Taste of Asheville 2022 – NC Winegrowers Association

This event was a part of the Taste of North Carolina series sponsorship by the North Carolina Winegrowers Association.

A Taste of Asheville featured a sampling of the wines of Western North Carolina wineries paired with small bites from local restaurants, caterers, and food trucks.

Participating wineries were Parker-Binns Vineyards, Mountain Brook Vineyards, Overmountain Vineyards, Biltmore Winery, St. Paul’s Vineyard, Stone Ash Vineyards, Pleb Urban Winery, Botanist and Barrell Asheville, Marked Tree Vineyard, South Williams Vineyard, My Sweet Love Vineyard, Silver Fork Winery, Shadowline Vineyards, Point Lookout Vineyards, and Ferncrest Winery.

Yes! 15 local craft wine producers! 🍷🍷

Paired with small bites from The Rural Seed, Ivory Road Café, Toasted Cuban, The Lobster Trap, Braised & Confit Catering, Relish Food Truck, Urban Graze, Geraldine’s Bakery, Tequio Foods, Ob-Skewered, Jargon Restaurant, RAD Kitchen, Asheville Chocolates, Cielo Catering, Bears Smokehouse, and AB Tech Culinary.

More than three hundred tickets were sold, and many local wine influencers were in attendance.

We saw Ryan and Terri Watts of Van in Black, Sharon Logan Kelly of Sharon Sips, Lindsay Johnson, judge at the NCMCF, Briana Burns of Burns Through Wine and the NC Winegrowers Association. It was awesome seeing so many influential locals in attendance!

We took as many pictures as we could considering we were constantly balancing a plate and a glass of wine! 🤣

Starting the show with Cory & Justin of Parker-Binns Vineyard in Mill Spring serving their award-winning Petit Manseng.
Next up the award-winning Sauvignon Blanc from Stone Ash Vineyards – Hendersonville
My Sweet Love Vineyard in Spindale
Botanist and Barrel – Asheville
Silver Fork Winery in Morganton
Overmountain Vineyards – Tryon
Marked Tree Vineyards in Flat Rock
Biltmore Winery
Ferncrest Winery in Andrews
Plēb Urban Winery – Asheville
Tim, Mary, & Drew, the Dream Team from Mountain Brook Vineyards in Tryon
Linville Fall Winery
Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards in Hendersonville
The oysters on the half shell from The Lobster Trap were totally awesome!

Fine Wine! Live Bait!

So this past weekend we were visiting the Raleigh area. Medals and Best-in-Show presentation at Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro.

Photo Credit: Dathan Kazsuk @ Triangle Around Town

We also took some time to hangout with our friends Dathan and Jennifer of Triangle Around Town and Screw It Wine!

Our friends invited us to a special wine tasting! At a convenience store! Well it’s a C-Store & Wine Shop combination! 🤣 North Raleigh’s Finest!

Isn’t this t-shirt just the bomb! 😃🤣🤣 🤪 Order your shirt here ➡️ https://taylorswineshop.com/collections/offical-taylors-apparel

The wine tasting? Not so bad! We tasted five Spanish and Portuguese wines! First an Albariño, a rosé, a Cab Sauv / Merlot blend, Rioja, and Borba.

Wines we Tasted

I swear this is so cool.. just love the unpretentious unassuming nature of the entire concept!

We next made our way over to Local 919 – Raleigh’s Craft Beer and Fine Wine destination!

Our friends Dathan and Jennifer are partners in this local endeavor. It’s a really cool vibe. Great place to chill with friends.

The wine tasting included four wines. A Grüner Veltliner from Washington, a Sauvignon Blanc from Pasa Robles, a California Zinfandel and a Red Blend from South Africa.

Wine Tasting at Local 919

This shop is a great space! There’s a huge bar and a good size lounge. Plenty of space to hang out with friends or loved ones and enjoy a great evening!

Local 919

A few more pics from our trip!

Local 919
Local 919

Celebration Of Chambourcin 2022

The inaugural Celebration of Chambourcin- A Wine Competition was judged November 12th in Asheville, North Carolina.

The Celebration of Chambourcin seeks to gain greater exposure for our favorite French-American hybrid.

The inaugural competition received entries from North and South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia.

The competition benefited from an amazing group of judges with varied wine certifications.

Judging of the Celebration of Chambourcin

Our head judges Bill Fish and Alan Staton bring years of experience having past judged competitions such as Wines of The South, Asheville Wine and Food Festival, and the Palmetto Wine Competition. Bill and Alan are both American Wine Society certified judges and members of the French Broad Vignerons.

Judge Ben Labe is WSET 2 certified, employed with Biltmore Winery, and a member of the French Broad Vignerons, and previously judged the Asheville Wine Competition. Judge Lindsay Johnston is WSET 2 certified and a current level 3 student. She previously worked with Mountain Brook Vineyards in Tryon, North Carolina and previously judged the Palmetto Wine Competition.

Tom and Nancy Traver are WSET level 1 certified and well experienced wine competition judges. Tom and Nancy are our Southeastern regional wine experts with years of experience enjoying, critiquing, and judging wines from Virginia to Texas.

Our final two judges were Pam Rotz and Kimberly Craig. Pam is an experienced wine, mead, and cider judge having worked with JenNis Beverage Marketing. Kimberly is a WSET 2 student and a tasting room associate at Kefi Vineyards in Monroe, North Carolina.

Our panel of judges raved about our winning wine! Comments such as, very characteristic, very well balanced, pleasant finish, outstanding quality, great job, gold medal quality, great flavor profile.

The star of the show, the bell of the ball, the crown of the celebration, this years Best in Show Chambourcin comes from Virginia.

Winning Best in Show in the inaugural Celebration of Chambourcin is the 2018 estate grown Chambourcin from Mountain Run Winery in Culpepper, Virginia.

The 2018 Chambourcin from Mountain Run is 85% Chambourcin and 15% Petit Verdot. Fermented dry this double gold winning wine is aged 12 months in French oak barrels.

We had three additional gold medal winning wines in the inaugural Celebration of Chambourcin.

Estate grown Pea Ridge Red from Parker-Binns Vineyard in the Tryon Foothills of North Carolina earned a solid gold medal score. The Pea Ridge Red is 75% Chambourcin and 25% blended Cab Franc and Cab Sauv.

Fifty-Third Winery and Vineyard of Louisa, Virginia earned gold medal for the 2021 Estate grown Chambourcin. This 100% Chambourcin aged 9 months on American oak.

Our final gold medal awarded to Grapes and Ladders Vineyards and Winery of Ellijay, Georgia for the Coosa Rosé. An off-dry rosé of estate produced Chambourcin.

Eight entries earned a silver medal including the Rustic Red from Wellborn Winery in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, also the estate grown Chambourcin from Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard in Lawndale, North Carolina, and a blended rosé Dusty’s Road from Enoree River Winery in Newberry, South Carolina.

Eight additional bronze medals were awarded.

Here’s to a successful inaugural Celebration of Chambourcin. We look forward to delivering medals to our participating wineries. Keep an eye out for those medal presentations coming in January of 2023.

We remain very sincerely thankful and forever grateful for those who have sponsored our competitions this year.

Van in Black offer the coolest tours and most luxury rides. Their service area includes Western North Carolina, Charlotte, and the Yadkin Valley, plus the Upstate of South Carolina.

From their Website: Whether you are seeking a wine tour, pub crawl, guided scenic ride, or cider experience, Van in Black delivers with the highest rated tours and exclusive VIP options that nobody else can deliver.

Beer Law Center of Raleigh offers legal solutions for the craft beverage industry.

Bristow Beverage Law of South Carolina is your attorney at lager. They work differently to simplify complex beverage law and regulations.

We are members of the French Broad Vignerons and pool our judges from the organizations members. The French Broad Vignerons of Western North Carolina (FBV) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities for grape growing, wine making, evaluating, and enjoying wines in western North Carolina.

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!