Wine, Wineries and Vineyards

A Century Farm of Six Generations

A Century Farm of Six Generations

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

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

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

Closing Content

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

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

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

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

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

NC Wine Month

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

So how can you participate?

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

 

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

Recreating Ancient Methods

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

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

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

Closing Content

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

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

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

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

Ciders of Opportunity

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

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

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

Closing Content

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

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

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

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Roads of Gold – Golden Roads Vineyards

Roads of Gold – Golden Roads Vineyards

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

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

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

Closing Content

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

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

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

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Cork Talk Holiday Episode!

Cork Talk Holiday Episode!

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

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

Closing Content

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

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

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

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

In the Wine Light – Mulled Wine and Cider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the full recipe:

INGREDIENTS

3 Whole Star Anise

5 Whole Green Cardamom Pods, Cracked

1 Teaspoon Whole Cloves

1 Teaspoon Whole Allspice Berries

½ Teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns

1 Teaspoon Grated Orange Peel

1.5” Fresh Ginger, Peeled and Sliced Thinly

2 cups Apple Cider

1 bottle Dry Red Wine

1 cup Tawny Port

¼ cup Bourbon

Juice of ½ an Orange

6” Sprig of Rosemary

3 Cinnamon Sticks

Freshly Grated Nutmeg

4 Quart Slow Cooker

Cheesecloth

Butcher’s Twine

METHOD

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

#InTheWineLight #MulledWine #MulledCider

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, Wine, 1 comment
Enjoy Your Path – Marked Tree Vineyard

Enjoy Your Path – Marked Tree Vineyard

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

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

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

Closing Content

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

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

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

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

In the Wine Light – Linden Vineyards

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

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

Hardscrabble Vineyard - Linden Vineyards - Linden, VA

Hardscrabble Vineyard – Linden Vineyards – Linden, VA

Backstory

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

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

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

Barrel Room - Linden Vineyards - Linden, VA

Barrel Room – Linden Vineyards – Linden, VA

Winemaking Philosophy

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

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

Tasting – Chardonnay

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

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

Tasting – Red Wines

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

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

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

Bottled Wine - Linden Vineyards - Linden, VA

Bottled Wine – Linden Vineyards – Linden, VA

Tour with Winemaker

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

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

View at Linden Vineyards - Linden, VA

View at Linden Vineyards – Linden, VA

Must Visit

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

We look forward to our next visit!

#InTheWineLight #VAWine

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

Working Hard to be Found – Hidden Vineyard

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

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

Closing Content

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

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

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

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

In the Wine Light – Glen Manor Vineyards

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

Glen Manor Vineyards Sign

Glen Manor Vineyards – October, 2019

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

Tasting Room and Winery at Glen Manor Vineyards

Tasting Room and Winery at Glen Manor Vineyards

Scenic Location

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

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

Glen Manor Vineyards with Skyline Drive Above

Glen Manor Vineyards with Skyline Drive Above

Century Farm

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

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

Tasting – Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé

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

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

Front of Tasting Room at Glen Manor Vineyards

Front of Tasting Room at Glen Manor Vineyards

Tasting – Reds

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

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

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

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

A Fall View of the Vineyards at Glen Manor

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

Tasting – Petit Manseng

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

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

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

Wrapping Up

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

#InTheWineLight #VAWine

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

Reds Through the Years at Zimmerman Vineyards

Reds Through the Years at Zimmerman Vineyards

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

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

Terrace at Zimmerman Vineyards with views of the Uwharrie Mountains

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

Cabernet Franc and Merlot

Vintage Reds at Zimmerman Vineyards

2007 Cabernet Franc and 2010 Merlot from Zimmerman Vineyards

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

Morpheus – Heir of Hypnos

Treats paired with Heir of Hypnos

Treats paired with Morpheus, Heir of Hypnos

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

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

Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Cabernet at Zimmerman Vineyards

2005, 2006, & 2007 Cabernet Sauvignons at Zimmerman Vineyards

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

Yummy Dinner at Zimmerman Vineyards

Yummy way to close out the evening at Zimmerman Vineyards

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

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

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Yadkin Valley Tourism

Yadkin Valley Tourism

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

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

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

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

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This time they talk to us about the Italian classic grape Sangiovese. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

Closing Content

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

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

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

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Find Your Passion – Kefi Vineyard & Winery

Find Your Passion – Kefi Vineyard & Winery

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

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

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

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This time they talk to us about the Muscadine grape and all the great things it has done for the state. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

Closing Content
If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review. It really helps spread the word. Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk.
Did you know we have a Patreon page that offers Patron Only content, early access to episode, blooper reels, and more? Head to patreon.com/CorkTalk to learn more and sign up!
This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/
Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Elevating Muscadine Part 2

