Looking back at 2017, notes on wine, events, and what we’re excited about in 2018.

Looking Back at 2017

2017 has been another great year for NC Wine. As we look back at the year, we reflect on some of the highlights of the year as well as what we’re looking forward to in 2018.

Looking Back

If we go back three harvests to the 2015 vintage, our notes promised it would be a season for the record books. Fast forward two years and you find that several wineries already released their 2015 vintages. White wines of this vintage are selling out, but in general are fresh and crisp with brilliant fruit. 2015 reds are still drinking young but show great potential.

2014 red wines also show great potential. Many wineries in the state have already released their 2014 reds. We’ve actually compiled a collection of some of the highlights of the 2014 vintage. As the year went on, we noticed the 2014 vintage is only getting better. To summarize this vintage; 2014 red wines have a wonderful balance of rich fruits and well-developed tannins.

Instagram post 17851052584168618 We had a fun afternoon touring some of the Vineyards of Swan Creek Trail! 
Our first stop was @raffaldinivineyards for the reveal of their new collaboration with @jolovineyards. The blend of Montepulciano from Raffaldini and Chambourcin from JOLO is called RaRa Sisboombah. Jay and JW hope to make this an annual collaboration!

Our next stop was @piccionevineyards for the 2014 Sangiovese release. This wine was full of cherry, vanilla and oak. It paired nicely with the risotto from the visiting food truck.

Finally, we stopped in to try the newly released 2014 Cabernet Franc from Dobbins Creek Vineyards!  Earthy with a big cherry finish, this wine would pair well with pork or mushrooms! 
It was a fun day! #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 #2014ncwine

We had a fun afternoon touring some of the Vineyards of Swan Creek Trail! Our first stop was @raffaldinivineyards for the reveal of their new collaboration with @jolovineyards. The blend of Montepulciano from Raffaldini and Chambourcin from JOLO is called RaRa Sisboombah. Jay and JW hope to make this an annual collaboration! Our next stop was @piccionevineyards for the 2014 Sangiovese release. This wine was full of cherry, vanilla and oak. It paired nicely with the risotto from the visiting food truck. Finally, we stopped in to try the newly released 2014 Cabernet Franc from Dobbins Creek Vineyards! Earthy with a big cherry finish, this wine would pair well with pork or mushrooms! It was a fun day! #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17848706953213724 We’re back home and enjoying the 2014 Malbec Reserve from @childresswines!  Childress Malbec is always fantastic. This 2014 vintage is no exception. Stewed dark plums and fig on the nose give way to a palate of blueberries, vanilla and more fig. A slight cedar undertone dances in the background. It’s a perfect wine for a chilly fall night. #NCWine #GotToBeNC #DrinkLocal #2014ncwine

We’re back home and enjoying the 2014 Malbec Reserve from @childresswines! Childress Malbec is always fantastic. This 2014 vintage is no exception. Stewed dark plums and fig on the nose give way to a palate of blueberries, vanilla and more fig. A slight cedar undertone dances in the background. It’s a perfect wine for a chilly fall night. #NCWine #GotToBeNC #DrinkLocal #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17902920736127403 Tonight we’re enjoying the 2014 Chambourcin from @morganridgevineyards! This wine has dried blueberries and spices written all over it. The nose is juicy with a hint of baking spices. The flavors showcase bold blueberries, raspberries, and cherries. The mid-palate is well rounded with vanilla coming through and fading into the finish. #NCWine #GotToBeNC #DrinkLocal #2014ncwine

Tonight we’re enjoying the 2014 Chambourcin from @morganridgevineyards! This wine has dried blueberries and spices written all over it. The nose is juicy with a hint of baking spices. The flavors showcase bold blueberries, raspberries, and cherries. The mid-palate is well rounded with vanilla coming through and fading into the finish. #NCWine #GotToBeNC #DrinkLocal #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17904247936104369 It’s a cold night which calls for red wine, so we’re drinking the 2014 Merlot from @roaringrivervineyards!  The nose has light notes of raspberries and dark plums.  Those plums continue on the on the palate along with mild tannins. A very nice wine for tonight! #YadkinValley #NCWine #DrinkLocal #GotToBeNC #2014ncwine

