. In Linden’s library, one of the samples is tasted alongside a sample taken two days previously. They can then taste the progression of extraction. This procedure continues every two days until they decide to drain the wine off its skins.

Another key philosophy for winemaking at Linden is around where the winemaker spends most of his time.  At Linden Vineyards, the winemaker spends more time in the vineyard than in the cellar.  As they say, good wine starts in the vineyard.

Tasting – Chardonnay

Visits to the Linden Vineyards’ tasting room are by reservation only.  Our tasting appointment was at 11am.  Jen greeted us and got us started. We began with the 2018 Village Chardonnay.  This Chardonnay is a blend of all three vineyard sites and spent 10 months in neutral French oak.  The nose gave notes of roasted banana while the palate had crisp pear with some flinty undertones.  The acids were pleasing.

Next up, we tasted the 2016 Avenius Chardonnay.  2016 was a warm vintage.  Again, this wine spent 10 months in neutral French oak which showed on the nose.  Lightly candied pear dominated on the palate.  With crisp acids, this wine was full bodied and very enjoyable.

Tasting – Red Wines

After the whites, we tasted three red wines starting with the 2014 Claret.  A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (44%), Merlot (34%), Cabernet Franc (20%), and Petit Verdot (2%), this wine presented a gorgeous nose with aromas of violets, blueberry, and spice.  The palate gave roasted plums, figs, and a hint of spice.  The tannins were medium with a balanced acidity.

Next was the 2014 Petit Verdot.  Made of Petit Verdot (88%), Cabernet Sauvignon (8%), and Carménère (4%) and aged in older French oak, this wine gave a smoky, toasty nose.  The palate was rich with flavors of blueberries, tobacco, and black tea and hints of violets.  The oak gave a spicy undertone.

We finished the tasting with the 2016 Hardscrabble Red made from fruit from the Hardscrabble vineyard.  A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (56%), Merlot (41%), and Cabernet Franc (3%), this wine was aged in new and used oak for twenty-two months.  Blueberries, black plum, and violets danced on the nose.  Roasted black figs, vanilla, blueberries, and a hint of violets showed on the palate.  The tannins were bold with a long, pleasing finish.

Bottled Wine - Linden Vineyards - Linden, VA

Bottled Wine – Linden Vineyards – Linden, VA

Tour with Winemaker

After we finished our tasting, Linden Vineyards winemaker, Jonathan Weber, took us for a tour.  Jonathan has connections to North Carolina having studied at viticulture and enology at the program at Surry Community College.

We started on the crush pad, talking about the vineyard and harvest.  Typically grapes are harvested on day and processed the next.  Sorting tables a used to sort grapes saving the best berries for winemaking.  Recently, they have moved to more whole berry fermentation.  We ended the tour in the cellar further discussing the winemaking process.

View at Linden Vineyards - Linden, VA

View at Linden Vineyards – Linden, VA

Must Visit

If you are a serious wine enthusiast and haven’t visited Linden Vineyards, you should plan a trip.  We’re sure you won’t be disappointed.

We look forward to our next visit!

#InTheWineLight #VAWine

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, Top Pick Winery, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Working Hard to be Found – Hidden Vineyard

Working Hard to be Found – Hidden Vineyard

In this episode, we sit down with Lisa, Tim, Claudia, and Josh from Hidden Vineyard in Dobson, North Carolina! The Hidden Vineyard family moved from Ohio to an area that they visited on many occasions on their way to family vacations. They were looking for an established vineyard to purchase so they could make wine sooner. With just about 10 acres, they make six estate wines in partnership with their custom crush partners. Each of the owners has one wine that is their favorite and they follow the wine throughout the process. When you visit, you feel like you’re part of the family and they embrace each visitor as if you are.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This time they talk to us about the grape Merlot. 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.

Closing Content

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!

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Glen Manor Vineyards

In the Wine Light – Glen Manor Vineyards

In the Wine Light is Glen Manor Vineyards. On our return from our trip to the Finger Lakes this summer, we made a couple of stops in Virginia.  Our first stop was at Glen Manor Vineyards in Front Royal.  

Glen Manor Vineyards Sign

Glen Manor Vineyards – October, 2019

We first visited Glen Manor Vineyards in October of 2019.  We’d always heard great things about them and were super impressed with our visit, so it was a priority to visit them again.

Tasting Room and Winery at Glen Manor Vineyards

Tasting Room and Winery at Glen Manor Vineyards

Scenic Location

Glen Manor Vineyards is located just below Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park.  The vineyards are just beyond the tasting room on a steep hills.  Visits to Glen Manor are by reservation only – a feature that started during the pandemic and will likely continue thereafter.

Our appointment was a 4:30pm on an absolutely gorgeous day.  We were greeted by Kelly, one of the owners, who led us outside for our tasting.  We faced the vineyard with Skyline Drive on the mountain above. 

Glen Manor Vineyards with Skyline Drive Above

Glen Manor Vineyards with Skyline Drive Above

Century Farm

This bucolic location provides a peaceful respite from today’s busy life.  Kelly walked us through the history of the estate beginning with the initial purchase of land by the family in 1901.  Fast forward to 1995 when Glen Manor Vineyards was born with the planting of a little more than one acre of Sauvignon Blanc.  

