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West Bend Chambourcin 1998
Among its rugged and diverse landscape, North Carolina’s exciting wine trails boast well over 100 unique wineries. Already abundant in regional food, festivals, art and music, the North Carolina wine experience merges seamlessly with its local culture.
Vineyards appear in three distinct regions: Mountains, Piedmont and the Coast. The Mountains region includes the rugged Blue Ridge Mountains, while the Piedmont region’s art and food culture offers the perfect setting for any wine tour. The Coast remains unsurpassed in beauty and charm. All three regions include official AVAs (American Viticultural Areas).
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.