A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to participate in #NCWineChat. The chat included fellow wine bloggers/influencers, winemakers, and industry experts. The inaugural Twitter-based chat, held in celebration of North Carolina Wine Month was very insightful. Participants engaged in conversation about the wine region as creators Joe Brock and Matt Kemberling (#NCwineGuys) guided the discussion.
The conversations focused on many different aspects—misconceptions and barriers, grape varieties, regional viticulture, pairings, label designs, and more. Popular topics during the #NCWineChat were misconceptions and barriers.
What would you say are you biggest barriers in the NC wine market?
Folks still don’t know that we have a thriving wine industry here. But we do! The economic impact is more than $1.7B!— #NCWineGuys
Many misconceptions about our wines. We’re not all sweet, nor all muscadine.— Windsor Run Cellars
The Big Misconception
Similar to many wine regions in the county, North Carolina lacks being noticed primarily due to misconceptions about the wines it produces. Indeed, it’s no secret that the area is known for its muscadine wines—a sweet varietal that is made from the indigenous muscadine grapes. Scuppernong grapes—North Carolina state fruit—is said to to be the first cultivated in the United States. Duplin Winery, the largest and oldest winery in the state, is the world’s largest producer of muscadine wine.
While a blessing,—the first cultivated—the grapes also appear to be a bit of a barrier. Consequently, the popularity of regional muscadine wine seems to have created a fallacy for the region—all wines are sweet. Therefore, many participants of the #NCWineChat agreed that more consumer exposure would greatly help to dispel the misconception.
Muscadine wines can be sweet; however, there are mid-sweet and dry varieties, as well. In contrast, North Carolina’s most regularly planted vinifera grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Viognier per the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council.
Certainly, efforts continue to be made to educate the consumer on the wines, even more so, on the region as a wine destination. To find out more interesting facts about North Carolina wines, head over to the #NCWineGuys page at www.facebook.com/NCWineGuys.
During #NCWineChat I tasted three dry wines. Here are my reviews:
Windsor Run Cellars – Guilty
Tart red fruits, framed by hints of dark fruit and berries, tobacco, and chocolate make an appearance, nice acidity.
This dry blend of Chambourcin and Cabernet Sauvignon is very drinkable table wine. I suggest allowing the wine to decant for the best tasting experience.
Hinnant Family Vineyard – Blanc du Bois
Clean crisp fruit flavors with notes of citrus and honey. This lighter body dry wine presents as more an off-dry on the palate.
I recommend enjoying this wine nicely chilled on a hot summer day.
Daveste Vineyards Rkatsiteli 2018
Tropical flavors with notes of green apples, fennel, flint and zesty lime. Pleasing medium-bodied white wine with moderate acidity that leads to a long finish.
Finally, to review the entire chat thread, head over to Twitter and use hashtags #NCWine, #NCWineMonth, and #NCWineChat. Additionally, find out more about the North Carolina wine regions at www.ncwine.org/regions
Above all, both the dialogue and the wines were very enlightening. All wines reviewed were industry samples. However, the assessments made are mine.