Elevating Muscadine Part 2

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

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

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. They talk to us about the relative new comer Traminette. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

Closing Content

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

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

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

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Elevating Muscadine Part 1

Elevating Muscadine Part 1

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

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

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

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. They talk to us about the lesser known Rkatsiteli grape and how it does in North Carolina. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

Closing Content

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

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

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

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Growing for Future Generations

Growing for Future Generations

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

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

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

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This episode they talk about Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

Closing Content

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

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

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

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
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
Women in the Wine Industry

Women in the Wine Industry

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

In this episode we feature:

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This episode they discuss Cabernet Sauvignon and some of its interesting backstory. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

Closing Content

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

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

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

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

Mountain Grown & Mountain Made

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

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

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

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This episode they discuss Cabernet Sauvignon and some of its interesting backstory. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

Closing Content

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

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

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

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

Haze Gray & Underway

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

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

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back again for another season. This year, they’ll be doing a deep dive on one grape varietal per episode. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

Closing Content

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

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

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

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

Exploring Viticulture Enology

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


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


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

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


Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back! This time Jesse and Jessica tell us all about sparkling wines and how they’re more than just a party wine. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

Closing Content

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

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

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

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

A Pretty Hill in Polk County

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

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

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

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

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back! This time Jesse and Jessica talk to us about some of the things that are added to wine to improve the quality and make it ready for drinking. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh

Closing Content

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

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

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

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

We also 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.

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
A Special Place Where Dreams Come True

A Special Place Where Dreams Come True

This episode features the team from Elkin Creek Vineyard in Elkin, North Carolina!  We met up with Louis and Carrie Jeroslow and Jennifer and Nick White one evening.  In our discussion we listened as the two couples told us how they first discovered Elkin Creek Vineyard.  

It started at Jennifer and Nick’s wedding and a dream was soon formed.  It wasn’t long after that the stars aligned and that dream became reality.  The two couples left their day jobs in Las Vegas to pursue a shared dream.  Together they’ve shaped the vineyard into a retreat that is secluded but not isolated, a place where you can spend time reconnecting with what really matters.  

We hope you enjoy this episode.  If you like what you hear, please leave us a rating or review and share with a friend.  If you’re looking for other ways to contribute, you should check out our Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/corktalk  

In our next season we’ll be adding exclusive content to Patreon with several levels of perks.  Please take a look and if you can help support our mission we greatly appreciate your contributions.  

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Mead Making Starrs

Mead Making Starrs

This episode features Ben and Becky Starr of Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, NC! Ben and Becky caught the mead making bug after falling in love with it at a Renaissance faire. For the past 8 years, Ben and Becky have been building up their business and refining their mead making skills.

They like meads with big bold flavors and surprising flavor combinations. Visit the brand new Mead Hall and you’ll find the expected off-dry traditional and semi-sweet to flavors more exotic like a Kickin’ Cranberry Orange (perfect for the holiday table and Ben’s favorite) and other fruit and herb infused meads.

If you liked this episode, please leave us a rating and review.  If you really liked this episode, please share it with a friend.  You can find all episodes of Cork Talk on our show page: NC Wine Guys Present: Cork Talk! 

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Meads, Podcast, Wine, 0 comments

Davesté Vineyards Rkatsiteli Vertical Tasting

Davesté Vineyards’ Tasting Room

We recently held a vertical tasting of Rkatsiteli from Davesté Vineyards in Troutman, NC.  We first reviewed Davesté’s Rkatsiteli several years ago (Previous Review).  Davesté produces the only known single variety Rkatsiteli in North Carolina.  It’s become their signature wine.

Davesté opened in September, 2007.  The grapes were first planted in 2005.  Owners Dave and Ester DeFehr, whose combined first names are the inspiration for the Davesté’s name, first began plans for the vineyard and winery in 2003.  Land was purchased in 2004.  Today, in addition to Rkatsiteli, Davesté grows Traminette and Chambourcin.  Most other fruit is sourced locally within North Carolina with some coming from Virginia and California.  

Rkatsiteli grapes nearly ready for harvest at Davesté Vineyards

Rkatsiteli is thought of have originated in the country of Georgia and is believed to be one of oldest vinifera varieties.  It’s typically known for producing high acid wines.  It’s gaining popularity in the Finger Lakes region of New York and in Virginia.  

We inquired how Rkatsiteli does here in North Carolina.  Winemaker Leslie Johnson tells us, “In the vineyard, Rkatsiteli is pretty easy to manage. It likes to grow straight up instead of sprawling like a hybrid. The main disease we fight every year is downy mildew for this varietal. We like to harvest these grapes a bit earlier than others to help retain the acidity.”  

