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, 0 comments
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, 0 comments
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
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’s 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, hybrids are popular grape varieties.  Seyval Blanc, Marquette, Marechal Foch, Frontenac, and Vidal Blanc are 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

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

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 – National Drink Wine Day

In the Wine Light – National Drink Wine Day

National Drink Wine Day 2021

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 new Facebook group, Support Local North Carolina Wine – #NCWine!

Cheers!

#InTheWineLight #NationalDrinkWineDay #DrinkWineDay

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 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
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 – 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 of the area.

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 is a new 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.

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, 1 comment
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
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.

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.

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.

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.  

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
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
In the Wine Light – Sami the Wine Cat

In the Wine Light – Sami the Wine Cat

Sami excited about new wines from Défi Wines by Botanist & Barrel

Sami excited about new wines from Défi Wines by Botanist & Barrel

In the Wine Light is our sweet wine cat, Sami.  Long time followers know Sami as our little photo bomber in our wine photos.  It started by accident, but now, we do try to get her in the shot.  Her fans are sometimes concerned if she’s missing from the photo.

Sami the Wine Cat Relaxing

Sami relaxing before dinner

You’re probably wondering why we’re celebrating Sami this week.  Well, you see, we celebrate Sami’s birthday on November 17th.  We don’t actually know when her birthday is or even how old she is exactly.  Sami is a rescue kitty.  She was saved by the Saving Southern Kitties from a high kill shelter in Greenville, South Carolina.  Her vet records listed November 17th as her birthday, but that might just be the day she was pulled from the shelter.

Sami the Wine Cat loves her boxes

Sami loves her boxes especially when they’re from Chewy.

Saving Southern Kitties is a terrific non-profit organization run by our dear friend, Susan, working to save cats from high kill shelters in the Carolinas.  Based in the Charlotte area, this volunteer organization is top notch and does fantastic work.  Visit their website to find out how to volunteer, donate money, purchase fun kitty merchandise, or see their list of adoptable cats.

Sami the Wine Cat relaxing on the couch

Sami doing on her favorite things – relaxing on the couch

Sami is sweet, a little crazy, and VERY loud.  She always has something to say.  Sami loves laying the sun, sleeping under her blanket on the couch for hours, cardboard boxes, and sitting outside on the patio with her humans.  She adds such joy to our lives.  We hope she has a very happy birthday and a PURR-fect day!

#InTheWineLight #SamiTheWineCat

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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

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In the Wine Light – Wine Styles for Fall

In the Wine Light – Wine Styles for Fall

In the Wine Light is wine styles for fall.  We don’t know about you, but fall is our favorite season.  Those warms days and cool nights are a welcome respite from the heat and humidity of the long Carolina summer.  

With the change of seasons comes a change in the wines we drink.  Here are some of the favorite kinds of wines we like to enjoy as the days get shorter and the leaves turn their brilliant colors.

Linn Cove Viaduct

Linn Cove Viaduct around Grandfather Mountain along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Rosés – Rosés are typically associated with the warm days of spring and the sweltering hot days of summer, but rosé is also perfect for Fall.  Whether it’s a warm afternoon in the sun or with your Thanksgiving dinner, rosé is always a perfect pairing.

Sparkling Wine – We’re big fans of sparkling wine anytime of year.  Fall is often about celebration with Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Bubbles are a perfect way to start any celebration or a Tuesday night dinner.

Full Bodied and/or Oaked Whites – As the days get cooler it’s usually good to move from those crisp and cold wines of summer into a more full bodied white wine.  Think Petit Manseng or Viognier.  Add a little oak such is in a nice Chardonnay and you have the perfect pairing with fall foods featuring butternut squash or pumpkin.

Light Reds – Light Oaked or No Oak – The weather can still be quite warm in fall and the food typically isn’t as heavy as in winter, so it’s the perfect time for light reds whether they be oaked or not.  Think a Loire Valley Style Cabernet Franc or a nouveau style wine.  A drier muscadine, Chambourcin or Sangiovese are also good choices.

Cider – Who doesn’t love a good fresh apple in fall?  So, why not enjoy a nice cider?  Many apples can pack some good tannins, so ciders can be heftier than you might think.  Cider also pairs well with Thanksgiving dinner.

Mead – Mead is a perfect fall beverage.  From traditional styles to cysers with apple or pear, mead pairs perfectly with warm days, cool nights, sausages on the grill, Thanksgiving turkey and even pumpkin pie.

What wines do you enjoy in fall?  Do you have a favorite fall food and wine pairing?  Leave us a comment and let us know.

