Yadkin Valley

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Cork Talk with Piccione Vineyards

Cork Talk with Piccione Vineyards

Our third episode of Cork Talk brings us to Piccione Vineyards. We chat with Bill and Hailey about why Bill decided to start a vineyard here in North Carolina, how he caught the wine bug, and how Hailey has made her way through the industry and joined the Piccione team.

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 6 comments
Hanover Park Vineyard

Hanover Park Vineyard

Episode two finds us sitting down with Michael and Amy Helton of Hanover Park Vineyard. Michael and Amy truly are pioneers in the North Carolina wine industry having planted the first vineyard in Yadkin County. We talk about things they’ve learned over the years and how it influences their wines.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Jones von Drehle

Jones von Drehle

Join us for our first episode! We sit down with Diana & Chuck from Jones von Drehle Vineyards. Diana and Chuck discuss how they discovered a prime vineyard location in Thurmond, North Carolina. Learn how they work hard to socialize their brand and expand into restaurants and wine stores across the state. We talk about wine club events, driving more than 1 million miles in the pursuit of wine, and the future holds for Jones von Drehle and North Carolina Wine.

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 2 comments
Library Tasting at Junius Lindsay Vineyard

Library Tasting at Junius Lindsay Vineyard

By now the fact we like to share our experiences with older vintages of NC Wine should come as no surprise to anyone. Whenever a winery is advertising a special library tasting or a vertical event, we try our hardest to attend. Most recently we had an opportunity to attend a special library tasting at Junius Lindsay Vineyards. Owner Michael Zimmerman has decided to share some of his library collection of past vintages. When we saw the announcement that his first library tasting would be his Triomphe blend, we jumped on the chance to reserve our spots.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
McRitchie Winery – Ring of Fire Vertical Tasting

McRitchie Winery – Ring of Fire Vertical Tasting

Ah!  McRitchie Winery‘s Ring of Fire, a highly regarded red blend in the North Carolina wine world.  Some have called it North Carolina’s Octogon.  Octogon is the highly acclaimed red blend from Virgina’s Barboursville Vineyards.  We’re certainly not going to disagree with that assessment.

Ring of Fire is consistently a great wine.  And, that name, an homage to the classic song by Johnny Cash, makes for a memorable wine too.  Although, the wine itself doesn’t burn, burn, burn.  Well, perhaps, it does burn a memory.  A memory of the first North Carolina wine that captured my attention near the time of the first vintage which was in 2006.  It’s since become a favorite of Matt’s too.  So, when we heard that Sean and Patricia McRitchie were planning a vertical tasting as part of their winery’s 10th Anniversary, we just couldn’t miss it!

Table Setting at Ring of Fire Vertical Tasting

The tasting was limited to about 25 or so people.  We were seated at tables throughout the tasting room.  The tables were beautifully set.  The first wines poured were the 2013, 2012, and 2011.  Before we began tasting, Sean and Patricia welcomed us.

Sean and Patricia McRitchie Welcoming Guests

Sean and Patricia thanked us for attending.  Patricia apologized for not having their first two vintages, the 2006 and 2007, of Ring of Fire.  They never imagined the success of it and didn’t consider keeping a few cases for an event such as this until a few years into making it.  Patricia mentioned how proud she was of Sean and his winemaking.  Sean talked about the “unique opportunity to taste from one label, from one winery, and from one winemaker.”  He told us to expect subtle differences in each vintage.  Patricia mentioned that Ring of Fire was the first North Carolina Wine offered by the glass at the storied Grove Park Inn in Asheville and the Umstead Resort in Cary.  Sean said he keeps varietals separate until just before bottling.  Then he blends them with the goal of making “consistent serious red table wine in a Bordeaux style.”

Tasting Note Sheet at Ring of Fire Vertical

Now, it was time to taste!  We began with the 2013 and worked our way backwards.  The first round allowed us to taste the 2013, 2012, and 2011.  Each was served in a different glass.  Later, we were served the 2010, 2009, and 2008.

To continue the similarities with Octogon from Barboursville, Ring of Fire is also predominately Merlot and Cabernet Franc with a bit of Petit Verdot.  Only two vintages differ. The 2012 is Merlot, Sangiovese, and Petit Verdot.  The 2011 is Merlot, Syrah, and Petit Verdot.