She added, “In the past, all of our Rkatsiteli has been fermented and aged in stainless steel. With our increased yields in 2019, we currently have some Rkatsiteli aging in French oak barrels to try something new.”  We can’t wait to taste a barrel aged Rkasiteli!

We tasted the 2015 – 2018 vintages of Rkatsiteli from Davesté.  Here are our notes and information about each wine.

2015

  • 100% Rkatsiteli
  • 12.5% Alcohol
  • Bronze Medal Winner at the Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition
  • Nose:  Pear, lemon rind, and honey
  • Palate:  Bruised pear, preserved lemon rind, pithy
  • Finish:  Medium

2016

  • 100% Rkatsiteli
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • Nose:  Faint pear and light honey; Delicate and refined
  • Palate:  Fresh pear and zesty lemon
  • Finish:  Medium+
  • Favorite overall

2017

  • 100% Rkatsiteli
  • 12.8% Alcohol
  • Double Gold Medal Winner at the Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition and Silver Medal Winner at NC State Fair
  • Nose:  Floral, minerally, and honeysuckle
  • Palate: Minerally with notes of lemon
  • Finish:  Short and tart

2018

  • 100% Rkatsiteli
  • 12.8% Alcohol
  • Silver Medal Winner at the Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition and Double Gold Medal Winner at NC State Fair
  • Nose:  Perfumy, pronounced honeysuckle, sweet pear
  • Palate:  Rose petals, lemon, lime, fresh and vibrant
  • Finish:  Medium+

Davesté suggests pairing their Rkatsiteli with pad Thai, shrimp scampi, or chèvre.  We had spinach pie, roasted vegetables with a lemon tahini sauce and various cheeses.  Rkatsiteli should do well with most vegetables and seafood.

If you’ve ever in the Troutman / Lake Norman area, stop by and visit Davesté.  Their beautiful grounds are the perfect place to relax.  In addition to wine, Davesté produces beer and has many live music events throughout the year, but be sure to pick up a bottle of Rkatsiteli while you’re there!

Cheers!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 0 comments
Wright Wine Sanctuary

Wright Wine Sanctuary

In this episode we sit down with John Wright of Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg, NC.  Growing grapes on the coast may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Currituck and the Outer Banks, but Sanctuary Vineyards is proving that you can grow European style grapes and make some top quality wine.

John talks about how this really is a labor of love.  He is constantly pouring time and energy back into the vines.  He treats each vine with careful attention and it clearly shows in the final product.  John really enjoys experimenting and is enjoys listening to the environment to learn what really grows well and produces the best wine possible.  

We hope you enjoy this episode.  If you like what you’re hearing, be sure to leave us a rating and review!  

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments

Jones von Drehle Petit Manseng Revisited

We have been big fans of Petit Manseng since the first time we tasted it at Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery some years ago.  This small grape can produce a full bodied high alcohol wine.  It’s often called the red drinker’s white wine.

We did a Spotlight on Petit Manseng in North Carolina in July, 2017.  In that post, we had tasted through the 2013, 2014, and 2015 vintages of Petit Manseng from Jones von Drehle in addition to giving a bit of information about Petit Manseng itself.  This time around, we were fortunate enough to add the 2012 vintage, the first vintage, and the 2016 vintage to the mix, so we tasted 2012 – 2016.  And we should note, all bottles were purchased for this tasting.

We decided to change things up this time.  We did this tasting blind.  We also added a wine from the Southwest of France to the mix.  This wine was a 2011 iLori Les Jonquilles from Domaine Brana.  Made from fruit grown in the Irouleguy appellation, it is a blend of Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng, and Petit Corbu.  Bottles were covered in foil by one of us.  The other randomly assigned a number.  Friends arrived and the tasting began.

We used a chalk board to record feedback on the wines.  We discussed the nose, palate, and finish.  We tried to guess the year or whether the wine was the French one.  We didn’t do so well on the guesses of the vintages, but the last wine was clearly different than the others.  This was a big clue that it was not solely Petit Manseng.  Interestingly enough, that wine was by far the least favorite of the group.  Our impressions of it did improve when we paired it with a savory tomato cobbler.

Our group thought wine 1 was young with notes of apricot, citrus, and pineapple.  We guessed it might be the 2016 vintage.  It turned out to be the 2013.  It seems this wine might have a few years to go.

Wine 2 had more notes of pineapple and apricot.  We found banana and an herbaceous note along with a hint of minerality.  We incorrectly guessed this to be the 2014.  It was in fact the 2012.  This wine is still showing beautifully.