It’s a cold night which calls for red wine, so we’re drinking the 2014 Merlot from @roaringrivervineyards! The nose has light notes of raspberries and dark plums. Those plums continue on the on the palate along with mild tannins. A very nice wine for tonight! #YadkinValley #NCWine #DrinkLocal #GotToBeNC #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17857030027201378 Tonight we’re enjoying the 2014 Provencia from @hanoverparkvineyard! This wine is a Chambourcin that’s on a different level than previous vintages. The color is incredibly dark and inky. The nose is toasty balanced out with a dark plum and a hint of spice. The flavors are soft and gentle. It starts out with a light tart cherry and moves to an earthy mid-palate. Tanned leather and a coffee note round out the finish and it fades out to silky tannins. #YadkinValley #NCWine #DrinkLocal #GotToBeNC #WineWednesday #2014ncwine

Tonight we’re enjoying the 2014 Provencia from @hanoverparkvineyard! This wine is a Chambourcin that’s on a different level than previous vintages. The color is incredibly dark and inky. The nose is toasty balanced out with a dark plum and a hint of spice. The flavors are soft and gentle. It starts out with a light tart cherry and moves to an earthy mid-palate. Tanned leather and a coffee note round out the finish and it fades out to silky tannins. #YadkinValley #NCWine #DrinkLocal #GotToBeNC #WineWednesday #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17911699951028660 To celebrate #RepealDay we decided to open a 2014 Synergy Syrah from Flint Hill Vineyards! This wine has a complex nose of charred fruits, a hint of leather, and a subtle touch of fresh tar. The flavors start with a blast of juicy red fruits. It turns to an oaky mid-palate and finishes with a slight spice. #YadkinValley #NCWine #2014ncwine

To celebrate #RepealDay we decided to open a 2014 Synergy Syrah from Flint Hill Vineyards! This wine has a complex nose of charred fruits, a hint of leather, and a subtle touch of fresh tar. The flavors start with a blast of juicy red fruits. It turns to an oaky mid-palate and finishes with a slight spice. #YadkinValley #NCWine #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17906775022067082 We’re celebrating #CabFrancDay with the 2014 Cabernet Franc from @jonesvondrehle!  A luscious wine with an intoxicating nose of dark plums and vanilla sees those plums continue on the palate along with blueberries, black pepper, and a hint of oak. The finish is soft and fades away gently. A perfect wine for any day! #YadkinValley #NCWine #GotToBeNC #DrinkLocal #2014ncwine

We’re celebrating #CabFrancDay with the 2014 Cabernet Franc from @jonesvondrehle! A luscious wine with an intoxicating nose of dark plums and vanilla sees those plums continue on the palate along with blueberries, black pepper, and a hint of oak. The finish is soft and fades away gently. A perfect wine for any day! #YadkinValley #NCWine #GotToBeNC #DrinkLocal #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17880495688168739 Tonight it’s the 2014 Montepulciano from @raffaldini!  Black cherry, black plums, and a hint of oak predominant on the nose. The palate is leathery and oaky with a pop of black plum and currant. The finish lingers and softly fades away. #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #DrinkLocal #GotToBeNC #2014ncwine

Tonight it’s the 2014 Montepulciano from @raffaldini! Black cherry, black plums, and a hint of oak predominant on the nose. The palate is leathery and oaky with a pop of black plum and currant. The finish lingers and softly fades away. #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #DrinkLocal #GotToBeNC #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17897990833100038 It’s the 2014 Tosca Heritage from Russian Chapel Hills Winery!  Eighty percent Merlot and twenty percent Sangiovese, this wine has a black raspberry nose. The black raspberry continues on the palate along with lots of dark chocolate. #NCWine #DrinkLocal #GotToBeNC #2014ncwine

