Learning about all things wine, specifically in the Carolinas, quickly became a passion for us. With each wine we taste, winery we explore, and winemaker or industry leader we talk with, that passion becomes even more deeply embedded in our lives. We have an unquenchable thirst for the history, stories, and experiences that surround wine. Because of this, we felt incredibly honored to attend the inaugural NC Wine Bloggers Summit hosted at Hanover Park by the NC Wine Guys.
The Bloggers Summit was much like tasting a beautiful wine. Everyone listened to and participated in the same experience, but how it translated with each group had subtle differences. We all have the same goal in mind—to support the NC wine industry and bring awareness to others about all the fantastic things that are happening with wine in the North Carolina area.
Please enjoy the experiences of a few other bloggers:
North Carolina wine is on the cusp of creating a positive shift in the wine industry in America. Even though the Yadkin Valley area is a known winemaking location in North Carolina, we’re finding out that many people are completely unaware of the types of high-quality wines that are actually available from that area. Still, others don’t realize that there is wine in NC outside of the Yadkin Valley area. With over 180 wineries in the state, North Carolina has five AVAs with a possible sixth in the works and 525 commercial grape growers. NC wine needs to be highlighted.
We’ve spoken with winemakers who have moved to the area to be a part of what NC has to offer, using specific terroir and climate to create great wines. When talking with Preston Thomas, winemaker at Burntshirt Vineyards, he explained that one of the reasons that he moved from CA to NC was for the experience and the challenge. “In North Carolina, we are able to express characteristics that are unique to our terroir, without the fear of having hot wines. We tend to keep our alcohol percentages a touch lower than what is common in California, which I think allows for a clearer presentation of our unique fruit characteristics in many of our varietals.”
What is currently in place to support NC wineries?
Wineries. Festivals. Vineyards. Special events. Wines. People constantly share the amazing things that NC has to offer in the wine industry. The NC Wine Guys are huge supporters, “elevating the profile of NC wine,” and have even been recognized with a Surry Wineries appreciation award. They have done a fantastic job of spreading the word about the continued growth and successes in NC wine. Even though this was the first ever Bloggers Summit, we were not only pleased with the turnout, but were thrilled to see a variety of wineries, bloggers, leaders, and more.
Others in attendance included:
- Addison Farm Vineyard
- Cypress Bend Vineyards
- Hanover Park Vineyard
- Haze Gray Vineyards
- Lake James Cellars
- Morgan Ridge Vineyards
- Parker-Binns Vineyard
- Surry Cellars
- Sweet Home Carolina Vineyard and Winery
- The Virginia Grape
- NC Department of Agriculture
- NC Wine and Grape Council
- NC Winegrower’s Association
- UNC-Greensboro School of Business
With so many wineries, bloggers, and supporters in place, it’s hard to believe the number of people that are completely unaware of what’s available, even NC natives.
Why don’t more people know about NC wine?
How can we help? Get the word out. Tell friends. Tell family. Write reviews and blogs. Share, share, share. When I find something that I love or am excited about, I don’t want to keep it for myself. I want to shout my excitement from the rooftop and share whatever it is with others. I don’t want anyone to miss out on such a wonderful experience. This is why we share our experiences on our blog. We want others to be aware of what’s in their own backyard—exciting experiences they can also easily capture and enjoy.
Is accountability a factor?
It’s obvious that what we’re doing overall is not enough to get the word out. With today’s busy schedules and work overloads, it’s difficult for some to make time for themselves to either relax and unwind or explore recommendations (wineries/wines) from others. How do we get NC wine in front of those who haven’t been able to visit wineries? A simple idea is to look for local wines in NC restaurants and to ask for them if they are not available. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy for restaurants to carry NC wine, especially since there seems to be a disconnect with the general public about the quality and the quantity of wine that is produced.
Many people that we’ve spoken to are just not aware. While we’re already sharing our own experiences of wines, events, wineries, food pairings, etc., we’re now looking at highlighting restaurants and shops who are supporting local wines and sharing a little bit about the wines they carry. For example, we’re planning visits to Heirloom and the Assorted Table Wine Shoppe soon, with a visit to The Blue Point in Duck, NC within the year.
What other ways would you like for us to get the word out about #NCWine? Please share possible next steps in the comments.
Until our next glass…
Go local. Drink Carolinas. 🍷