Carolina Heritage Blueberry Wine — Wine Review

Ten more days left in our September wine month challenge!  Today we took a slightly different approach to our wine.  Usually we pair our wines with dinner and go from there.  However, we will be eating out this evening to celebrate a friend’s birthday and we were unsure if the restaurant offers North Carolina Wines.  To make sure we have our wine of the day covered, we decided to have a small glass of the Carolina Heritage Blueberry Wine from Carolina Heritage Vineyards to help pass the afternoon.   Continue reading →

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Stony Knoll Viognier — Wine Review

Arrrgh, it is Talk Like a Pirate Day!  Although we should have celebrated with rum, we wanted to keep our NC Wine streak going.  This evening we decided to keep it in the Yadkin Valley and went for the Stony Knoll Viognier from Stony Knoll Vineyards.  This light white wine was a welcome addition to our grilled shrimp dinner.

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Huffman Fire Side Red — Wine Review

The weather today was horribly uncooperative with major thunderstorms and heavy showers for most of the late afternoon and evening. The solution to bad weather: red wine.  Instead of going for a lighter more delicate white, we decided to open a nice red and cook inside (we really didn’t have much choice in the cooking arrangement as grilling was out of the question).  Tonight’s wine is the Huffman Fire Side Red from Huffman Vineyards in Richlands, North Carolina.   Continue reading →

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Olde Mill Silver Pines — Wine Review

We’re half way through the month; 15 days down, 15 more to go! To celebrate our half way marker (and to go with dinner) we opened up a bottle of the Olde Mill Silver Pines white wine.  This white wine is mostly a Pinot Gris, so we decided to pair it with a stuffed pork chop and roasted potatoes.  The flavors balanced nicely off each other and made for a nice light meal. Continue reading →

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Divine Llama Traminette Divine — Wine Review

After visiting two wineries this afternoon, we decided it was time to move on from crackers and settle on an actual dinner to enjoy some North Carolina wine.  We made our way home from the south-east part of the Yadkin Valley so we could fix up some sweet potato gnocchi and grilled salmon.  The wine we selected for the evening was the 2010 Traminette Divine from Divine Llama.

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Jones von Drehle Petit Manseng — Wine Review

Tonight’s wine caused us a bit of a problem.  We weren’t sure which glass we should use to fully enjoy this unique wine.  I would hesitate to say we are glass “snobs”, but we definitely know that the glass has a major impact on the wine.  We ended up going through three different options before finally settling on the fourth (it ended up being the Syrah glass).  If you don’t have a Syrah, you shouldn’t worry.  The Jones von Drehle Petit Manseng is one wine that will not disappoint, regardless of the glass you use.   Continue reading →

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Dobbins Creek Rosé — Wine Review

Dinner this evening proved an interesting challenge for the wine pairing.  On the menu was a honey Sriracha fried chicken with cheddar waffles.  This was a somewhat last-minute menu swap, so I was hoping that the Dobbins Creek Rosé  would pair nicely.  And it did, quite nicely.

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Elkin Creek Chardonnay — Wine Review

One third of the way through! Tonight we opened a bottle of the Elkin Creek Chardonnay from Elkin Creek Vineyard.  This Chardonnay is so rich and creamy, I mistakenly thought it was finished in oak and pulled out the wrong glasses for the wine.  After quickly reading up on the wine, we realized it was 100% stainless steel (I was shocked, Joe had a lingering suspicion), and we changed glasses.  While the wine wasn’t bad out of the oaked Chardonnay glasses, it was remarkably better and the flavors were more concentrated out of the stainless Chardonnay/Viognier glasses.   Continue reading →

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Silver Fork Merlot — Wine Review

Tonight’s wine took us by a bit of a surprise.  The Silver Fork Merlot can definitely change one’s opinion that the east coast doesn’t produce good Merlot.  Normally when you think of Merlot, you imagine a big bold red wine with a complex yet robust profile and distinctive characteristics.  Typically, you would be right.  This particular bottle of the 2012 Merlot from Silver Fork is anything but “typical”.   Continue reading →

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McRitchie Muscat Blanc — Wine Review

Tonight’s feature is the McRitchie Muscat Blanc.  It comes from a small winery in the Yadkin Valley, McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks.  McRitchie has a small vineyard on property but works with other local farmers to source their grapes for their wide variety of wines.  They are a small-scale winery, selling mainly out of their tasting room but they are expanding as their following grows.  In addition to wines, they also produce a few ciders made from local apples (and this fall, they will have a pear cider too).  Continue reading →

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White Wines from Native Vines and Adagio Vineyards — Wine Review

Sundays are a special day in our house.  Not only is it the end of the weekend, but it’s also a day where our good friend Susan can join us in our wine adventures.  After a quick trip to the local winery nearby, we came back to enjoy a nice dinner out on the patio accompanied by two delicious North Carolina wines; the Native Vines Sauvignon Blanc and the Adagio Vivace.  Continue reading →

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Misty Creek Cabernet Sauvignon — Wine Review

On a Friday night, one of the first priorities is to relax after a long week of work.  Among other things, that means a bottle of wine that is familiar, reliable and oh so good.  To fulfill all requirements of a relaxing Friday night, we decided to invite over a few friends, make some black bean and sweet potato quesadillas, and we opened a bottle of the 2006 Misty Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. Continue reading →

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Weathervane Ionosphere — Wine Review

Although things were a little rushed today, we were still able to unwind this evening with a delightful wine from Weathervane Winery. Weathervane offers an ample selection of the sweeter wines as well as vinifera. Their wines have a large following and for good reason. Their motto is “wines without the attitude” and they hold true to that image.  Tonight we enjoyed the Weathervane Ionosphere. Continue reading →

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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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Virginia Wine Trip Day Three

Day three had twelve wineries on the schedule for us to visit. Now, I know what you’re thinking, 12 is a lot to visit in just one day. Well, let me assure you, we were splitting tastings and in some cases, we actually had to dump *gasp* some wine.

Day 3 started at Tarara Winery. The grounds were expansive at around 470 acres with 50 under vines and another 50 soon to be planted. The winery hosts several music festivals throughout the summer season and let me tell you, any festival here would be quite fun. Next on the list are Lost Creek and Hidden Brook Winery; two wineries that neighbor each other and provide two completely different tasting experiences.

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Virginia Wine Trip Day Two

Day two had nine wineries on schedule for us. It was definitely a very busy day and it had us driving more than any other day on our schedule. We started our day at 10:30 AM with a tasting at Pearmund Cellars. Melissa conducted our tasting and gave us quite an education on the oldest Chardonnay vineyard in Virginia. When we were finished, we made our way to Molon Lave Vineyards. This unique winery offers a few Kosher wines (one of the few on the east coast) as well as non-Kosher offerings.

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Virginia Wine Trip Day One

The first day of travel took us through the Blue Ridge Parkway where we met our first stops. Lunch and a beer flight was first on the list at the Blue Mountain Brewery.

Blue Mountain Brewery

The beer flights were $9 for a 2.5 oz sample of ten different beers. Continue reading →

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And we’re off…

To kick off our blog, we’ll be traveling to the Northern Virginia wine region and the Middleburg Virginia AVA. Five days in this area should give us a good taste of the local offerings at the dozens of wineries and breweries.

Tasting notes, favorites and other comments to follow. Stay tuned!

virginiawine.org

VA wine regions

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