More vines were planted in subsequent years with the most recent addition in 2017.  There are now 17 acres under vine on the 212 acre estate.  In addition to the Sauvignon Blanc, varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Petit Manseng, and Nebbiolo.

Tasting – Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé

We began our tasting with the 2019 Sauvignon Blanc.  Grapes on the west facing canopy were harvested on August 29, 2019, with grapes from the east facing canopy harvested on September 2, 2019.  Each harvest was fermented separately in stainless steel at 55 degrees for 30 days using two different yeasts. The separate batches were blended in October, 2019, and then bottled in January, 2020.  A grassy, lemony nose gave way to a palate of candied lemon along with a grassy, herbaceous note with a slight minerality.

Next up, we tasted the 2020 Morales Rosé, a blend of Cabernet Franc (45%), Merlot (22%), Petit Verdot (22%), and Nebbiolo (11%).  A well balanced wine that presented notes of strawberry and watermelon.

Front of Tasting Room at Glen Manor Vineyards

Front of Tasting Room at Glen Manor Vineyards

Tasting – Reds

Time for reds, so we started with the 2015 St. Ruth, a blend of Merlot (72%), Cabernet Franc (14%), and Petit Verdot (14%).  Each wine was fermented in small one ton bins with 14 days of post fermentation maceration and later aged for 20 months in French oak.  The 2015 St. Ruth had a nose of caramel, vanilla, and roasted plum.  The palate had nice roasted plum with leathery and spicy notes.

Fermented in the same manner at the 2015 St. Ruth, the 2016 St. Ruth was next.  A blend of Merlot (52%), Cabernet Franc (38%), and Petit Verdot (10%), the nose showed black tea and black cherry with more on the palate along with a bit of spice.

Next, we moved to the 2014 Hodder Hill, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (69%), Merlot (16%), and Petit Verdot (15%).  A caramel and toasty oak nose invited you in, but the velvety smooth palate of blueberry, black raspberry made you want more.  A hint of violets danced in the background as the Cabernet Sauvignon proved to be a star.

We ended the reds with the 2017 Petit Verdot which had spent 20 months in French oak.  Fresh baked blueberries on the nose and a rich palate reminiscent of blueberry pie with hints of vanilla and spice.  Glen Manor Vineyards certainly has some impressive reds.

A Fall View of the Vineyards at Glen Manor

A Fall View of the Vineyards at Glen Manor – October, 2019

Tasting – Petit Manseng

Finally, it was time for Petit Manseng!  We tasted three.  First, we tasted the 2019 Dry Petit Manseng.  Harvested on September 18, 2019, chilled overnight, whole cluster pressed the next day, fermented cold in stainless steel in two batches using different yeasts for 30 days, and finally blended together.  Bottled in January, 2020, this wine gave us pear and pineapple on the nose with candied pineapple and pear on the palate.  The acids proved to be nice and balanced.

Next up, the 2017 Petit Manseng which was fermented in a similar manner but had Petit Manseng juice added back to raise the residual sugar to 2.8%.  Candied pear showed through on the nose.  The palate presented golden baked apple and bit of pear.  Full bodied, the sugar, acids, and flavors were balanced.

We ended the tasting with the 2016 Raepheus, a late harvest Petit Manseng dessert wine.  Grapes were harvested on November 11, 2016, and placed in a walk-in freeze for 12 days.  Then, the grapes were whole cluster pressed.  The juice was cold settled for 24 hours with sediment racked off and the juice inoculated for fermentation in two thirds new French oak and one third stainless steel.  On March 5, 2017, the two wines were blended in stainless steel to age on light yeast lees for ten months.  Bottling happened in February, 2018.  What a delight this wine is!  Roasted pineapple on the nose led to a palate of candied pineapple and toasty oak.  A good acid backbone still shown through on the moderately sweet palate.

Wrapping Up

After we wrapped up our tasting, Kelly graciously gave us some recommendations for dinner.  We purchased several wines and ended our glorious afternoon at Glen Manor Vineyards.  We highly recommend you make a reservation and go visit.  You won’t regret it!

#InTheWineLight #VAWine

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Virginia Wine Month

In the Wine Light – Virginia Wine Month

RdV Vineyards in Delaplane, VA

RdV Vineyards in Delaplane, VA

In the Wine Light is Virginia Wine Month.  October is designated as Virginia Wine Month.  Outside of North Carolina, Virginia is one of our favorite American wine regions.

Virginia’s wine history dates back nearly 400 years.  Just 12 years after the first English settlement at Jamestown, the Virginia House of Burgesses passed “Acte 12”.  This act required each male colonist to plant and tend to grapevines.  Later in 1773, the Virginia Wine Company formed and devoted nearly 2,000 acres of land to start a vineyard and winery near Monticello.  (Source:  VirginiaWine.org)

Today Virginia boasts over 300 wineries, 9 American Viticultural Areas (with two shared with other states), and nearly 3000 acres under vine.  Plantings include Vinifera, hybrids, and native American grapes.  Much like North Carolina, Petit Manseng, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc do well in Virginia. Albariño is also another up and coming variety that is getting more attention in Virginia.

We look forward to highlighting a few Virginia wines this month.  Do you have a favorite Virginia wine?

#InTheWineLight #VAWine #VAWineMonth

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
Reds Through the Years at Zimmerman Vineyards

Reds Through the Years at Zimmerman Vineyards

Reds Through the Years at Zimmerman Vineyards

We recently attended the “Reds Through the Years” event at Zimmerman Vineyards in Trinity, North Carolina. The theme for the evening was Bordeaux, tannins, and vintage wines.

