NC Wine

#NCWine – Our Consistent Brand

#NCWine – Our Consistent Brand

Hashtags are all over social media. They’re even in every day conversation. They’re used to identity messages/posts of the same type. But why is that important? How are they “made”? We’re going to explore that bit and help you learn why you need to use them in EVERY social media post.

As we’ve already stated, hashtags are primarily used to make searching for social media posts easier. You can find like posts more quickly. You can find others to follow more quickly. Others can find you more easily. You can join a conversation. Hashtags are often used for “chatting” online. This is particularly true on Twitter. Follow a hashtag, and you can follow a conversation.

Hashtags are also used to denote trending topics on social media. Social media users are often drawn to trending topics. It generates excitement and interest. Plus, it’s free! They are great marketing tools!

So, how do you build a good hashtag? You should start with something that is short and meaningful. This is especially critical on Twitter since there’s a character limit. The hashtag should be easy to read. Its meaning should be easy to discern.

How does all of this apply to North Carolina wine? It’s all about promotion and online presence. It’s about working together and creating a consistent identity for North Carolina wine. It’s all about #NCWine!

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Please use hashtags in ALL of your social media posts.
  • Please use hashtag #NCWine in ALL of your posts!
    • We need a clear, concise standard.
    • We need a hashtag that aligns with the standard for other wine regions. No ‘s’ on the end PLEASE!
    • We need a consistent brand.
  • If you’re in an AVA, please use a standard for each AVA. We don’t recommend adding AVA to the end. It’s more characters that really aren’t needed. We suggest the following:
    • #YadkinValley
    • #HawRiverValley
    • #SwanCreek
    • #UpperHiwassee
    • #AppHighCountry
  • Create a short and concise hashtag for your brand.
    • Use it with every post on every social media outlet.
    • Encourage its use in your tasting room, etc.
  • Other hashtags to consider:
    • #GotToBeNC – Consistent brand for products from NC.
    • #drinklocal – The local movement is big right now. Capitalize on that!
  • Other things to consider:
    • If it’s a holiday or special event, find a way to post using that hashtag (e.g. #NationalWineDay, #WineWednesday etc.).
    • #wine, #winetasting #winedinner are other good hashtags to use if they apply.
    • On Twitter, use them anywhere in your post. On Facebook and Instagram, use them (typically) at the end of your post.
    • Phrases or sentences should not be turned into hashtags. They’re often difficult to read.
    • Case doesn’t matter, but sometimes capitalizing letters can make the hashtag easier to read.

To summarize, please use hashtags in EVERY social media post. And ALWAYS leave room for the #NCWine hashtag.

If you need more advice on hashtags, send us a note. We’re happy to discuss!

Cheers!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 2 comments
What Does Drinking Locally Really Mean?

What Does Drinking Locally Really Mean?

The locavore movement has exploded over the last few years. Folks are really interested in eating food that is grown and cooked locally.  It harkens back to the days when folks grew a lot of the food they ate.  With all of this interest in local food, why not local drink?  Well, there has been more interest in locally produced beer and now locally produced spirits.  Local wine is starting to take off too, but is more difficult to find outside of the local winery.  Let’s take a look at wine specifically and talk about what it means to drink local wine.

Drink Local Wine!

Drink Local Wine!

Local wine is more than just wine produced by a local winery.  Truly local wine is wine that is fermented, aged and bottled at a local winery, but it is also wine that is made only from local grapes, fruit, or honey. These grapes should come from vines that are planted in North Carolina soil.  The fruit should come from North Carolina trees, bushes, etc.  The honey should come from a local bee hive.  Let’s be clear, a true North Carolina wine is made from a North Carolina product.  This means that wineries that produce wine from grapes, fruit, juice, or honey from California, South America, and/or Europe are NOT making local wine.  They’re making wine locally, but it’s not a North Carolina wine and can’t legally be labeled as such.  Think about that the next time you visit a local winery.  Ask where the grapes, fruit, or honey originated.  Look at the label.  Is it labeled accurately?  Inquire as to why local grapes, fruits, or honey weren’t used.  The “North Carolina doesn’t produce quality grapes” line no longer holds water.  The same goes for fruit or honey.  Drinkers of truly local North Carolina wine know better!   Let’s be sure our voices are heard.

We must insist that local wine bars and local restaurants sell locally grown and made North Carolina wine.  Farm to Fork restaurants and the like who aspire to serve food made from locally grown ingredients are quite hypocritical if they don’t have locally made wine on their menus.  The same would be said for locally made beer and spirits.  Let’s do our parts to help promote truly locally made wine. Remember the costumer is always right!