Cheers!

#InTheWineLight #WinesForFall #FallWines

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – North Carolina Cider Week

In the Wine Light – North Carolina Cider Week

Brushy Mountain Limbertwig

Brushy Mountain Limbertwig Apple – This variety is thought to have originated in the Brushy Mountains of NC.

In the Wine Light is North Carolina Cider Week.  We celebrate NC Cider Week annually during October or November.  This year October 19th – 25th has been designated as a week to honor North Carolina Cider!

So, what is cider exactly?  Here, we’re obviously discussing what’s commonly called “hard cider”.  This cider at its most basic level is fermented apple juice.  

Similar to making wine from grapes, cider is made from crushing apples and fermenting the juice.  The sugar content of apples is lower than grapes, so ciders are typically lower in alcohol than wines.  To make apple wine, sugar is typically added in fermentation to allow for wine like alcohol.

Here in North Carolina, many cider apples are sourced from the Hendersonville area and from the Brushy Mountains in Wilkes and Alexander Counties.  Cider producers range from those in the mountains to the southern piedmont to urban areas like Charlotte and Durham.

So, how do you celebrate NC Cider Week?  By drinking a locally grown and produced NC Cider, of course!  You can also celebrate by visiting local cideries and by attending the NC Cider Week Sip and Meet on Saturday, October 24th at the Chatham Beverage District in Pittsboro.  This event will feature cideries from the Piedmont of NC.

Cheers!

#InTheWineLight #NCCiderWeek #NCCider

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
Relaxing, Casual, and Fun

Relaxing, Casual, and Fun

In this episode, we sit down with Ken Gulaian and Kari Heerdt of Round Peak Vineyards in Mt Airy, North Carolina! Ken and Kari moved to North Carolina in 2008. Before landing in North Carolina, they lived in California which is where they fell in love with wineries and vineyards in some of California’s most well known regions.

They purchased Round Peak Vineyards shortly after moving. They continued maintain the existing vineyard which focuses on French and Italian varietals. Soon after opening, they noticed an opportunity to release a second line of wines, and Skull Camp was born. This quickly branched out into a brewery and smokehouse restaurant.

As a result, they offer a very well rounded profile sure to meet the palate of any customer. No matter what location you visit, you’re sure to find that each establishment embraces the feeling of being relaxing, casual, and fun.

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
In the Wine Light – Drink Local Wine Week

In the Wine Light – Drink Local Wine Week

In the Wine Light is Drink Local Wine Week.  Drink Local Wine Week is celebrated annually during the second full week of October, so for 2020, the dates are October 11th – 17th.

This week started in 2008 by the Drink Local Wine organization to encourage wine writers and bloggers to write about and celebrate local wines. The organization has since taken a break, but this week long celebration has continued annually.

Local wine means different things to different people.  Some say a wine is local if it’s sold locally.  Some say it’s local if it’s produced locally.  And still others say it’s local only if it’s both sourced from locally grown products (grapes, other fruits, honey) AND locally produced.  We have some thoughts on that in another post.

Whatever you consider a local wine, celebrate with a local wine or two this week and tell others about it.

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 #DrinkLocalWineWeek #DrinkLocal

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Orange Wine Week

In the Wine Light – Orange Wine Week

Orange Wine Flavors Courtesy of Wine Folly

Orange Wine Flavors Courtesy of Wine Folly

In the Wine Light is Virtual Orange Wine Week.  This day was originally started by Amanda Clair Goodwin (known at The Real Housewine) in 2018 as National Orange Wine Day to be celebrated annually on October 6th.  This year it has been expanded to a whole week to be celebrated from October 5th – 10th.

The goal of National Orange Wine Day and now Virtual Orange Wine Week is to according to the day’s website, “bring greater awareness to this beautiful, yet lesser-known style of wine in a way that is nonjudgmental, unintimidating, and inclusive.” 

So, you may be thinking what is Orange Wine?  No, we’re not talking wine made from oranges.  We’re talking about a white wine made from white grapes.  With orange wine, unlike traditional white wine where the skins are removed, the pressed juice remains on the skins to ferment for days to weeks or even months.  This gives the resulting wine an orange hue.

Orange wines are more bold and complex than many white wines.  They might have flavors not typically associated with white wine.  Also, they can be more tannic due to the contact with the grape skins.  Orange wines are thought of have originated in what is now the country of Georgia.

