2022 North Carolina Mead-Cider-Fruit Wine Competition

The 2nd annual North Carolina Mead-Cider-Fruit Wine Competition was recently judged in Hendersonville, North Carolina.

The competition was sponsored by Beer Law Center in Raleigh and by Van in Black tour company.

Judging the 2022 NCMCF

Beer Law Center is dedicated to helping alcohol producers navigate the complex alcohol legal system.

Van in Black offers the coolest most stylish rides to make your special event or outing safe and memorable.

Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro stole the show with their Honeyed Spiced Apple Mead winning Best in Show and Double Gold Medals.

Red Rocket #14, a cranberry apple cider from Twisted Vine Winery in Lenoir, was awarded Best Cider in Show and a gold medal.

Keepers Cut Meadery in Marion earn gold for their Blueberry Fruit Wine.

Silver Medals were awarded to Twisted Vine Winery for the Galactic Gold and Cosmic Sunrise ciders, Flat Rock Cider Company in Hendersonville for the Semi-Tart Blackberry, Stardust Cellars in Wilksboro for Viking Blood, Keepers Cut Meadery for Blackberry Mead, and Wehrloom Honey for the PinAppeno Mead.

Bronze Medals were awarded to Disslvr of Asheville for their cider The Form of Thoughts. Flat Rock Cider Company for the Semi-Dry Apple, Wehrloom Honey in Robbinsville for Cherry Sour mead, Stardust Cellars for Ancestral Mead, Starrlight Mead for Blueberry Mead, and Twisted Vine Winery for Project Blue, Area 61, and Strange Encounter ciders.

We toast our 2022 medal winners and encourage your patronage of our North Carolina Mead and Cider producers.

Starrlight Mead in the Chatham Beverage District.

Twisted Vine Winery in Lenoir.

Keepers Cut Meadery in Marion.

Flat Rock Cider Company in Hendersonville.

Stardust Cellars in Wilksboro.

Wehrloom Honey in Robbinsville.

Weekend Winery Escapades -1st in November 2022

How about a Winery Escapades blog! Just a recap of our weekend adventures!

🍷Our new tradition is to start our weekend early! Like Thursday evening kind of early!

Mountain Brook Vineyards in Tryon, North Carolina is just 30 minutes from us – and they stay open late! Open until 7pm on Thursday evening! It’s normally just a few brave spirits and us simply enjoying a bottle of wine and the great vineyard and mountain view!

Mountain Brook Vineyards

Friday we ventured to Forest City, North Carolina. We dined at The Copper Penny Grill and walked down to the Twisted Pair Taproom to listen to our friend Jamie and his band Wiregrass!

Saturday we met our amazing friends Will and Pam up in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Gathering for laughs and wine at Cats Paw Winery. An urban winery with a feline passion!

Got out of my seat – Lost my seat!
A regular pour wets the cat’s paws. A big pour drowns the cat!

🥩🍹So for Saturday dinner we found Flipside in downtown Rock Hill. Highly recommend!

Sunday was our fun day at our “home winery” – Parker-Binns Vineyard in the #TryonFoothills

Parker-Binns Vineyard

Parker-Binns is the ultimate relaxation destination. Live music, Good food, and great wine. The winery draws a large group of regulars and new friends are made every week. This family owned and operated vineyard does it all on the 40 acre estate. They grow it, ferment it, bottle it, and serve it up with a fun party vibe!

Oh….and the sunsets are stunningly beautiful!

Sunset at Parker-Binns Vineyard

We live for these weekends. We hope you did something amazing! Here’s to great times 🥂

The Call! United Flight 93

What words could I possibly add….


Todd: Hello… Operator…listen to me…I can’t speak very loud. This is an emergency. I’m a passenger on a United flight to San Francisco.. We have a situation here….Our plane has been hijacked…..can you understand me?

Lisa: (exhaling a deep breath to herself) I understand… Can the hijackers see you talking on the phone?

Todd: No

Lisa: Can you tell me how many hijackers are on the plane?

Todd: There are three that we know of.

Lisa: Can you see any weapons? What kind of weapons do they have?

Todd: Yes…. they don’t have guns….they have knives they took over the plane with knives.

Lisa: Do you mean…like steak knives?

Todd: No, these are razor knives…like box cutters.

Lisa: Can you tell what country these people are from?

Todd: No…..I don’t know. They sound like they’re from the mid-east.

Lisa: Have they said what they want?

Todd: Someone announced from the cockpit that there was a bomb on board. He said he was the captain and to stay in our seats and stay quiet.
He said that they were meeting these men’s demands and returning to the airport… It was very broken English, and… I’m telling you…it sounded fake!

Lisa: Ok sir, please give me your name.

Todd: My name is Todd Beamer.

Lisa: Ok Todd….my name is Lisa…Do you know your flight number? If you can’t remember, it’s on your ticket.

Todd: It’s United Flight 93.

Lisa: Now Todd, can you try to tell me exactly what happened?