Wine 3 had a subtle nose.  The palate gave us mandarin orange and pineapple.  We found the finish was hot.  We thought, for that reason, it might be the 2015 which clocked in at 15.6% alcohol.  It was in fact the 2016.  

We missed numbering wine 4 on the chalk board.  This one was different than the others.  There was lots of stewed stone fruit notes.  Think peaches or nectarines.  Someone got a crème brûlée note on the finish.  A few thought this might be the French wine, but we weren’t so sure.  It turned out to be the 2014.

Wine 5 presented a yeasty note with pear and green apple.  It was silky and soft.  We thought it might be the 2012.  It turned out to be the 2015.  We were surprised by this.  We didn’t feel it was hot at all which is surprising given that 15.6% alcohol.  This one was a definite favorite.

We finally made it to the last wine, #6.  This one was clearly different.  It was green and seemed old.  The finish was astringent.  We were pretty sure this was indeed the French wine.  And we were right.  This was the least favorite of the group.

Once we finished tasting through all the wines, we did the reveals and then enjoyed some food and a bit more of our favorites.

We look forward to exploring more Petit Manseng in the future!  

To learn more about Jones von Drehle, check out our first episode of Cork Talk where we sat down with Chuck and Diana Jones.

Cheers!

 

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 0 comments
All You Mead is Love

All You Mead is Love

In this episode, we sit down with Diane Currier of Honeygirl Meadery in Durham, NC!  Diane was turned on to mead making in her early days as a home brewer.  She talks about her surreal experience of walking through a fireweed meadow and then hours later tasting a mead made from that specific type of honey. 

Listen to her tell her story about how she got started, where she finds inspiration, and how she continually makes a connection back to the ever essential honey bee.   Enjoy!  

If you liked this episode, please leave us a rating or a review.  Every bit helps spread the podcast to new listeners. 

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Meads, Podcast, 0 comments
NC Wine Goes Urban

NC Wine Goes Urban

This conversation takes us to plēb Urban Winery in Asheville, NC to celebrate their 1st anniversary party!  Learn about what it means to truly be an urban winery and make wine more accessible to the masses.  From featuring grapes that grow well, to being more sustainable, plēb is certainly breaking into the Asheville scene and embracing #NCWine.  

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
From the Board Room & Classroom to the Farm

From the Board Room & Classroom to the Farm

This episode features Chuck and Jamey Johnson of Shadow Springs Vineyard and Windsor Run Cellars.  We discuss how the they traded in the 8 to 5 corporate job for something they’re more passionate about.  Having two wineries that are just over a half mile apart provides many conveniences but also several challenges.  They view the wineries as being alter egos of each other.  Windsor Run Cellars is a bit more adventurous and likes to experiment with fun flavors and innovative beverages.  Shadow Springs Vineyard walks on the more serious side but they still know how to have fun as well.

One thing that comes across in this conversation is how passionate Chuck and Jamey are about the wine industry here in North Carolina.  When they were first getting started, the industry helped them to get their winery up and running.  Now that they’ve been in the business for almost 15 years, they’re looking for ways to “give back” to the industry to help others along the same path.  In many ways they’re still pioneers in the industry, but they’ve definitely left their mark and are looking for ways to contribute more.

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Wine, Sangria, and S’mores!

Wine, Sangria, and S’mores!

Bonus Episode!  Banner Elk Winery & Villa is a mainstay of the High Country of North Carolina.  No matter the season, this winery is always a popular destination.  The wines are delicious, the sangrias are a hit in the summer, and who doesn’t love s’mores.  Escape the heat and head to the mountains for a visit!

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do

Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do

Laurel Gray Vineyards is located in the Swan Creek AVA, part of the Yadkin Vally in North Carolina.  Listen to the story of Kim and Benny Myers about how they transform Benny’s family farm into a vineyard.  Years of hard work have gone into building the vineyard and winery, and they certainly have a loyal following.  

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 2 comments
From Shine, to Milk, to Wine

From Shine, to Milk, to Wine

We sit with Charles and Ann Edwards of Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyards on a warm spring evening.  Listen as they tell us how a family farm transitioned from moonshine to dairy, and is now producing excellent wines. We recorded this episode outside because there’s nothing better than relaxing under the shade trees when you visit. 

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Cork Talk with Raffaldini Vineyards

Cork Talk with Raffaldini Vineyards

This episode we chat with Jay Raffaldini from Raffaldini Vineyards. We discuss how Jay discovered his property and has put a lot of effort into bringing a bit of Chianti to North Carolina. Jay wants his visitors to relax and enjoy what he calls the exhale moment because as he says, “Life is meant to be slow.”

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 5 comments