In addition to the wine, food was served.  Some items were intended to pair with the wine.  Other items were there to prove a point that some food and wine pairings just don’t work.  The first plate consisted of apricots topped with blue cheese, a pecan, and rosemary along with a skewer of tortellini tossed in pesto with artichoke, mozzarella, and basil.  The second plate consisted of meatballs made with Ring of Fire, BBQ sandwiches with a mustard sauce and a more traditional sauce along with a few shrimp. Our favorites were the apricots and the BBQ.

Here are our tasting notes:

  • 2013 – The nose was woody with nice cherry aromas.  The palate presented rich cherry and oak with smooth tannins.  This wine is still very young.
  • 2012 – An earthy yet softly floral nose led to a lush palate of cherry and oak.  We preferred this one over the 2013.
  • 2011 – A floral nose with notes of plum and dried herbs made way to a tannic palate of dark fruits, cedar, and vanilla. The tannins of this vintage surprised us.
  • 2010 – Very old world in style, the nose had notes of spice with dark cherry.  The palate gave us dried berries with soft tannins.  This was our favorite of the lineup.
  • 2009 – Spice and oak on the nose along with cherry and vanilla on the palate, this vintage really showed the Merlot.  There was also good acid.  The boldness of this vintage surprised us.
  • 2008 – Sean hinted that one vintage was different.  When we got to the 2008, we knew it was this one.  The nose was floral and woody with a hint of sawdust.  The palate was wild with dark fruits.  There was something off.  We suspected brettanomoyces.

Sean and Patricia Recap the Event

Following our tasting, Sean and Patricia spoke once more.  Sean mentioned that blending is a way to deal with the difficult North Carolina weather.  It allows you to control the winemaking a bit and make adjustments as necessary.  His winemaking style is that of experiences.  He thinks of what will pair with the wine.  The desire with Ring of Fire is pair it with a steak from a Chicago steakhouse.  Given that, Ring of Fire has more acid than a red blend from Napa making it better accompaniment with food.

Sean also provided his tasting notes.  Here are some highlights:

  • 2013 – This vintage is fresh with the most straight forward fruit.  It will age very well.
  • 2012 – Sean’s second favorite of the group, this vintage has notes of clay and earth.  It reminds him of a terra cotta pot.
  • 2011 – He found this vintage to have aggressive spice with notes of fresh flower.  Complex and young with good berry and tannins, he feels this wine will be better in three or more years.
  • 2010 – Sean’s number one standout features red fruits and light earth.  Other descriptors are wet clay and stone.  The tannins are balanced.  This is very old world like.
  • 2009 – Patricia’s favorite features bright fruits with tighter acid and tannins.  It’s still excellent.
  • 2008 – This wine still looks young with dark berry color.  Cherry and anise are on the nose, but the wine is faulted.  Brettanomyces is indeed the issue, but we had several folks who loved it.  After this vintage, Sean purchased an ozone machine to clean barrels in the winery to prevent brett in future vintages.

Sean then finished with a few more remarks.  He gave a preview of the 2014 Ring of Fire which has been bottled and will be released soon.  He says, “I like that a lot.”  It meets the Chicago steakhouse criteria.  Sean purchases fruit by taste rather than brix.  He added that he was pleased with the consistency of the each vintage of Ring of Fire and notes, “I feel like I passed.”  He’s pleasantly surprised how well he liked the lineup.  We agree!

Sean also mentioned that Patricia makes him keep a library of wines.  We thank her for that.  They also mentioned that reserve sit-down tastings of library wines might be offered soon!  Sign us up!

We thoroughly enjoyed this experience.  We thank Sean and Patricia for all they do for North Carolina Wine and Cider and look forward to the next vertical tasting!  Go visit them and see for yourself!

 

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 0 comments
A Spotlight on Vermentino of the Swan Creek AVA

A Spotlight on Vermentino of the Swan Creek AVA

Our final feature in our series of lesser known grapes is a spotlight on Vermentino. As with our other spotlight features, you can find some great examples right here in North Carolina in the Swan Creek AVA.  We go into some detail about the grape itself and review six vintages from two North Carolina wineries.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
A Spotlight on Petit Manseng in North Carolina

A Spotlight on Petit Manseng in North Carolina

Continuing with our series of bringing lesser known grapes into the spotlight, we take a deeper look at Petit Manseng. This small cluster and small berry grape make a very interesting wine that most people have never heard of. This grape has great potential here in North Carolina and there are already a few vineyards who have jumped on the Petit Manseng bandwagon. One of which is Jones von Drehle Vineyards & Winery in the Yadkin Valley.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 1 comment
A Spotlight on Roussanne and Petite Sirah