Todd: Two of the hijackers were sitting in first class near the cockpit. A third one was sitting near the back of the coach section. The two up. front got into the cockpit somehow; there was shouting. The third hijacker said he had a bomb. It looks like a bomb. He’s got it tied to his waist with a red belt of some kind.

Lisa: So is the door to the cockpit open?

Todd: No, the hijackers shut it behind them.

Lisa: Has anyone been injured?

Todd: Yes, ..they…they killed one passenger sitting in first class. There’s been lots of shouting. We don’t know if the pilots are dead or alive. A flight attendant told me that the pilot and copilot had been forced from the cockpit and may have been wounded.

Lisa: Where is the 3rd hijacker now Todd?

Todd: He’s near the back of the plane. They forced most of the passengers into first class. There are fourteen of us here in the back. Five are flight attendants. He hasn’t noticed that I slipped into this pantry to get the phone. The guy with the bomb ordered us to sit on the floor in the rear of the plane……….oh Jesus.. Help!

Lisa: Todd….are you ok? Tell me what’s happening!

Todd: Hello…..We’re going down….I think we’re going to crash……Wait wait a minute. No, we’re leveling off….we’re ok. I think we may be turning around…..That’s it we changed directions. Do you hear me….we’re flying east again.

Lisa: Ok Todd…. What’s going on with the other passengers?

Todd: Everyone is… really scared. A few passengers with cell phones have made calls to relatives. A guy, Jeremy, was talking to his wife just before the hijacking started. She told him that hijackers had crashed two planes into the World Trade Center……Lisa is that true??

Lisa: Todd…..I have to tell you the truth…..it’s very bad. The World Trade Center is gone. Both of the towers have been destroyed.

Todd: Oh God help us!

Lisa: A third plane was taken over by terrorists. It crashed into the Pentagon in Washington DC. Our country is under attack….and I’m afraid that your plane may be part of their plan.

Todd: Oh dear God. Dear God…….Lisa, will you do something for me?

Lisa: I’ll try….if I can….Yes.

Todd: I want you to call my wife and my kids for me and tell them what’s happened. Promise me you’ll call..

Lisa: I promise I’ll call.

Todd: Our home number is 201 353-1073…….You have the same name as my wife…Lisa….We’ve been married for 10 years. She’s pregnant with our 3rd child. Tell her that I love her…….(choking up)..I’ll always love her..(clearing throat) We have two boys.. David, he’s 3 and Andrew, he’s 1…..Tell them……(choking) tell them that their daddy loves them and that he is so proud of them. (clearing throat again) Our baby is due January 12th…..I saw an ultra sound…..it was great….we still don’t know if it’s a girl or a boy………Lisa?

Lisa: (barely able to speak) I’ll tell them, I promise Todd.

Todd: I’m going back to the groupif I can get back I will…

Lisa: Todd, leave this line open…are you still there?……

Lisa: (dials the phone..) Hello, FBI, my name is Lisa Jefferson, I’m a telephone supervisor for GTE. I need to report a terrorist hijacking of a United Airlines Flight 93….Yes I’ll hold.

Goodwin: Hello, this is Agent Goodwin.. I understand you have a hijacking situation?

Lisa: Yes sir, I’ve been talking with a passenger, a Todd Beamer, on Flight 93 who managed to get to an air phone unnoticed.

Goodwin: Where did this flight originate, and what was its destination?

Lisa: The flight left Newark New Jersey at 8 A.M. departing for San Francisco. The hijackers took over the plane shortly after takeoff, and several minutes later the plane changed course it is now flying east.

Goodwin: Ms. Jefferson…I need to talk to someone aboard that plane. Can you get me thru to the planes phone?

Lisa: I still have that line open sir, I can patch you through on a conference call…hold a mo…..

Todd: Hello Lisa, Lisa are you there?

Lisa: Yes, I’m here. Todd, I made a call to the FBI, Agent Goodwin is on the line and will be talking to you as well.

Todd: The others all know that this isn’t your normal hijacking. Jeremy called his wife again on his cell phone. She told him more about the World Trade Center and all.

Goodwin: Hello Todd. This is Agent Goodwin with the FBI. We have been monitoring your flight. Your plane is on a course for Washington, DC. These terrorists sent two planes into the World Trade Center and one plane into the Pentagon. Our best guess is that they plan to fly your plane into either the White House or the United States Capital Building.

Todd: I understand…hold on……I’ll…….I’ll be back..

Lisa: Mr. Goodwin, how much time do they have before they get to Washington?

Goodwin: Not long ma’am. They changed course over Cleveland; they’re approaching Pittsburgh now. Washington may be twenty minutes away.

Todd: (breathing a little heavier) The plane seems to be changing directions just a little. It’s getting pretty rough up here. The plane is flying real erratic….We’re not going to make it out of here. Listen to me….I want you to hear this….I have talked with the others….we have decided we would not be pawns in these hijackers suicidal plot.

Lisa: Todd, what are you going to do?

Todd: We’ve hatched a plan. Four of us are going to rush the hijacker with the bomb. After we take him out, we’ll break into the cockpit. A stewardess is getting some boiling water to throw on the hijackers at the controls. We’ll get them….and we’ll take them out. Lisa, …..will you do one last thing for me?