Zimmerman opened on June 1, 2007 and has been producing top quality wines ever since.  Wines are made offsite at Childress Vineyards by Winemaker Mark Frizolowski from fruit grown in the estate vineyard. You can learn more about Zimmerman Vineyards in our episode of Cork Talk featuring owner Leslie Zimmerman and Christie Otranto.

Terrace at Zimmerman Vineyards with views of the Uwharrie Mountains

We had visited Zimmerman several times in the past and have always enjoyed our visits, the beautiful grounds, and the wine.  This particular event was our first visit since the pandemic began.  We arrived on a comfortably cool fall evening.  Tables were set under the permanent tent with plenty of room to spread out.

Cabernet Franc and Merlot

Vintage Reds at Zimmerman Vineyards

2007 Cabernet Franc and 2010 Merlot from Zimmerman Vineyards

We began with the tasting of the 2007 Cabernet Franc and the 2010 Merlot.  The Cabernet Franc was produced with secondary fruit only due to a freeze that happened after initial budbreak where primary buds were lost.  Paired with dried cherries, this wine is still holding its own.  It showed stewed cherries and figs with a hint of leather on the nose.  The palate gave notes of cherry and tobacco with medium tannins.  Next up was the Merlot which showed a leathery nose.  The fig flavors on the palate paired nicely with dried brown figs.  The tannins were grippy but not overpowering.  Of the two, the Cabernet Franc was the favorite.

Morpheus – Heir of Hypnos

Treats paired with Heir of Hypnos

Treats paired with Morpheus, Heir of Hypnos

Tasting notes for Morpheus, Heir of Hypnos from Zimmerman Vineyards’ Website

Next, we moved on to a small food plate with cheese and crackers, an olive medley, and paninos.  These treats were paired with Zimmerman Vineyards’ newest red wine Morpheus – Heir of Hypnos.  The new wine is stellar.  A non-vintaged Bordeaux style blend that is NOT oaked, proved to be a hit.  This wine showed violets and red cherry on the nose with a hint of pepper.  The palate burst with fresh red fruits with an underlying note of darker fruits.  This would be a perfect wine for your Thanksgiving table!

Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Cabernet at Zimmerman Vineyards

2005, 2006, & 2007 Cabernet Sauvignons at Zimmerman Vineyards

Next up on the tasting list was Cabernet Sauvignon.  There were three Cabs to taste 2005 – the first commercial vintage, 2006, and 2007.  The 2005 did show its age but was still very drinkable.  With caramel, black cherry, and fig on the nose, the palate gave more of the same.  The 2006 was more fresh and had more classic Cab notes.  With black fruits and a hint of spice, the tannins were firm but not overly bold.  Inky dark, the 2007 proved to be the favorite of the vintage wines we tasted.  With soft black cherry, blackberry, and smooth tannins, it paired beautifully with a chocolate truffle.

Yummy Dinner at Zimmerman Vineyards

Yummy way to close out the evening at Zimmerman Vineyards

We ended this wonderful evening with the tomato soup, a delightful roast beef crostini set off with caramelized onions, and classic pumpkin roll for dessert.  Thanks to Leslie for inviting us and our table mates for wonderful conversation.  

If you haven’t visited Zimmerman Vineyards, we highly recommend a visit.

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – International Grenache Day

In the Wine Light – International Grenache Day

Grenache growing at Jones Von Drehle Vineyards and Winery

Grenache growing at Jones Von Drehle Vineyards and Winery – Photo Courtesy of Jones von Drehle

In the Wine Light is International Grenache Day.  This wine holiday is celebrated yearly on the third Friday in September.  In 2021, that falls on September 17th.

Grenache Day celebrates the red grape Grenache as it’s known in France.  In Spain, it’s known as Garnacha and is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world.

Grenache typically thrives in a hot, dry climate and is believed to have originated in what is now northern Spain.  It is also widely grown in the southern Rhône Valley in France where it makes up to 80% of Châteauneuf-du-Pape blends along with primarily Syrah and Mourvèdre.  Grenache is also used to make rosés with is being the predominant variety in the famous rosés of Tavel.

Grenache is not widely grown in North Carolina.  Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery currently uses their Grenache solely for their dry rosé, Rosa Dia.  Hanover Park Vineyard has a small planting used for blending.  Junius Lindsay Vineyard uses Grenache as an occasional standalone wine but mostly for blending in both reds and rosés.  MenaRick Vineyard and Winery also grows Grenache and has a single varietal of Grenache available.

What do you like about Grenache?  Would you like to see more Grenache grown in North Carolina?

#GrenacheDay #InTheWineLight

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
Yadkin Valley Tourism

Yadkin Valley Tourism

Welcome to the Yadkin Valley tourism episode! We sit down with Craig Distl and Thomas Salley and talk about all things tourism for the Yadkin Valley in North Carolina. No matter if you’re familiar with North Carolina Wine or if you’re new to the industry, you’ll learn a lot about what the area has to offer.

As North Carolina’s first AVA, the Yadkin Valley is one of the most well known wine country regions in the state. It is well situated in the western part of the state and is an easy day trip from Charlotte, Asheville, the Triad, and the Triangle. While wine is one of the main attractors to the area, the region also has many outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking. Come out for the day or make a weekend trip and stay at one of the many hotels, cabins, or winery lodgings available in the area.

