Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Raleigh realtor mixes wine with real estate


Dathan Kazsuk | December 28, 2016
Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

Note: Five Questions With ... is a new series that we'll be featuring in 2017. The premise of this series is to spend some time with local small businesses or people in the community or state that we feel are doing something great or unique. We got rolling with Chris Morton of The Morton Group, while in Yadkin Valley filming an episode of his "Wine  & Real Estate TV." Look for Triangle Around Town to feature a new business every month of 2017, starting the last week of December, 2016. Then look forward to a new business every final week of the month.

Would you like to learn tips and tricks about real estate while learning about wine at the same time? From the importance of getting a pre-approved mortgage to learning the history behind rosé wines – you'll find a lot of it while watching episodes of Wine & Real Estate TV on YouTube.

The brainchild of this series is Chris Morton of The Morton Group, a local Raleigh realtor, who's been in the business for 9 years. Morton takes his video equipment from place to place, like a wandering nomad finding out the questions you want to know about wine and real estate. In some of his previous episodes, Morton has interviewed local businesses such as Wine 101, Chatham Hill Winery, BottleMixx and Taylor's Wine Shop. And that's just a few of the "wine" episodes. In the "real estate" world, he's done episodes with Spencer Properties, Wilson Realty Group, Garman Homes and Keller Williams Realty.

We caught up with Morton in Yadkin Valley to discuss his videos. Below are some excerpts from our interview.

Behind the scenes filming at Ragapple Lassie Winery in Boonville, N.C.

Tell us a little about your video series, Wine & Real Estate TV? Wine & Real Estate TV is a series I do on YouTube and on Facebook, which has episodes throughout each month alternating between wine and real estate. It's about giving back to the community. It lets people know what real estate is about and what wine is about. These are two things that I'm passionate about. People usually buy a house once in a blue moon, so they might not know the whole process of buying a home – or why you might need a radon inspection – that sort of thing.

But how does wine and real estate come together in this series of yours? It seems like an odd pairing. I know it seems like an odd pairing. You're absolutely right. It goes together because I'm passionate about both of them. I decided I wanted to do something that made me different than other realtors out in the community. For most people, there is a perception that realtors are like used car salesmen – but I'm not a used car salesman. I wanted to differentiate myself from others. I know I wanted to do a real estate video. But then I thought that I really like drinking wine as well, and thought about also doing a wine video. Then I thought, why not combine the two and do both.

How many episodes have you done so far? We have published 21 episodes. Real estate in Raleigh has been insane this past year, and I've had no time to release anything recent. But we have around 27 in the can – either filmed or published. We did one with the Angus Barn which ran over 20-minutes, so we had to break that up into two segments.

So you did an episode with Angus Barn's wine and beverage director Henk Schiutemaker? How was it working with him? Doing these videos, and not knowing people, I never know if they're going to shy away from the camera or be very boisterous. And he was very boisterous. I learned a lot from Henk. I would have never thought to pair a Gewürztraminer with ribs. Or a Pinot Noir with ribs. He totally surprised me. I went in thinking we would do a traditional tasting of 3 or 4 wines, but Henk had 6 wines laid out, each paired with food.

Sounds great. I'm sure that had to have been one of your favorite episodes – but what are some other episodes you really enjoyed that people should check out? My very first one was true to my heart. I interviewed Joe [O'Keefe] from Wine 101-Wake Forest. I sort of had in my mind how I wanted the video to go, and Joe was so giving. The other one was with Jennifer Spencer of Spencer Properties. She and I did a video about how to get your home sold, if you wanted to sell it quickly. She was so full of knowledge. It was really cool.

Check out Morton's Wine & Real Estate TV series here

Chris Morton with The Morton Group and Dathan Kazsuk
with Triangle Around Town toasting after the interview

To nominate a small business person or business for future Five Questions, send an email to