Lisa: Yes…What is it?

Todd: Would you pray with me?

They pray: Our father which art in Heaven

Hallowed be thy name,

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

And forgive us our trespasses

As we forgive our trespassers,

And lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory


The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…

He makes me to lie down in green pastures

He leads me beside the still waters

He restores my soul

He leads me in paths of righteousness

for His name’s sake

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death

I will fear no evil, for thou art with me…..

Todd: (softer) God help me…Jesus help me….(clears throat and louder)

Are you guys ready?……..

Let’s Roll……………………

Rosato – Piccoine Vineyards

Rosato from Piccione Vineyards.

Vintage 2021

Rosé of 100% Estate grown Sagrantino.

Swan Creek AVA, a sub-appellation of North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley AVA.

Beautiful light cranberry-ish almost crimson hue.

Nose of pineapple, blood orange, lemon, over-ripe banana, and cherry,

Dry on the palate, crisp acidity.

Tropical Flavors of blood orange, lemon, cherry, red plum, cranberry, and a certain exotic minerality finishing long with notes of pineapple, kumquat, and lime.

A very good high quality wine. Well-made!

ABV 13%

$24 a bottle.


JenNis Beverage Marketing score of 90 points! We revisited our notes and upgraded the score. Thus wine does truly drink very well!

A very high quality wine proving once again that excellent fine wine can be produced in North Carolina!

Shop Rosato and other Piccione wine here!

Quick Trip to the Yadkin Valley

Impromptu Labor Day trip to the Yadkin Valley AVA in North Carolina.

Knew of a couple of wineries in the AVA which we hadn’t yet enjoyed a visit. So with intent we traveled!

First stop at Golden Road Vineyards. We rated our experience at Golden Road Vineyards very favorably and highly recommended. Give it an A-.

This was without doubt our favorite of this trip and we can most certainly see ourselves returning! 🍷🍷

We have previously met owner Crista at the North Carolina Digital Wine Summit and had a sense of their commitment. Crista owns GRV with her husband Chad.

The five acre vineyard was planted in 2011 and the tasting room opened in 2020.

The tasting room is very comfortable and a really nice outdoor seating area is available with views overlooking the vineyard.

Our favorites were the crisp Petit Manseng and the bold Petit Verdot.

Next we enjoyed our first visit to Serre Vineyards.

It was a rainy day but that didn’t damper the incredible Mountain View’s from the tasting room.

The views are great and the outside covered patio and lawn are perfect for hanging out. We weren’t overly impressed with the wine especially considering the inflated cost.

We give our experience at Serre Vineyards a B.

Favorite here was the 2018 Petit Verdot, though sorry Serre this isn’t a $45 bottle.

The Cab Sauv was lacking in body and structure. The Montepulciano tasted more like a blend and we’ve certainly enjoyed better in the Yadkin Valley. The Chardonnay was good.

We certainly enjoyed our quick impromptu trip. We believe that we now visited every currently operating winery in the Yadkin Valley!

Wine Competition Process

I decided back in July to try and gain a better understanding of what drives our views on our blog. 🍷🍷

This September we will try the formula of consistent content.

I hope we can……lol!!

Tonight’s content could be construed as a bitch session….but maybe it’ll be insightful to some!

August 29th we held the 2022 North Carolina Mead-Cider-Fruit Wine Competition at The Lodge in Flat Rock. It’s insane how much preparation goes into planning a beverage competition!

First…you have to secure a venue..,a suitable venue for a wine competition. A restaurant doesn’t work…too many smells…can’t be too noisy…..and need ample space!

You have to create the competition rules and the entry forms!

Then you have to invite participants. Though first, you’ve got to research your potential participants. Then, always, you must contact them multiple times…you must create emails that sell your competition!

You’ve got to find and recruit qualified judges!

Got to sell sponsors on supporting you competition!

Many many thanks to our sponsors Beer Law Center of Raleigh and the Van in Black wine tours out of Western North Carolina! 🥂

You’ve got to recruit wine competition stewards to help in pouring and serving the wines to your judges!

This crew was stellar!!

The final scores have to be calculated and averaged!

Write press release to announce the competition results!

Design medals, order medals, deliver and present medals!

Whew…without doubt the above process is so overly simplified!

I write all this to say….a lot of individuals have opinions on how wine competitions should be operated….but those people aren’t putting in all the work and effort mentioned above!

We encourage ideas and suggestions. We have learned a ton and gain very valuable insight from many of our friends!

However…we do the work…so we run the show! Our decisions are final! That may seem harsh, but we feel through our hard work we will earn our success!!

Cheers! 🥂

North Carolina Mead-Cider-Fruit Wine Competition

With the 2022 North Carolina MCF in full preparation mode, we’d thought it be great to look back on the 2021 NCMCF!

If you’ll looking for the entry form for the 2022 North Carolina Mead-Cider-Fruit Wine Competition please click below.


Check out this video of the 2021 North Carolina Mead-Cider-Fruit Wine Competition judging and medal presentations!

We’re so thankful for our incredible sponsors!