A Spotlight on Roussanne and Petite Sirah

Let’s take a minute to talk about two lesser known wine grapes, one red and one white. If you easily get fatigued from Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, these will be two varietals you need to try. The grapes in the spotlight are Roussanne and Petite Sirah. Both grapes are capable of producing a robust wine that can offer a welcome alternative to the more popular choices.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 1 comment
July Tour of Five Yadkin Valley Wineries

July Tour of Five Yadkin Valley Wineries

The first weekend in July, we decided to make our way to a few Yadkin Valley wineries.  Although we didn’t get to wine each day of the weekend, we were able to make it on Friday and Saturday. Read on for a recap of our visits to Hanover Park Vineyards, Childress Vineyards, Junius Lindsay Vineyards, RayLen Vineyards, and Misty Creek Vineyards.

Empty bottles at Hanover Park

After an evening of tasting library wines, there’s bound to be a few empty bottles.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Spring Wine Dinner at Raffaldini Vineyards

Spring Wine Dinner at Raffaldini Vineyards

It was a perfect spring day, bright and sunny with moderate temperatures. It was the perfect day to visit Raffaldini Vineyards for their spring wine dinner. Sticking with the Four Seasons theme, Raffaldini Vineyards offers a wine tasting dinner four times a year, each pairing with the season. This past weekend, they celebrated spring with four courses both inside and out, paired with four wines that show what it means to be “Chianti in the Carolinas”.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in featured, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
North Carolina Wine vs the World — a Blind Tasting at RayLen Vineyard

North Carolina Wine vs the World — a Blind Tasting at RayLen Vineyard

All too often we get the question “is North Carolina wine any good” or “how does North Carolina wine compare to California wine?”  Most of the time we encourage people to try North Carolina in for themselves. In reality, this could be a little daunting to some as they may not know where to start. And to answer the question of North Carolina versus California on your own would require you to go out, buy a lot of wine, and sample them side by side. To the average consumer, this may seem a little overboard and quite frankly, a little scary.

How do you know which wines to buy?  How can you get a bottle that’s close enough in composition and profile to accurately compare the two wines?

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Sunday Adventures #6

Sunday Adventures #6

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. Since we haven’t been out wining in several weeks, we decided to go it alone and take our time. Our options were nearly limitless, but we decided on three wineries in the Yadkin Valley and Swan Creek regions.  Read on for an account of the day and our tasting notes for each stop.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
Holiday Dinner at Hanover Park

Holiday Dinner at Hanover Park

Another weekend, another wine dinner.  This time we had the pleasure of attending the annual holiday dinner at Hanover Park Vineyard.  Each December, Hanover Park throws a holiday celebration for its wine club members as a thank you for their loyalty and for always being there to support the winery.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in featured, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Flint Hill Vineyards Autumn Wine Dinner

Flint Hill Vineyards Autumn Wine Dinner

This past weekend, we had the pleasure of attending the Autumn Wine Dinner at Flint Hill Vineyards.  There are several reasons why you should consider going to events like these.  Not only do they offer a unique experience of the winery after hours, they also give you the opportunity to see what the winemaker feels would be a good pairing for their wines.  This dinner didn’t disappoint on either expectation.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in featured, Wineries and Vineyards, 1 comment
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.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Summer Wine Pick Up at Raffaldini

Summer Wine Pick Up at Raffaldini

This past weekend was the wine pick up for Raffaldini Vineyards. Over the past seven years, Raffaldini has grown a loyal following. This is due not only to the great wine that they produce, but also because owner and winemaker Jay Raffaldini shows such passion for what he does.   Twice a year, Jay and his team holds a wine pick up party for his wine club members. At each pick up there are six bottles of wine, a sampling of new releases paired with authentic Italian food, and a short info session about the happenings at the winery and what’s next.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Sunday Adventures #2

Sunday Adventures #2

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. Today were joined by our friend Susan.

Today’s adventure takes us to three wineries in the Yadkin Valley: Ragapple Lassie Vineyards, Divine Llama Vineyards,  and Cellar 4201.  We’ll be sampling a few new wines and will post the notes as soon as cell service allows.

Keep checking throughout the day for updates!

