Raylen Viognier — Wine Review

Continuing with our Yadkin Valley streak, we opened a bottle of the 2012 Raylen Viognier, from Raylen Vineyards.   For those not familiar with Viognier, it is a white grape that produces a wine across a wide spectrum ranging from bright and acidic to mellow and tropical.  No matter what style Viognier you are having, they will all be very aromatic with notable characteristics.   Continue reading →

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Chatham Hill Cabernet Franc — Wine Review

Tonight’s feature is another Yadkin Valley selection; the 2009 Chatham Hill Cabernet Franc from Chatham Hill Winery. This dark red wine is rich with dark fruit flavors and a nice balance of tannins and smoke.  We decided to pair it with a barbecue pork chop, baked sweet potato and corn on the cob.  The dark flavors of the wine really complimented the charred sweetness of the pork.

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Shelton Dry Riesling — Wine Review

To kick off the NC Wine and Grape month, we decided to start with the Shelton Dry Riesling from Shelton Vineyards.  This full bodied white displays characteristics that are typical of a cool-climate Riesling without having to venture to the colder regions of the country.   Continue reading →

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September is North Carolina Wine and Grape Month

September is a special month here in North Carolina. Not only is the weather gorgeous, but it is also officially recognized as Wine and Grape month.   Almost all of the 100+ North Carolina wineries participate in their own ways, offering delicious wines and a great experience.  Trying to do all of the wineries in one month would be an amazing task.  It might be doable, however it would take a multitude of planning, a strong determination to do it all, and don’t forget the designated driver (that’s a lot of wine).

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Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard and Winery

Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard and Winery

In North Carolina there are a number of wineries that are also considered century farms. Baker Buffalo Creek is fortunate enough to be on that short list.

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A tale of three Yadkin Valley wineries…

This past weekend, we visited three wineries in the Yadkin Valley. We were fortunate enough to sample a few new releases on this trip as well. The weather was cool enough that we were able to bring our dog Amy. She always enjoys our wine adventures and is mostly happy to just be along for the ride.

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Junius Lindsay Vineyard

Junius Lindsay Vineyard

Set in the middle of their vineyard is the tasting room for Junius Lindsay.  The open air tasting room allows visitors to feel like they really are out in the vineyard enjoying a glass of wine.  One of the main perks of this tasting room is that there is often a nice breeze that will come across the grapes and will fill the area with the subtle sweet smell of ripening fruit.

Michael Zimmerman is the proprietor of the vineyard.  His estate wines are made in the Northern Rhône style meaning they are full of vibrant flavors and have a certain complexity to them that make for an enjoyable wine.  The nine acres under vine allow for Michael to run a smaller scale vineyard and really focus on the quality of his wines over the mass quantities some larger wineries produce.

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Wine Tasting: Mooresville Wine Maestro

We recently did a tasting at the Wine Maestro in Mooresville, NC. They offer tastings most weeks on Thursdays and Fridays. The tastings are $10 per person for six or seven wines and they’re usually heavier pours. This week’s theme was the Maestro’s picks, consisting of a white, a rosé, two light reds and two heavier reds.

First up was the 2013 Gieson Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, NZ. It started off with a crisp clean nose with hints of floral notes. It was a full body white and had nice acids. It started bright then had a nice mineral mid-palate with citrus yet grassy mid tones and a lingering light finish. Continue reading →

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Virginia Wine Trip Day Five

Day five brought us to our final day in the Virginia wine regions.  We were headed back south, so we decided to stop at a three of our favorite wineries from our stop last year plus one new winery.  First on the list was Shenandoah Vineyards.  This winery is the second oldest in Virginia with vines planted back in the late 1970s.  The walk way up to the tasting room is a living vine covered staircase (a ramp is available in the back) that was full of fruit while we were there.

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Virginia Wine Trip Day Four

Day four took us to 13 new wineries. It’s a good thing we were splitting our tastings otherwise we would end up like Sarah, a local we encountered at the last stop of the day. We started out traveling down yet another dirt road and arrived at the charming Notaviva Vineyards where they pair their wines with different music. Stop number two is the sprawling Breaux Vineyards estates. The wines there were refined and full of complexity. 868 Estate Vineyards was next. Here they were offering their tastings both inside and on their gorgeous patio. They also have a restaurant on property that was offering paella. Although we passed on the food, it did smell delicious.

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