For more information head to:
https://www.wilkescountytourism.com
https://www.yadkinvalleync.com

To see the interactive map of the Yadkin Valley, head to the Yadkin Valley Census page to view the Google Maps overlay: https://www.yadkinvalleync.com/news/how-many-wineries-are-yadkin-valley-nc/

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This time they talk to us about the Italian classic grape Sangiovese. 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.

Closing Content

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!

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – International Cabernet Day

In the Wine Light – International Cabernet Day

Cabernet Sauvignon at Hanover Park Vineyard - Yadkinville, NC

Cabernet Sauvignon at Hanover Park Vineyard – Yadkinville, NC

In the Wine Light is International Cabernet Day.  This wine holiday is celebrated on the Thursday before Labor Day.  In 2021, that falls on September 2nd, but it can occur in late August or early September depending on the year.

So, is Cabernet Day for Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, or both?  It seems that most folks celebrate Cabernet Sauvignon on this day, but we don’t see any reason why we can’t celebrate Cabernet Franc too.  After all, without Cabernet Franc crossing with Sauvignon Blanc, we wouldn’t have Cabernet Sauvignon!

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most widely planted and noble wine grapes in all the world.  It typically bud breaks later, so it isn’t subject to as many issues with the late spring frosts we see here in North Carolina.  Due to the later bud break, it’s often one of the last grapes to be harvested, but it can also struggle to get to optimal ripeness.

Cabs are often known for being full bodied with big tannins.  Old World Cabernets and those we find on the East Coast tend to be softer and more delicate.  Both have should have their place in your wine rack.

There are many delightful Cabernet Sauvignons in the state.  Just a few of our favorite include (but not limited to) Cabs from Overmountain Vineyards, Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery, Laurel Gray Vineyards, South Creek Vineyards and Winery, and Hanover Park Vineyard.

What do you like about Cabernet?  How are celebrating this iconic variety?

#CabernetDay #InTheWineLight

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
Find Your Passion – Kefi Vineyard & Winery

Find Your Passion – Kefi Vineyard & Winery

In this episode, we sit down with Bess and Alexa Collins of Kefi Vineyard & Winery in Monroe, North Carolina! Bess has always been fan of being outdoors and growing things has been part of her life growing up. Alexa is her daughter and has been inspired by her mother’s love for building something to pass on to future generations.

Bess had the idea that she wanted to get outside as a way to embrace her passion (in Greek, the word Kefi means passion or calling). In 2008, Bess began to look for rural property and she began her journey. She eventually bought the property in 2010. Kefi Vineyard & Winery was born in 2014 when they planted their first grapes.

At Kefi Vineyard & Winery, Bess’s Greek heritage runs strong. She planted 14 different Greek grapes with 6 more coming soon. Here you’ll grapes like Assyrtiko, Malvasia Bianca, Ribolla Gialla, and Aglianico are finding a home right in Union County.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This time they talk to us about the Muscadine grape and all the great things it has done for the state. 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.

Closing Content
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!
This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/
Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Elevating Muscadine Part 2

Elevating Muscadine Part 2

We’re back again with Tina Smith and Nadia Hetzel of Cypress Bend Vineyards! Located in Wagram, NC, Cypress Bend is in a unique location in North Carolina where the Muscadine grape grows well and produces an outstanding wine.

Tina and Nadia talk through their abundant wine list. They tell us about the differences between each wine and how they craft the best expression of the fruit. As you’ll find out, each wine is filled with abundant aromatics and is very food friendly.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. They talk to us about the relative new comer Traminette. 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.

Closing Content

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!

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – #NCWine Digital Media Summit

In the Wine Light – #NCWine Digital Media Summit

In the Wine Light is the 2021 #NCWine Digital Media Summit. This is our fourth annual summit and was previously known at the Bloggers Summit. 

A Summit is Born

Attendees of the first #NCWine Bloggers Summit

The original Bloggers Summit began as a way to bring together bloggers, digital influencers, wineries, and vineyards to learn about digital media, to connect, and to network. We held that first summit at Hanover Park Vineyard on a cold and dreary Saturday in March, 2018. 

Year 2 – Better than Ever

The second #NCWine Bloggers Summit at Hanover Park Vineyard

We returned to Hanover Park for a second year in March 2019. Attendance tripled. Our content level was raised.  Everyone had a great time.

Big Plans for 2020 

We were on track for another big year in March, 2020. We planned to hold the summit at the Shelton-Badgett NC Center for Viticulture and Enology at Surry Community College. Then COVID-19 hit. We postponed the event in hopes of still holding an in-person event, but the pandemic had different plans, so we did a condensed virtual event in July, 2020.

A Multi-week Virtual Event for 2021

For 2021, we decided to stay virtual again with hopes for an in-person event again for the 5th summit in 2022. We also decided to make a name change from the Bloggers Summit to the Digital Media Summit for a more inclusive feel. But unlike 2020, where we packed the event into a single afternoon, we’ve decided to have one session per week for several weeks on Sunday evenings from August 8 – October 3 with a two week break around Labor Day.

We have great sessions with fun speakers for 2021. Head to our event page to learn more and to buy tickets. A full session package is only $20. Individual sessions are $5 each. The kickoff session is free, but registration is required. 