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 1 comment
Vintage Tasting at Hanover Park

Vintage Tasting at Hanover Park

Whenever you have an opportunity to sign up for a vintage wine tasting, you should really consider it. Oftentimes when you read about vintage tastings in wine literature, they span decades usually marked by significant events in the history of the sponsoring winery. Here in North Carolina, most of the wineries haven’t been open for decades like you might find in California. One of the only wineries that comes close to this is Hanover Park, which is where our most recent vintage tasting took place.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Hanover Park Mourvèdre — Wine Review

Tonight’s wine comes from a winery that we’ve already reviewed, but we wanted to review another wine from them as our last one was more of a dessert wine.  For dinner we had grilled lamb meat balls, which is what we normally have when we are opening a bottle of Hanover Park Mourvèdre.  It is also known as Monastrell and is usually a darker wine with heavy tannins and an earthy complex profile.  The wine is common in France, however it is often found in red blends of both French and Spanish origin, usually blended with Grenache and Syrah.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Junius Lindsay Roussanne — Wine Review

Tonight we decided to open a bottle of something very familiar, the  Junius Lindsay Roussanne from Junius Lindsay Vineyard.  Roussanne is typically found in many French white blends, especially those produced in the Rhône style.  As a straight varietal wine it makes for a unique wine, making it a refreshing option from the run of the mill white wines.    Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

2005 Hutton Cabernet Franc — Wine Review

This evening we decided to open another red to enjoy with dinner.  We decided to go back to the Cab Franc, this time we selected the 2005 Hutton Vineyards Cabernet Franc. This is one of their first releases as they first planted grapes in 2002.  The time in the bottle has allowed the wine to develop into a smooth and velvety wine, full of character and charm while keeping a mild profile.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Brandon Hills Raptor Red — Wine Review

Tonight we decided to opt for another Yadkin Valley red blend, this time from Brandon Hills Vineyard.  The Raptor Red is their premier red blend wine that features a different raptor from vintage to vintage.  The current vintage is the 2008 which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Viognier.  The story behind the name is one of true adoration for nature.  The winery partners with the Carolina Raptor Center and features one of their birds of prey on the bottle.  A part of the proceeds goes back to the Raptor Center to help fund a good cause. Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Cellar 4201 Warrior Red — Wine Review

Rain, rain go away!  But at least it makes the choice of red, white or rosé easier.  Tonight we went for the Warrior Red from Cellar 4201 Vineyard.  This red doesn’t disappoint.  It’s a full-bodied red, but it’s not over the top.  The well-balanced nature makes it perfect to pair with food or to enjoy on its own.   Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 2 comments

Laurel Gray Cabernet Franc — Wine Review

It’s cold and raining again today!  That means we get to open a bottle of red wine and enjoy a nice warming dinner.  Tonight we decided on the award-winning Laurel Gray Cabernet Franc from Laurel Gray Vineyards.  This wine received double gold at the NC State Wine Competition and a bronze at the INDY International Wine Competition.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Medaloni Cellars — Winery Review

Medaloni Cellars is a small winery on Shallowford Rd in Lewisville, NC.  The winery is just outside of Winston-Salem and makes for a nice detour when you’re on the road.  Medaloni has around 22 acres of land which is positioned on a very hilly plot, perfect for growing grapes.  The wine trail offers visitors a chance to walk around the property and takes you through the vineyard and past some of the cabins they offer for rent.  The business concept at Medaloni is simple, offer great quality wine in a relaxed atmosphere.  Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments

Carolina Heritage Blueberry Wine — Wine Review

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

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Stony Knoll Viognier — Wine Review

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

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Olde Mill Silver Pines — Wine Review

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

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Divine Llama Traminette Divine — Wine Review

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

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Jones von Drehle Petit Manseng — Wine Review

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

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Dobbins Creek Rosé — Wine Review

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

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Elkin Creek Chardonnay — Wine Review

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

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McRitchie Muscat Blanc — Wine Review

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

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White Wines from Native Vines and Adagio Vineyards — Wine Review

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

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Misty Creek Cabernet Sauvignon — Wine Review

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

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Weathervane Ionosphere — Wine Review

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

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Raylen Viognier — Wine Review

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

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Chatham Hill Cabernet Franc — Wine Review

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

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Shelton Dry Riesling — Wine Review

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

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Junius Lindsay Vineyard

Junius Lindsay Vineyard

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

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

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