It’s the 2014 Tosca Heritage from Russian Chapel Hills Winery! Eighty percent Merlot and twenty percent Sangiovese, this wine has a black raspberry nose. The black raspberry continues on the palate along with lots of dark chocolate. #NCWine #DrinkLocal #GotToBeNC #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17888706376084954 Tonight we’re enjoying the 2014 Nero from @piccionevineyards! This wine is medium bodied and complex. The nose is of fresh black cherries with a delicate pepper spice blended into the background. The flavors are dark and start off with black plums. It moves to a mild cherry mid-palate and fades out to a black pepper finish. #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #2014ncwine

Tonight we’re enjoying the 2014 Nero from @piccionevineyards! This wine is medium bodied and complex. The nose is of fresh black cherries with a delicate pepper spice blended into the background. The flavors are dark and start off with black plums. It moves to a mild cherry mid-palate and fades out to a black pepper finish. #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17851974295152156 Tonight we're having the 2014 Cabernet Franc from @divinellamavineyards! This lively red wine is filled with fresh cherry and a light finish. The nose is light with subtle leather supported by ripe cherry. The flavor starts with the cherry up front, then it moves to a vanilla mid-palate before finishing cleanly. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 #2014ncwine

Tonight we're having the 2014 Cabernet Franc from @divinellamavineyards! This lively red wine is filled with fresh cherry and a light finish. The nose is light with subtle leather supported by ripe cherry. The flavor starts with the cherry up front, then it moves to a vanilla mid-palate before finishing cleanly. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17858288536196144 For Grenache Day, we enjoyed two #YadkinValley Grenaches with friends. The first was the 2013 from @menarickvineyard!  The second was the 2014 from @juniuslindsayvineyard!  Both were enjoyed by all!  #GrenacheDay #NCWine #NCWineMonth #2014ncwine

For Grenache Day, we enjoyed two #YadkinValley Grenaches with friends. The first was the 2013 from @menarickvineyard! The second was the 2014 from @juniuslindsayvineyard! Both were enjoyed by all! #GrenacheDay #NCWine #NCWineMonth #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17874599854130643 Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Double Barrel from @sanctuaryvineyards!  A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, the bouquet gives dried fruit, oak, and leather. These all continue on the palate with strong tannins and a long finish. It's perfect for a cool day! #NCWine #NCWineMonth #GotToBeNC #DrinkLocal #2014ncwine

Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Double Barrel from @sanctuaryvineyards! A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, the bouquet gives dried fruit, oak, and leather. These all continue on the palate with strong tannins and a long finish. It's perfect for a cool day! #NCWine #NCWineMonth #GotToBeNC #DrinkLocal #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17893093462018183 Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Shiloh from @laurelgrayvineyards!  This red blend is 95% Cabernet Franc. The other 5% is made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. The nose is bright red cherry with light notes of cedar.  The flavors on the palate are dark plum, raisin, and a hit of oak.  This red it smooth and easy to drink!  Go see Benny and Kim!  Get a bottle for yourself! #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #DrinkLocal #GotToBeNC #2014ncwine

Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Shiloh from @laurelgrayvineyards! This red blend is 95% Cabernet Franc. The other 5% is made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. The nose is bright red cherry with light notes of cedar. The flavors on the palate are dark plum, raisin, and a hit of oak. This red it smooth and easy to drink! Go see Benny and Kim! Get a bottle for yourself! #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #DrinkLocal #GotToBeNC #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17878684450124240 Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Cabernet Franc from Dobbins Creek Vineyards! This medium bodied red wine is light enough for a summer evening and packs a flavorful punch. The nose shows cherry and a subtle plum. The flavors start with a dark red fruit flavor up front. It moves to an earthy mid-palate that finishes with a light tannins to the very end. #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #2014ncwine

Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Cabernet Franc from Dobbins Creek Vineyards! This medium bodied red wine is light enough for a summer evening and packs a flavorful punch. The nose shows cherry and a subtle plum. The flavors start with a dark red fruit flavor up front. It moves to an earthy mid-palate that finishes with a light tannins to the very end. #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17862934873191599 Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Arcturus from @mcritchiewinery! This medium to full bodied red blend is made from Sangiovese and Merlot. The nose shows off dried herbs and dried cherries with a hint of vanilla.  The flavors begin with tart cherry at the start.  It quickly deepens to a mid-palate that balances light caramel notes with dark red fruits.  The finish lingers on with soft tannins right to the end.  #YadkinValley #NCWine #2014ncwine

Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Arcturus from @mcritchiewinery! This medium to full bodied red blend is made from Sangiovese and Merlot. The nose shows off dried herbs and dried cherries with a hint of vanilla. The flavors begin with tart cherry at the start. It quickly deepens to a mid-palate that balances light caramel notes with dark red fruits. The finish lingers on with soft tannins right to the end. #YadkinValley #NCWine #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17852496445192404 Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Arcturus from @mcritchiewinery! This blend of Sangiovese and Merlot is both soft and full of flavor. The nose has medium cherry notes and a subtle leathery undertone. The flavors start out with cherry that moves to a mildly woody mid-palate. The finish has a gentle tannin structure that shows a soft vanilla at the end. #YadkinValley #NCWine #2014ncwine

Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Arcturus from @mcritchiewinery! This blend of Sangiovese and Merlot is both soft and full of flavor. The nose has medium cherry notes and a subtle leathery undertone. The flavors start out with cherry that moves to a mildly woody mid-palate. The finish has a gentle tannin structure that shows a soft vanilla at the end. #YadkinValley #NCWine #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17853488188147511 Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Sangiovese Classico from @raffaldinivineyards! The nose is filled with dark fruits and subtle baking spice. The flavors are bbold with plums and leather. The mid-palate is smooth and it flows evenly into the finish. Nice tannins linger on and fade out slowly. #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 #2014ncwine

Tonight we're enjoying the 2014 Sangiovese Classico from @raffaldinivineyards! The nose is filled with dark fruits and subtle baking spice. The flavors are bbold with plums and leather. The mid-palate is smooth and it flows evenly into the finish. Nice tannins linger on and fade out slowly. #SwanCreek #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgMarch2017 #2014ncwine ...

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Instagram post 17907005578078207 We made the small trek to #yadkinvalley to grab our order of 2014 Montepulciano Riserva from piccionevineyards - we've had their regular Monty and loved it, and can only expect the best from this beauty. 
#2014ncwine #montepulciano #twistmyarm 🍷

We made the small trek to #yadkinvalley to grab our order of 2014 Montepulciano Riserva from piccionevineyards - we've had their regular Monty and loved it, and can only expect the best from this beauty. #2014ncwine #montepulciano #twistmyarm 🍷 ...

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Our First Event

2017 was an important year for us as we hosted the very first NC Wine Month Kickoff event. It was an intimate gathering of 13 wineries and about 70 media and blogger guests. Plus, we had a very special guest appearance by Governor Roy Cooper! We were  honored to have him there, officially endorsing NC Wine Month. We learned a lot from hosting our first major event and we’re looking forward to hosting again!

Looking Forward

2018 promises to be another great year. Here’s a list of things we’re excited about:

More 2014 and 2015 wines

We tasted so many great wines from these two vintages.  The remaining releases are something to look forward to.

More wine reviews on our site

We want to expand our wine review presence so we’ll be adding new reviews more often.

Enhanced Social Media presence

We want to start using some of the things we learned at the wine bloggers conference. Stay tuned!

More support for the industry

We are always looking for more ways to support the NC Wine industry. We have a few ideas that we will start in 2018.

What excites you most about 2018? Leave a comment to share your thoughts. We would love to hear from you!

Posted by Matt Kemberling

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