#Blogger #DigitalInfluencer #Media #Wine #WineConference #GotToBeNC

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
Elevating Muscadine Part 1

Elevating Muscadine Part 1

In this episode, we sit down with Tina Smith and Nadia Hetzel of Cypress Bend Vineyards! Located in Wagram, NC, Cypress Bend is in a unique location in North Carolina where the Muscadine grape grows well and produces an outstanding wine.

Tina Smith and her husband, Dan, decided to plant grapes on Dan’s family land back in 2001. Over time, they grew from a humble 10 acres to the 35 acres that they now have. For wine grapes, they decided on Carlos and Magnolia for their white grapes and Noble for their red. Each of these grapes has close ties to the breeding program at NC State.

Nadia joined Cypress Bend Vineyards in 2014 as their winemaker. Nadia explains how her training in cold and hot climate grapes helps her craft an outstanding wine. She treats the grapes just like any other wine grape. That process results in a higher quality wine which fully embraces the aromatic profile of the muscadine grape.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. They talk to us about the lesser known Rkatsiteli grape and how it does in 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.

Closing Content

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!

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – National Rosé Day

In the Wine Light – National Rosé Day

National Rosé Day

In the Wine Light is National Rosé Day.  This wine holiday was established in 2014 by Bodvár House of Rosés as way to celebrate everyone’s favorite pink drink.  National Rosé Day is celebrated annually on the Second Saturday of June.  In 2021, that’s Saturday, June 12th.

Rosé is made in three ways:

  • Maceration – The skins of red grapes (usually picked early for higher acidity) are left to macerate in the juice for hours to a couple of days.
  • Saignée – This is the bleed off method. Saignée is the past participle of the French verb saigner meaning to bleed.  Here within the first few hours of making red wine, some of the juice is bled off into another tank for rosé.  Not only does this produce rosé, but it intensifies the resulting red wine too.
  • Blending – A bit of red wine is added to a tank (or some other container) of white wine to make rosé.  Generally less than 5% of the resulting rosé will have come from red wine.

Rosé is one of the most versatile wine styles when it comes to pairing with food.  It will go with almost any food from cheeses to salads to Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s the perfect wine to bring to a party if you don’t know what’s being served.

We’re big fans of rosés particularly those made from the maceration method.  Do you have a favorite rosé?

Support Local #NCWine

And if you want to join the conversation about local North Carolina Wine, join our new Facebook group, Support Local North Carolina Wine – #NCWine!

Cheers!

#InTheWineLight #NationalRoséDay #RoséAllDay #RoséDay

 

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Two Wine Holidays

In the Wine Light – Two Wine Holidays

In the Wine Light are two wine holidays for the last full week of North Carolina Wine Month, National Wine Day and National Chardonnay Day.  Both are celebrated during the same week in 2021.

National Wine Day

National Wine Day is celebrated annually on May 25th.  This is not to be confused with National Drink Wine Day which is celebrated annually on February 18th.  

National Chardonnay Day is celebrated annually on the Thursday before Memorial Day, so the date is different year to year.  In 2021, with Memorial Day falling on May 31st, National Chardonnay Day is May 27th.  Chardonnay is one of the most widely planted varieties in the world and is one of our favorites.  From stainless to barrel fermentation to sparkling to even desserts wines, Chardonnay is a versatile grape.

Some of you could be like us and celebrate these wine holidays regularly.  But give it an extra special try on May 25th and May 27th!

Support Local #NCWine

And if you want to join the conversation about local North Carolina Wine, join our new Facebook group, Support Local North Carolina Wine – #NCWine!

Cheers!

#InTheWineLight #NationalWineDay #NationalChardonnayDay

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
Growing for Future Generations

Growing for Future Generations

In this episode, we sit down with Cynthia and Jim Douthit from Grassy Creek Vineyard and Winery in State Road, North Carolina! Cynthia and Jim are two of the owners of Grassy Creek Vineyard.

They started the business in 2000 and planted their grapes in 2003. This was Jim’s second vineyard. He first planted 10 acres in the Lake Norman area before buying the State Road property. Those two properties were essential in starting off the early days of the winery. They provided a nice selection of wines to begin their journey.

At Grassy Creek Vineyard, there’s a lot to do at any time of year. The expansive property makes use of many of the original buildings which are important parts of the local history. Everything at the property reflects a sense of place and its connection to the local area. When you visit, you feel like you’re stepping back in time.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This episode they talk about Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio. 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.

Closing Content

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!

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Ways to Celebrate NC Wine Month!

In the Wine Light – Ways to Celebrate NC Wine Month!

In the Wine Light are ways to celebrate North Carolina Wine Month!  May is officially NC Wine Month.  And after the disaster that was 2020, folks want to get out and celebrate.

So, what are some ways to celebrate NC Wine Month? We’re glad you asked! Here are a few of our ideas!

  • Visit a local tasting room. Go for a tasting or an afternoon picnic or both! Visit ncwine.org to plan your trip!
  • Buy local wine! Either at a local store or better yet, from the winery itself!
  • Drink local wine! Celebrate with your favorite bottle of North Carolina wine. Dry, sweet, red, white or rosé, there’s something for everyone out there!
  • Ask for local wine at restaurants and wine bars. It’s NC Wine Month! Encourage restaurants to do their part.
  • Encourage your friends and family to join in. There are plenty of folks leaving in NC who have no idea that we’re in the top 10 for wine production in the country!
  • Talk about NC Wine on social media! Be sure to use the hashtags #NCWine and #NCWineMonth! Let’s get them trending!
  • Take a picture of what NC Wine you’re drinking! Share with us on Social Media! We’ll do our best to retweet or repost! Don’t forget the #NCWine and #NCWineMonth hashtags!
  • Follow us! We’re on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Just search for @NCWineGuys. We’ll give you tips on where to go and what to drink!
  • Follow the official North Carolina Wine accounts on social media! Find them at “North Carolina Wine” on Facebook and @ncwines on Twitter and Instagram!
  • Catch up on Cork Talk!  We’re well into season 3 of Cork Talk, our podcast all about the local wine scene in North Carolina.  Subscribe and enjoy every episode.  Find Cork Talk at our website or wherever you get your podcasts.
  • Join our Facebook group!  We’ve started a Facebook group to support the local wine industry.  Search for Support Local North Carolina Wine – #NCWine to join.

Let us know if you have other ideas!  Cheers!

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, NC Wine Month, 1 comment
A Grower’s Favorite Day is Harvest

A Grower’s Favorite Day is Harvest

In this episode we talk with Wendy and Kelvin Wooten of Moon Lake Vineyards in Olin, North Carolina! Wendy and Kelvin are grape growers in part of the Swan Creek AVA.

The Wootens planted their grapes in 2007 in a very difficult year. They were up against an late season freeze which put their newly planted vineyard at risk. Through a little bit of luck and a lot of effort, the vineyard survived and their first harvest was in 2010.

Wendy and Kelvin talk to us about the business of growing grapes and selling them to wineries. They talk about some of the more interesting issues a grape grower faces and how important it is to keep up with the vineyard to produce a high quality fruit.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This episode they talk about Viognier and how it can sometimes be temperamental. 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.

Closing Content
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!
This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/
Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night – NC Wine Month 2021 Kickoff

Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night – NC Wine Month 2021 Kickoff

NC Wine Month

We hosted our first ever Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Nights in 2020 to celebrate our local wine industry during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  While the pandemic is still affecting all of our daily lives, things are slowly improving.  

To continue to support the industry and to kickoff off North Carolina Wine Month, we’re hosting another  Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night.  So, join us on Saturday, May 1, 2021, to celebrate our local wine industry and all that we love about North Carolina Wine.

So how can you particpate?

  1. Select a bottle of North Carolina Wine, Mead, or Cider.
  2. Open it on the evening of May 1, 2021.
  3. Take a picture and post on social media.
  4. Share why you chose that bottle, who you shared it with, and more.
  5. Tag the winery, vineyard, meadery, or cidery and tag us too @NCWineGuys.
  6. And use #NCWineNight and #NCWineMonth on your posts!  

Wineries and vineyards across the state are planning special events and promotions. Head to our post about NC Wine Month for more information.

And be sure to share our Facebook Event with your friends and family!

And don’t forget to share your love of North Carolina Wine during all of May using hashtags #NCWine and #NCWineMonth!

Cheers!

 

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, Wine, 1 comment
In the Wine Light – One Year with COVID

In the Wine Light – One Year with COVID

In the Wine Light is one year with COVID.  On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic.  Stay at home orders soon followed including ours here in North Carolina on March 17, 2020.  Life changed drastically overnight.

Closed due to COVID

From March 18 – May 22, 2020, tasting rooms in North Carolina were closed to onsite consumption.  Curbside pickup and online sales were still allowed, but visiting a tasting room or having wine on a patio at a vineyard or winery was not.  Finally, a new executive order came and on May 23, 2020, onsite consumption was allowed once again but with new guidelines.

Under this new world, businesses adapted.  The wine industry in North Carolina did too, and for the most part, it thrived.  Some did struggle, but all in and all things weren’t as bad as they could have been.

It’s been a trying year for all of us, but there have been a few positives.  We want to highlight a few things we hope will continue in the wine world after things get back to normal:

  • Continued online sales and shipping.  A number of wineries didn’t have this option before COVID, but many pivoted quickly.  It’s a wonderful option for getting North Carolina Wine directly for your front door!
  • More outdoor options.  Many wineries and vineyards expanded their outdoor options in the last year.  There’s more room and more places to enjoy wine outdoors.
  • Reservations for tastings or just a table.  We hate waiting, so we find this option to be super fantastic.  Having a dedicated time to enjoy wine makes for a more pleasurable experience. 
  • Virtual tastings.  We have loved participating in these.  It’s a safe and fun way to enjoy wine and still connect with others!

And there are a few things we won’t miss when things return to normal.  These include:

  • Disposable drinkware.  Not only do they not show wine well, they’re also not great for the environment.
  • Masked faces.  We’ve missed seeing those smiles behind the tasting room bar!
Practice the 3 Ws!

Practice the 3 Ws!

Let’s all continue to do our part to help beat this virus.  Practice your three Ws.  Wear.  Wash.  Wait.  And when it’s your turn, get your shot!  You can find more information at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ website.

Stay safe! 

#InTheWineLight #OneYearWithCOVID #NCWine

 

 

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 1 comment
Women in the Wine Industry

Women in the Wine Industry

We’re honoring women in the wine industry. We take a look back at our earlier episodes and found clips that highlight the importance of women in the industry. We would like to thank all of the women who help to make North Carolina Wine what it is today.

In this episode we feature:

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This episode they discuss Cabernet Sauvignon and some of its interesting backstory. 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.

Closing Content

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!

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Mountain Grown & Mountain Made

Mountain Grown & Mountain Made

In this episode we feature Linville Falls Winery in Linville Falls, NC! We talk to Linda Wiseman and her two daughters, Jessica and Lindsay, about all things that make Linville Falls Winery Mountain Grown and Mountain Made.

Jack Wiseman, Linda’s father, is the winemaker and the man responsible for the vision that is Linville Falls Winery. Jack fell in love with the wine industry in California and when he came back home to Linville Falls, he wanted to follow his passion. He slowly began to convert portions of his Christmas tree farm into vineyard and how they have 12 acres under vine.

Over the years, Linville Falls Winery has experimented with grape varietals to determine what works best for their property. Their flagship grapes include Marechal Foch, Marquette, Noiret, and Riesling. Being in the Appalachian High Country AVA, they have a vineyard elevation ranging between 3,200 and 3,400 feet. This results in a cozy spot for grapes to grow and produces some excellent North Carolina Wine.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This episode they discuss Cabernet Sauvignon and some of its interesting backstory. 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.

Closing Content

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!

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Haze Gray & Underway

Haze Gray & Underway

Welcome to Cork Talk Season 3! In this episode, we talk with Deane and Becky Muhlenberg of Haze Gray Vineyards in Dobson, North Carolina. Deane and Becky have a long history of military service, and they honor that in so many ways at Haze Gray Vineyards.

Deane and Becky talk about how they started 5 years ago and what drove them to plant a vineyard and open a winery. At the time of this recording, they have been open for just over a year. They talk about some of the challenges of opening a business during a pandemic and how they adjusted as well as what they’re planning for the future.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back again for another season. This year, they’ll be doing a deep dive on one grape varietal per episode. 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.

Closing Content

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!

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – A Look Ahead for 2021

In the Wine Light – A Look Ahead for 2021

Happy New Year 2021

In the Wine Light is a look ahead at North Carolina Wine for 2021.  Let’s be honest.  2020 was a dumpster fire of a year.  From COVID-19 to the late spring frosts and freezes that wiped out many spring grape buds and flowers to the seemingly never ending rain, 2020 was a year that we and probably most of the local wine industry is happy to forget.

With the new year, comes the hope of better opportunities and experiences.  Here are few things we’re looking forward to for North Carolina Wine in 2021:

2021 > 2020

  • Improvement of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We missed regularly visiting wineries in 2020.  We hope the pandemic improves which will allow us to visit more often, taste more often, and share more about North Carolina wine.
NC Wine Guys Present Cork Talk

NC Wine Guys Present Cork Talk

  • Season 3 of Cork Talk.  We look forward to bringing you more interviews from winery and vineyard owners, grape growers, winemakers and other industry folks this year.  And Jessica and Jesse from The Wine Mouths will be back to share more wine knowledge, but we would love to hear from about what we should cover.  Head here to take our survey.

Support Local #NCWine

  • Growing our Support Local North Carolina Wine Facebook group.  We started this group in 2020, but we really want to see it take off in 2021.  Head to Facebook and join via this link.

2021 #NCWine Digital Media Summit

  • An In-Person #NCWine Digital Media Summit.  We’ve decided to rename the #NCWine Bloggers Summit to be more inclusive.  The 2020 version was virtual and the 2021 summit may be as well.  Look for more information in the coming months.
  • More 2019 wines to taste, buy, and enjoy.  2019 was a stellar growing season in much of North Carolina.  A number of 2019 whites and rosés have been released as well as a few 2019 reds.  2021 should bring more of them.
  • More sparkling wines and rosés.  Sparkling wines and rosés continue to be popular.  We look forward to more of these appearing in tasting rooms and on store shelves in 2021.

What are you looking forward to in 2021?  Leave us a comment!

#InTheWineLight #NCWine #2021 #NewYear

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Festivus 2020 – Airing of Wine Grievances!

In the Wine Light – Festivus 2020 – Airing of Wine Grievances!

In the Wine Light today, December 23, 2020, is the celebration of Festivus.  Created in 1966 by Daniel O’Keefe and popularized during an episode of the hit TV show, Seinfeld, Festivus is celebrated with Feats of Strength and the Airing of Grievances.  So, in that spirit, we’re back for the fourth year to air a few wine grievances.  This is our one post a year that’s not entirely positive.  Many of these grievances are the same as last year, but there are a few new ones and some updates.  So, sit back.  Pour a glass and read on!

These are in no particular order:

COVID-19 Meme

  • COVID-19.  Ok, so there is an order at least for #1.  COVID-19 is at the top of our list.  While, thankfully we’re well.  Our families are well.  COVID has seriously cramped our style.  It’s kept us in and kept our wine tasting to a minimum.  And we’re certainly sad for those who have lost loved ones, jobs, and more due to the pandemic.  Here’s hoping COVID doesn’t make the list in 2021.

