Blueberry Wine With Local Art Labels Unveiled at Sunset River Marketplace

At a special art reception on Saturday, Feb. 26, Sunset River Marketplace art gallery in Calabash, N.C. and Carolinas Vintage from Cerro Gordo, N.C. unveiled the 2011 Blueberry Wine special limited edition bottles representing six coastal North Carolina locations: Calabash, Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, Holden Beach, Southport and Oak Island. The gallery event, which drew over 200 art and wine lovers, included a silent auction of the original artwork and a wine tasting of the unusual offering.

Artists Brenda Behr, Roger Tatum, Sue Ernest and Linda Platt provided the label artwork. Behr’s watercolor for the Calabash label depicts a vignette of this historic fishing town’s fleet of shrimpers. Works by Roger Tatum, also watercolor, were selected for three of the distinctive labels: for Sunset Beach, his painting of the beloved pontoon swing bridge before it was replaced in 2010 by a high-rise bridge; for Holden Beach, fishing boats in the harbor; and for Oak Island, a marshy Waterway view with the bridge in the background. The label for Ocean Isle Beach features loggerhead hatchlings in the moonlight by wild life artist Sue Ernest. For Southport, the primitive-style painting of local landmark, The Provision Company, is by Linda Platt, owner of the Art Shak , which is located in Southport.

Two of the paintings, the Calabash scene by Brenda Behr and the Holden Beach painting by Roger Tatum, sold at auction during the reception. The other paintings are currently for sale at Sunset River Marketplace.

Representing Carolinas Vintage at the reception were co-owners CEO/wine master Hans Schreus and his father-in-law Charles M.Bullard. According to Schreuss, his in-laws have been perfecting the recipe and producing blueberry wine at their farm in Cerro Gordo, N.C. since the fifties. He was first introduced to the wine in 2008, and shortly after brought his marketing expertise to the family enterprise. Today he partners with his father-in-law and serves as the company’s CEO and wine master.

Schreuss and Bullard offered wine tastings to those in attendance and were on hand to answer questions about producing the unusual wine.
To the surprise of many, this blueberry wine is not sweet, but rather a delicious light-bodied red table wine. It is meant to be enjoyed now, and the vintners suggest trying it both chilled and at room temperature.

According to Ginny Lassiter, owner of Sunset River Marketplace, plans are underway for Sunset River and Carolinas Vintage to introduce additional limited edition bottles from the nearby coastal communities in South Carolina.

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