Finally, it’s ok to drink something other than locally made wine.  However, let’s be sure we do know the difference between a local wine and not.  And be sure that we don’t use the #NCWine and #NCFineWines to promote a wine that’s not truly local.  Just remember, drinking locally helps the local economy, which in turn helps you!

Let us know what drinking locally means to you! Cheers!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 1 comment
Food Pairings With North Carolina Wines

Food Pairings With North Carolina Wines

Food and wine have been enjoyed together throughout the ages. Each enhances the flavors and richness of the other. From holidays and other special occasions to a weeknight meal, food and wine are matches made in heaven.

Some of the NC Wines suggested for Food Pairings

Some of the NC Wines suggested for Food Pairings

We always pair our wine and food, but sometimes the task is not easy. In an attempt share some of our pairing experiences, here are some suggested food and North Carolina Wine Pairings (in no particular order).

 

  • BBQ – Lexington Style – If you’re a fan of Lexington Style BBQ, we recommend pairing it with the Barbera from Hutton Vineyards or the Barbera from Brandon Hills Vineyards.
  • BBQ – Eastern Style – If you prefer Eastern Style BBQ, we recommend the award winning Syrah from Misty Creek Vineyards.
  • Spicy Thai – Do you like spicy Thai? If not this pairing works with any spicy Asian food (Chinese, Thai, Indian). We recommend pairing it with the Estate Grown Dry Riesling from Dobbins Creek Vineyards or the Dry Muscadine from Overmountain Vineyards.
  • Lamb – Lamb is one of those meats that you either love or you hate. We love lamb. It’s unique from beef and is great as turned into meatballs or grilled or roasted. We always have our lamb with the Mourvèdre from Hanover Park Vineyard. It’s a classic pairing that you’ll love!
  • Chicken with Creamy Sauce – Chicken with a rich buttery sauce demands a buttery, barrel aged/fermented Chardonnay. Our go to Chardonnays are either the Barrel Aged Chardonnay from Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard & Winery or the Chardonnay from Mountain Brook Vineyards.
  • Steak – Steak calls for a big wine! Petit Verdot is one of those wines. We recommend the Petit Verdot from Jones von Drehle Vineyards & Winery.
  • Pasta and Tomato Sauce – Who doesn’t love pasta with a classic tomato sauce? Chianti is a classic pairing with tomato sauce, so why not have Chianti made in the Carolinas. Try the Sangiovese Riserva from Raffaldini Vineyards.
  • Grilled Sea Bass – Sea bass is a decadent fish. It’s rich and flavorful. Grill it with some olive oil and herbs, and you have perfection! A full-bodied white wine goes perfectly with the grilled sea bass. We recommend the Roussanne from Junius Lindsay Vineyard.
  • Chili – Chili with tomatoes, beans and a good bit of spice is a perfect meal for the cooler months. A big wine is the perfect accompaniment. We suggest the Estate Grown Zinfandel from Rag Apple Lassie.
  • Grilled Shrimp – Lightly seasoned and grilled shrimp are perfect on their own or in a nice, fresh salad. This calls for a light and delicate wine! We suggest the Pinot Gris from Laurel Gray Vineyards.
  • Soft White Cheese with Fig Spread – Ok, this one might seem a little odd, but trust us! Grab yourself a mild, soft white cheese. We recommend Yancey’s Fancy Champagne Cheddar. Get some fig spread or fig preserves. Slice the cheese and spread just a bit of the fig spread on top. Pair this was the Stainless Steel Chardonnay from Silver Fork Vineyard & Winery. Prepare to be amazed!
  • Brownies – Brownies are one of life’s simple pleasures. Chocolate that’s rich and slightly chewy. There’s not much better. A sweet chocolate treat calls for a warm, rich and slightly sweet wine. We recommend the Estate Bottled Port from Shelton Vineyards. This pairing is a great way to end a long day!

 

Try some of these and let us know what you think!

Posted by Joe Brock in Food, Wine, 1 comment
American Wine  – There’s more than just California!

American Wine – There’s more than just California!

American Wine has exploded over the last twenty to thirty years. The number of wine regions and wine regions producing quality wine has helped with this explosion, but does the average American wine drinker really know that there are more wine regions than just California? Sadly, it seems not to be the case. For those of us who love drinking local wine, it seems we have some educating to do!

 

Sure California produces great wine. It also produces nearly 90% of the wine made in American. Grocery store wine aisles, restaurant wine lists and even local wine bars are all full of California wine. California is known for its big, bold reds with high alcohol content. We would argue that these wines are overdone and take away the true essence of grapes when compared to old world wines. For those who don’t know, old world refers to Europe and the Middle East from where wine grapes originated in nature.

US States with AVAs

There are 32 other wine producing states recognized as having an American Viticulture Area.