Have you had an orange wine?  Some past and current producers of orange wine in North Carolina are Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg, McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks in Thurmond, DéFi Wines (Botanist & Barrel) in Cedar Grove, and Lazy Elm Vineyard & Winery in Mocksville.

#InTheWineLight #NationalOrangeWineDay #VirtualOrangeWineWeek

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 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 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, 8 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
In the Wine Light – How to Hold A Wine Glass

In the Wine Light – How to Hold A Wine Glass

The Incorrect & Correct Way to Hold a Wine Glass

In the Wine Light is the proper way to hold a wine glass.  Yeah.  We know.  You’re probably thinking, “There’s a right way to hold a wine glass?”  The answer is absolutely YES!

You should always hold your wine glass by the stem near the base.  There are two main reasons why this is true.

  1.  You won’t get greasy finger prints on the bowl of your glass.
  2. The most important reason though is that your wine will stay cooler longer if you don’t put your warm hands on the bowl.

There may be cases where you do want to warm up your wine.  Perhaps you’re drinking an oaked chardonnay that’s been in the refrigerator.  A few good swirls with your hands cupping the bowl can certainly make your wine taste better.  But as a general rule the stem is the way to go.

So, now you’re probably thinking, “What about stemless glasses?”  Well, in our opinion, they make lovely water glasses but terrible wine glasses.  So, stick to the stemmed glass!  

Cheers!

#InTheWineLight

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 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 2020, that falls on September 18th.

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
Preserving the Family Farm

Preserving the Family Farm

In this episode, we interview Shruthi Dhoopati and Jeff Frisbee of Addison Farms Vineyards in Leicester, NC. Jeff tells us about the history of the vineyard and how it started out as farmland for his grandparents. After raising tobacco and cattle, Jeff decided that a good way to preserve the family farm would be to plant grapes.

In 2009, he planted his first grapes with subsequent plantings every year until 2013. Now his vineyard contains nearly 6 acres of vines and 5 key varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Petit Manseng, and Sangiovese.

Shruthi tells us about some of the difficulties with managing vines in Western North Carolina and how she’s embracing more traditional vine pruning techniques to bring out different characteristics in the wines. She is excited to see how quickly the quality of the fruit and wine is improving in the state and is hopeful that more people are seeing this, too.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back! This time Jesse and Jessica talk to us about wine faults and how you can spot them. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

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

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

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 Honey Month

In the Wine Light – National Honey Month

Honeybees

In the Wine Light is National Honey Month.  September is National Honey Month.  Started in 1989 by the National Honey Board, National Honey Month celebrates all things honey.  September was chosen because honey collection typically concludes in September as honey bees are readying their hives for winter.

You’re probably wondering –  what does this have to do with wine?  Well, honey can be fermented into wine by adding water and yeast.  That’s the traditional recipe for mead.  Mead is a fantastic addition to your wine collection whether just to enjoy or to pair with your favorite foods. 

Mead is made in a variety of styles from traditional to melomel (a mead that  contains fruit) to braggot (a mead made with hops or malt) to cyser (a mead make with apple juice or cider) to pyment (a mead made with grapes or grape juice) and many more.  While many people assume mead is always sweet since honey is so sweet, that’s not always the case.  Meads range from dry to off-dry to sweet.  Alcohol content can range from under 4% to nearly 18% ABV.

NC Mead Alliance

We’re fortunate to have many great mead producers in North Carolina.  So, check out the NC Mead Alliance to learn more about mead, and be sure to go visit a local meadery!

#InTheWineLight #NationalHoneyMonth #NCMead

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, Mead, 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 2020, that falls on September 3rd, 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.

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
In the Wine Light

In the Wine Light

An Introduction

In an effort to provide more content to our readers, we’re introducing a new regular feature to our website called “In the Wine Light”. The aim to provide regular wine related content in short posts.

With “In the Wine Light” we will discuss a variety of wine related topics from grape varieties to wine styles to wine and food pairings to wine holidays and more! We’ll also feature the people and places of the local wine scene here in North Carolina.

Let us know what you would like to see In the Wine Light!

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
NC Muscadines Delight the Taste Buds

NC Muscadines Delight the Taste Buds

August is now North Carolina Grape Month.  To celebrate, the North Carolina Muscadine Association recently hosted a virtual tasting of muscadine grapes and wine with local media, bloggers, and social media influencers.  We were fortunate enough to take part on the second day of this event.