Wear a Mask

  • Folks who carrying on in 2020 like the pandemic doesn’t exist.  We’ve kept a lower profile in 2020, so our visits to wineries and vineyards have been less than usual.  When we have visited, a number of the visits have been safe and socially distanced.  Folks were wearing masks and staying away from others, but there have been a few occasions where masks were few and far between and personal space was not respected.  Just be mindful of others when you’re out.  And be respectful.  And wear a mask when you’re not eating or drinking!

  • Lack of hashtags in posts on social media about wines, wineries, vineyards.  You see we’re big proponents of hashtags as a way to brand.  So, all you #NCWine folks out there, USE THE DANG HASHTAG!
  • Too many hashtags or using hashtags that don’t apply.  This still gets on our nerves.  You don’t need 14 million hashtags on your post especially if they’re hashtags no one else uses.  And just because you’re drinking wine in a given region, that doesn’t make it a regional wine.  So, don’t post about the Apothic Red you’re drinking in Charlotte and call it #NCWine.  Wine is about a sense of place.  Apothic Red’s place is not in your wine glass.

  • Poor tasting glasses.  We’re still glass snobs.  Please no glasses with the “lip” around the rim.  These just don’t show wines well.  Upgrade the glass and the experience!

Just say no to stemless wine glasses

  • Stemless glasses.  Some people love them.  We hate them.  You’re constantly hold your glass by the bowl and then warming the wine with your hand which can then affect the taste.  Stick with a stemmed glass which brings us to our next grievance.

The Incorrect & Correct Way to Hold a Wine Glass

  • Holding a wine glass improperly.  You should hold the glass by the stem.  We did a whole blog post about it.

  • Too many wines on the list.  We see this all the time.  Wines lists with 10, 15 or even 20 wines.  We feel this is just too many to be able to focus on quality unless you have a large production staff.  So, scale it back.  You don’t need a new wine for every season.
  • “Fruited” wines.  We’re still wondering why do we need pomegranate, green apple, cranberry, cherry, pineapple and umpteen other fruits added to our perfectly fruity grape wines?  Wine grapes produce wines with an abundance of fruit flavors. Let the grapes speak for themselves.  And if you want a fruit wine, then just make it from fruit.

  • Wine slushies.  Seriously, why is this still a thing?  Ok, maybe in the summer then it’s 95 degrees and 10,000% humidity, but wine is already extra calories, do you really need all that extra sugar?

  • Children in at wineries and vineyards especially during a pandemic.  It’s sad that this is still an issue.  This is our #2 grievance (behind COVID) if we had to rank them.  Children can’t drink.  Don’t bring them with you to a winery.  Wining is an adult thing and many of us wish to adult in peace and quiet.  But, please bring your well behaved dogs and cats.  We love pets!

  • Parties of 6 or more in tasting rooms who have not called ahead especially during a pandemic.  This is annoying for tasting room staff and other customers.  If you’re in a group, be courteous!  Call ahead!  And given, the pandemic, it’s not wise to be gathering in big groups anyway.  Save those for later in 2021 or 2022.

  • Farm to fork restaurants who don’t have local wine on their lists.  This is probably #3 on our grievance list right after the kids at wineries.  Don’t call yourself a farm to fork locavore restaurant if you don’t have local wine on this list.  There’s just no excuse!  And make those wines available for pick up for those who don’t want to eat inside a restaurant right now.

So, that’s our list for this year.  And keeping with this theme, leave us your comments of what’s your grievances are.  Just avoid personal attacks.

Cheers and Happy Festivus for the rest of us!

#InTheWineLight #Festivus

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
Exploring Viticulture Enology

Exploring Viticulture Enology

In this episode we interview David Bower of the Shelton Badgett NC Center for Viticulture and Enology at Surry Community College! David holds the position of Winemaker and Enology Instructor at the college.


David tells us about his involvement at the college and how it blends his interested in winemaking and teaching. His background with his family vineyard and some influential professors during college really inspired him to make wine education his passion.


At the college, David has been influential in developing the North Carolina Wine Quality Alliance Program (QAP). QAP is a program that aims to improve the quality of wine across the state by addressing Quality Assurance and Quality Control to identify wine faults and help winemakers correct any issues. Want to know more? Head to the QAP website to find out how you can help support QAP.

The seal of the North Carolina Wine Quality Alliance Program.
The seal of the North Carolina Wine Quality Alliance Program.


Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back! This time Jesse and Jessica tell us all about sparkling wines and how they’re more than just a party 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.

Closing Content

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!

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
A Pretty Hill in Polk County

A Pretty Hill in Polk County

This episode features Sofia Lilly of Overmountain Vineyards in Tryon, North Carolina! We visited Sofia at the vineyard on a sunny day in October. Their extensive patio and spread out seating allowed us to record this episode while observing social distancing practices.

Sofia talks to us about how Overmountain Vineyards started as a small family farm and still continues to live up to that standard. Over the years, many things have changed. The biggest change of all came in 2014 when Sofia decided to make the family business her career.

With more focus on the vineyard and the wines, they were able to put a greater emphasis on quality. For a before and after photo of the same grapes, check out the cover photo for this episode. Since then, quality has improved and so has their following.

At Overmountain Vineyards, they embrace the cultural fusion that makes up both sides of the family blending Lita’s Cuban heritage with Frank’s Irish background. Everything they do is a reflection of who they are.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back! This time Jesse and Jessica talk to us about some of the things that are added to wine to improve the quality and make it ready for drinking. 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

Closing Content

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!

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments