As some of you may know and for those of you that don’t, I’m a big wine geek. I simply couldn’t resist the opportunity to share this exciting new project with New Raleigh readers.
Recently two local marketing guys named Kipp Bodnar and Jeff Cohen started North Carolina Wine TV, an online video show published twice weekly that reviews wines produced right here in North Carolina.
North Carolina Wine TV presents a great opportunity for us all to learn more about wine and the local wine industry. New episodes are posted online every Tuesday and Thursday and each show runs about 10 minutes in length. All episodes are viewable from the website.
To understand the importance of wine in our state, consider that North Carolina is now home to approximately 80 wineries. Kipp and Jeff have now set out to taste wines produced by every one of them. Raleigh in particular is fortunate to have two wineries located within very close proximity, and visiting these wineries for tours and tastings makes for an inexpensive and enjoyable day trip. I’ve posted information on these two wineries below.
I recently interviewed Kipp and Jeff. We discussed topics ranging from their favorite restaurant, their favorite things about Raleigh, and of course, North Carolina Wine TV.
I hope you find this as interesting as I do.
Interview Questions with Kipp Bodnar and Jeff Cohen of North Carolina Wine TV
Are you affiliated with the wine industry in any way, other than for purposes of North Carolina Wine TV?
Neither of us have any ties to the wine industry. North Carolina Wine TV is a personal project about fun and education. We consider ourselves citizen bloggers who are sharing our journey as we learn about North Carolina wines. If we did have any ties we would disclose them fully. We want to learn all we can about NC wine and meet the people that are working hard to create a reputation for the North Carolina industry.
How did you get interested in wine? Where did you learn about wine?
Kipp: I have been interested in wine since I got out of college. I am a foodie and wine always seemed like an important companion to a great meal. I have read a few books about wine and attended tasting classes. I enjoy learning from wine bloggers like Gary Vaynerchuck and Pinot Blogger.
What motivated you to start NC Wine TV? What is the purpose behind it and/or what do you hope to achieve from it?
We both like wine, are always looking to learn more about it, and knew that North Carolina produced many different types of wine. We had limited opinions about North Carolina wine and knew very few people who had ever drank much wine from North Carolina. Additionally it was hard to find any good sources or information/reviews about individual wines and wineries in the state.
We know that there are some small wineries out there making great wines and we want to discover them and share them with others. Because of this we started talking one day and decided that it would be a really fun project to set out to try every wine made in North Carolina and document it along the way. We started with a domain name and our website and began recording episodes reviewing North Carolina wine. We are also using popular social networking sites, like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to help share our knowledge so others can discover both the quality and breadth of North Carolina wines with us.
Are you Raleigh natives? If not, how long have you lived here and what brought you here?
Kipp: Originally I am from West Virginia, but I have lived in Raleigh for 5 years and came here because the weather is close to perfect, I love sweet tea and BBQ, and there are lots of great job opportunities.
Jeff: I went to college in the Triangle (Duke and UNC), and except for a two-year period living in New York and Florida, have lived in Chapel Hill and Durham for nearly 20 years.
Do you have a favorite wine bar or place to drink wine in Raleigh?
Kipp: I enjoyed Vin before they closed because they had great wines by the glass. Without Vin it feels like Raleigh is lacking a true “wine bar,” and though places like the Angus Barn have amazing wine lists, they don’t have the same wine bar atmosphere.
Jeff: While it seems to be out of my budget these days, I have enjoyed some great wine at Bin 54 in Chapel Hill, both through wine tastings and bottles with dinner.
Do you have a favorite restaurant and/or bar in Raleigh?
Kipp: I love food. I think Raleigh is fortunate to have some of the greatest food in the south. I recently have become a big fan of Hayes Barton Café in Five points because they have great food and amazingly good desserts. A Saturday afternoon also can’t get much better than eating hush puppies at Coopers Barbecue downtown. For bar food, I don’t think it gets much better than Raleigh Times.
Jeff: I am a big fan of The Pit.
What do you like best about living in Raleigh?
Kipp: In short I like everything about living in Raleigh. I love the weather, the people, the food, being able to go to the beach, it is perfect. When not working I love to see North Carolina, part of the reason we started North Carolina Wine TV is to be able to see more of North Carolina. The opportunity to visit wineries and tour vineyards is a fun side benefit of reviewing all of North Carolina’s wines.
Jeff: I love living in the Triangle because there is always so much going on in the arts, music and culture. I also take pictures for fun, and there are lots of great locations to shoot around Raleigh. I will also echo what Kipp said and I am definitely looking forward to touring the vineyards around the state.
Wineries Located in Close Proximity to Raleigh
Adams Vineyards & Winery
3390 John Adams Rd
Willow Springs, NC 27592
Wake County’s first Vineyard & Winery. Adams Vineyards is a family owed Century Old Farm rich in family history. Go visit the tasting room/wine bar and experience the excellent selection of wines they offer. Browse the gift shop, enjoy a glass of wine out on the patio, or bring your lunch and enjoy a picnic in the picnic area. Adams Vineyards offers an Events Room perfect for wedding receptions, meetings, retreats, and parties.
Tasting Room & Gift Shop hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10:00am 6:00pm and Sunday 2:00pm 6:00pm.
Winery Tours Saturday 11:00pm and 2:00pm.
Directions from Raleigh: (1) Take I-40E to NC-42 exit - EXIT 312- toward CLAYTON / FUQUAY-VARINA (2) Turn RIGHT onto NC 42 West (3) Continue to follow NC-42 for 6.5 miles (4) Turn LEFT onto JOHN ADAMS RD. Travel time ~ 25 minutes
Chatham Hill Winery
3800 Gateway Centre Blvd.
Morrisville, NC 27560
Chatham Hill is the first winery in the Raleigh/Durham area. As the 14th winery established in NC, Chatham Hill is dedicated not only to crafting inspired wines, but also to sharing the story behind each glass-education and experience go hand-in-hand through an intimate look at the winemaking process.
Tasting Room Hours: Tours:
Monday-Friday 11-5pm 12:30, 2:00, 3:30
Saturday 11-6pm 1:00, 3:00, 4:30
Sunday 1-5pm 2:00 (winemaker tour)
Directions from Raleigh: From I-40W take exit 285. Turn south on Aviation Pkwy towards Morrisville. Take first right at Gateway Centre Blvd. Turn left into the third driveway at the 3800 building. Travel time ~ 20 minutes.