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Category: On Location

Tasting at High Country NC Wineries

This is the second of two posts from our weekend getaway in Banner Elk, North Carolina. Today, we will focus on the wine tasting experiences at two of the seven wineries in the area. As a refresh… We chose Banner Elk Winery and Grandfather Mountain Vineyard and Winery because they were recommended, and they both claim area “firsts.” Banner Elk Winery established the first commercial winery in the area. And Grandfather Vineyard and Winery established the first vineyard in Watauga County, NC. Tasting at Banner Elk Winery It is actually Banner Elk Winery and Villa as there is a house…

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Banner Elk: Chill in the Mountains

It has been almost two months already since we returned from my birthday weekend in Banner Elk, North Carolina. With all of our wine trips and personal vacations canceled, we had to get something on the books where we could be “distanced and safe.”  And a cabin in the woods outside a small mountain town seemed like the right answer. Gary and I, along with another couple, spent four nights and five days chilling, drinking wine, and sitting by the fire. Banner Elk: The Cabin We chose this cabin after seeing our friends/neighbors post about staying there over the summer.…

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Getaway to the Mountains – Part 2

I ended the last post here. If you missed the previous post, you could get caught up here. If not, let’s get on with the weekend getaway. Burntshirt Vineyard – Our Second Stop Since we went to a brand new winery first, it only made sense to go to an older established winery next. Burntshirt Vineyards is one of the older wineries in this region of western North Carolina and currently holds the distinction of being the 2020 North Carolina Vineyard of the Year. Burntshirt Vineyards got its name from Burntshirt Mountain. According to their website, “Mountain lore has it…

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GetAway to the Blue Ridge Mountains

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we, like everyone else, had to cancel all of our vacations, work trips, and weekend getaways. It did not matter where we were going. It just mattered that we were getting out of town. But for months which feels like years, we stayed home for the benefit of society as much as for ourselves.  This past weekend we were supposed to be on a New York City getaway with seven friends to wine, dine, and see a couple of Broadway shows. That, of course, did not happen. We have been diligent about mask-wearing, hand…

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CHS Wine & Food – Culinary Village 2020

This past weekend marks the end of the 2020 CHS Wine & Food Festival. I am already looking forward to 2021, but before I get there, I want to share my thoughts about this year’s experience. And when I say experience, I mean, at the Culinary Village only, as I do not attend any of the formal tastings, seminars or lunches or dinners*. CHS Wine & Food – Culinary Village – Friday Tickets for the CHS Wine & Food Festival go on sale sometime in August of the previous year. Tickets for any of the most popular events sell out…

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Vail Colorado in September

The majority of visitors heading to the great state of Colorado come in winter for ski season. Two of my sisters are heading there soon, which made me think about our family trip to Vail last September. It should be noted that Gary and I have gone on these family ski trips before, we just do not like the bitter cold and the layers upon layers of clothes it takes to make it warm enough to survive. When I was younger, I used to love skiing. But now I am over cold weather.  The Rocky Mountains, however, are stunning, as…

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Tasting Willamette – Damnit

Last week, I was part of the Wine Writer’s Educational Tour (WWET) to Willamette Valley in Oregon. Four intensive days of classroom, tasting, touring and wining & dining throughout the northern section of the Willamette Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area). Each day, I would rise at 7:00 am to be on the bus by 8:00 am only to return to the hotel around 11:00 pm. Over these four days, I tasted upwards of 140 different wines from wineries all over the AVA. The wines were mostly Pinot Noir, but we also had a session on Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and…

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Clif Family Does Wine Right

I dare say there is not an adult in this country that has not eaten a Clif Bar at some point in their life. Thanks to the success of those bars, Clif Family has also ventured into winemaking in Napa Valley. And like anything that they do, they do it incredibly well, and they go big. Many successful wineries in Napa may offer five wines. At Clif Family, I counted 24 on their website. As I said, they go BIG. Clif Family Winery On A Whim During my May of 2018 trip to Napa, we made a last-minute stop at…

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