The Mothervine on Roanoke Island in Manteo, NC

The Mothervine on Roanoke Island in Manteo, NC

Native Grape

Muscadines are the indigenous grape variety of the southeast.  The oldest known cultivated grape vine in the United States is a scuppernong vine on Roanoke Island in Manteo known as The Mothervine.  Scuppernong is a muscadine variety that’s also the state fruit of North Carolina.

The association sent a package that contained seven different muscadine grapes varieties along with a bottle of muscadine wine.  The grapes included fresh market as well as wine grapes.  Fresh market grapes are grown for eating.  Wine grapes are obviously grown for wine.  Fresh market grapes tend to be sweeter and less acidic than wine grapes.

Grape Tasting

The tasting was led by Kristen Baughman Taber of Tabletop Media Group and Debby Wechsler, Executive Secretary of the Muscadine Association.  Debby walked us through the proper way to eat a muscadine grape.  You place the stem scar facing your mouth.  Then you squeeze or bite the grape. Next, you decide to chew the skins and seeds or spit them out.

We then tasted through five fresh market grapes.  Three were white/bronze grapes:  Triumph, Tara, and Hall.  Two were red grapes:  Supreme and Lane.  These fresh market grapes had been sourced from Hinnant Family Vineyards in Pine Level, NC.  While all had a common grapey flavor, there were subtle differences particularly when chewing with the skins.

We finished by tasting the two main muscadine wine grapes, Carlos, a white/bronze grape, and Noble, a black/red grape.  Carlos is the most widely planted muscadine variety in North Carolina.  Both grapes have smaller berries than any of the fresh market varieties we tasted.  The wine grapes came from LuMil Vineyard in Elizabethtown, NC.

 

Wine Tasting

After the grape tasting, we moved on to our favorite part, the wine tasting.  Winemaker Nadia Hetzel of Cypress Bend Vineyards in Wagram, NC led us through a tasting of the off dry muscadine wine, Livy Estate.  Livy is 100% Carlos and is a beautiful wine.  The nose is similar to a Riesling as well as the palate.  It is nicely acidic and a joy to drink.

Muscadine Grape Extract Research

Following the wine tasting, Dr. Patricia Gallagher of Wake Forest University School of Medicine talked to us about the research into the potential health benefits of muscadine grape extract.  It’s exciting research and holds great promise in helping those with cancer.  To learn more about it, visit this link.

Thanks again to the North Carolina Muscadine Association, Tabletop Media Group, Hinnant Family Vineyards, LuMil Vineyards, and Cypress Bend Vineyards for a great tasting and celebration of North Carolina Grape Month!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 0 comments
The Grape Pack

The Grape Pack

We’re celebrating North Carolina Grape Month with a special episode featuring two grape experts. We interview Dr. Sara Spayd and Dr Mark Hoffman of North Carolina State University (Go Pack!).

Mark and Sara both specialize in growing and researching grapes. At NC State, they hold the title of State Viticulturist. They’re responsible for conducting research on grape growing in the state, coordinating Agriculture Extension activities, and promoting the grape industry throughout the state.

Over the years, their primary goal has been to provide support to the grape growing industry. They identify research opportunities to adapt grape growing to our unique climate here in North Carolina.

One of the surprising topics of this conversation is just how little we know about the science of growing muscadine grapes. Sara and Mark discuss their interests and what they hope can be on the horizon. As you can tell by the length of this episode, we had a lot to talk about and we still had plenty to discuss. We’ll have them back to continue the conversation on future episodes.

Closing Content

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back! This time Jesse and Jessica explain the three types of flavors and what goes into creating the perfect sip. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

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

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

This episode is 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, 0 comments
Great Wines No Myth

Great Wines No Myth

This episode takes us to Trinity, North Carolina where we recorded with Leslie Zimmerman and Christie Otranto of Zimmerman Vineyards! The vineyard and tasting room sit on a portion of the 140 acre homestead that Leslie purchased back in the late 1980s.

Over the years, there have been many things to overcome. Leslie has focused on her three passions: her love of teaching, her family, and the vineyard. All three come together at the vineyard in surprising ways.

You can definitely see it through her unique partnerships with local businesses, restaurants, artists, and musicians. All events at the vineyard create a great experience for visitors highlighting all that the local area has to offer. Leslie recognizes that what she does with wine is the same as what visual artists do in their medium and what musicians do in theirs.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back! This time Jesse and Jessica explore the array of bottle sizes and alternative packaging. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

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

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

Leslie’s Thoughts

Through the years, I have recognized the connection between this business and the arts.  Doing what I do in the world of wine is the same as what visual artists do in their medium and what musicians do in theirs.  We all create something new and unique.  Not only do I recognize this common thread between these mediums but honor it by hosting a string of top-shelf local songwriters to share their work and a bottle of wine with customers and fans.  It’s a perfect blend really!

Leslie Zimmerman, Zimmerman Vineyards
Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Acquiesce Winery – Two Wines for Thought

Acquiesce Winery – Two Wines for Thought

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

Acquiesce

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

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

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


2018 Bourboulenc

Bourboulenc Vines at Acquiesce Winery

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


2018 Clairette Blanche 

Clairette Blanche Vines at Acquiesce Winery

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


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

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

A Haw River Hot Spot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Giving Back to the Community

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Give it a Try: Dover Vineyards

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night – NC Wine Month 2020 Edition

Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night – NC Wine Month 2020 Edition

We hosted our first ever Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night on April 4, 2020 to celebrate our local wine industry during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  

The pandemic is still affecting all of our daily lives and the livelihood of the local wine industry.  In addition, May is now North Carolina Wine Month.  It was previously in September.  So, to celebrate we’re hosting a second Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night.

So, join us on Saturday, May 2, 2020 for this special North Carolina Wine Month edition of Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night, we’re celebrating our local wine industry during the COVID-19 Pandemic and celebrating 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 2, 2020.
  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!  

Also, look for another livestream on our Facebook page on the evening of May 2nd.

If you need to purchase wines, mead, or cider, head to our COVID 19 database to find out how.  Many businesses are offering discounts and/or free shipping.

Stay safe during this challenging time!

Cheers!

 

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 1 comment
Learning from Nature: Carolina Heritage Vineyard & Winery

Learning from Nature: Carolina Heritage Vineyard & Winery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night

We’re stealing a great idea from our friend, Frank Morgan, in Virginia.  Frank, of the Drink What You Like wine blog, is organizing an Open that Bottle of Virginia Wine Night on March 28, 2020.  This is a take on the annual Open that Bottle Night first organized in 2000 by two Wall Street Journal columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher.  The goal of Open that Bottle Night is finally drink that bottle you’ve been saving.  

In addition to supporting Virginia on March 28th, we want to support North Carolina too!  So, join us on Saturday, April 4, 2020!  With this special Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night, we’re celebrating our local wine industry during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

So how can you particpate?

  1. Select a bottle of North Carolina Wine, Mead or Cider.
  2. Open it on the evening of April 4, 2020.
  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 on your posts!  

If you need to purchase wines, mead, or cider, head to our COVID 19 database to find out how.  Many businesses are offering discounts and/or free shipping.

Stay safe during this challenging time!

Cheers!

 

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 0 comments
Following in the Footsteps of the Rhone

Following in the Footsteps of the Rhone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wine & Cider: Family Style

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Festivus 2019 – Airing of Wine Grievances!

Festivus 2019 – Airing of Wine Grievances!

Today, December 23, 2019, 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 third 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:

  • Wines that you can taste but you can’t buy.  Why do you allow someone to taste a wine if it’s not for sale to the general public?  Of course that’s the wine we want to buy, but we can’t commit to another wine club.  Just don’t offer it unless someone does join your wine club.

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

  • Untrained tasting room staff.  There’s nothing worse than tasting room staff who know nothing about the wines they are pouring.  We understand that getting good help can be difficult, but a poor experience affects your brand.
  • 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.  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.

  • Wine slushies.  Seriously, why is this 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?
  • Wineries who aren’t forthcoming in where the grapes for their wine are sourced.  We like to know what we’re tasting and where it was sourced.  If you’re not using local fruit, admit it.  Don’t try to hide it.

  • Perfume, cologne, or other powerful scents in the tasting room.  Nothing spoils a wine tasting more than someone who’s bathed in perfume or cologne.  A majority of the what you taste in a wine is from what you smell.  If you can’t smell the wine, it’s likely not going to taste very good.

  • Children in tasting rooms.  It’s sad that this is still an issue.  This is our #1 grievance 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.

  • Parties of 6 or more in tasting rooms who have not called ahead.  This is annoying for tasting room staff and other customers.  If you’re in a group, be courteous!  Call ahead!

  • People who think cider is more akin to beer.  Repeat after us!  Cider is NOT brewed!  It’s fermented!  Thus, it is like wine!  Just because you often see is on tap doesn’t mean it’s beer.  Wine can be served on tap too.  We’d like to see more of that by the way!

  • Farm to fork restaurants who don’t have local wine on their lists.  This is probably #2 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!

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!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 0 comments