Given California’s dominance in producing American wine, how are other wine regions going to breakout? As the saying go, it takes a village! Those of us fortunate enough to live near other American wine regions need to step up our game. We need to get out and visit local wineries. We need to buy local wine. We need to insist that local restaurants, particularly those claiming to represent the local food movement, add local wine to their wine lists! We need to introduce our friends and family to local wine. We need to share our experiences on social media. We need to attend events at local wineries. In addition, when visiting local wineries, we need to make sure that local grapes are being used. If you’re not sure, ask! We need to insist on high quality. If a wine’s not good, say so. Let them know!

 

So, what wine regions should you look at besides California? We, of course, are partial to North Carolina. Quantity and quality have continued to improve. 2015 was a fantastic growing year across the state. We expect 2015 to be THE vintage in North Carolina. Washington and Oregon should be considered. They account for over 4% of the wine produced in America. Other areas to consider are Missouri, famous for Norton. If you haven’t tried Norton and you like big bold, jammy wines, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Texas is another upcoming and coming wine region going Spanish, Italian and Rhône Valley grapes well. New York with the Finger Lakes and Long Island is producing high quality wines. The Finger Lakes in particular are now regularly reviewed in major wine magazines like Wine Spectator. Finally, Virginia can’t be overlooked. Just like North Carolina, quantity and quality have increased over the last several years. Virginia is producing superb Petit Verdot, Petit Manseng and Viognier just to name a few!

 

American wine is diverse as our country. Let’s all do our part in helping make sure that diversity is better known. Drink local, explore new wine regions and share those experiences with others! There is more to American wine than California! Get out there and explore!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 0 comments
Piccione Grand Opening

Piccione Grand Opening

This past weekend was the grand opening for Piccione Vineyards.  The newest vineyard in Wilkes county is keeping it close to their Italian neighbors (Raffaldini Vineyards, that is).  Established in 2010, Dr. Bill Piccione of Chicago decided to embrace the red clay terrain and plant primarily Italian varietals.  With 16 acres under vine and plenty of room to expand, Piccione Vineyards has helped expand the Little Italy of the Appalachian foothills.

Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
NC Wine & Grape Month 2015 Intro

NC Wine & Grape Month 2015 Intro

September 1st marks the start of North Carolina Wine and Grape Month.  Last year we made a daily posting on the blog with either a wine or winery review.  This year we’ll be using our social media pages and then posting a summary on the blog.

Head on over to our 2015 NC Wine Month Challenge page to see what we’ve been up to.


Check out our other NC Wine Month postings:

Posted by Matt Kemberling in NC Wine Month, 0 comments
Sunday Adventures #5

Sunday Adventures #5

Sundays are wine adventure days for us. We typically invite a few friends to join us as we expand their horizons of the NC wine scene. Although we did invite a friend, we didn’t get a confirmation. So instead of letting a Sunday go to waste, we continued on ourselves. 

Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Burntshirt Vineyards

Burntshirt Vineyards

Western North Carolina is surely one of the most picturesque regions of the state.  The Blue Ridge Mountains tower over the western part of the state creating an isolated feel that is truly relaxing.  One of the many benefits of the mountains is that it also creates a unique climate that sees moderately short winters with long summers.  The summer days are hot, but the evenings are cooler making this a great area to grow wine grapes.  Burntshirt Vineyards is one of the few that are taking advantage of this unique area.  We recently received an invitation to visit the vineyard and winery to take a detailed look at their process and taste their offerings.

Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in featured, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Sunday Adventures: Part 1

Sunday Adventures: Part 1

Today, like most Sunday afternoons, we’re headed out to visit a few wineries. Our destination is part of the WNC Wine Trail, specifically the Tyron area wineries, previously reviewed during NC Wine Month. We’re taking a different approach today as I plan to make live updates (as cell service allows).

Our first stop is Mountain Brook Vineyards where we will be joining up with some friends for a birthday celebration. From there we plan on going to at least two other wineries, possibly three, ending at Parker-Binns Vineyard to relax with hot woodfired pizza.

Keep coming back for more updates!

Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
September in Review: NC Wine and Grape Month

September in Review: NC Wine and Grape Month

We’re now well into October, so I thought it would be good to recap our September experiences with a quick month in review.  The mini challenge we set for the blog has concluded successfully: Review 30 wines (or wineries) in the 30 days of September.  As a refresher, the month of September is North Carolina Wine and Grape month.  It is a time where the wineries and vineyards in the state are recognized for their contributions.  Our goal was to feature a wine or winery each day and write-up a little review of the selection we made.  In total we reviewed 28 North Carolina Wines and 8 North Carolina Wineries.  For a full account of our challenge, click on the NC Wine Month link in the menu above.  Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments