|Published: 8:42 AM, 04/05/2013
||Last updated: 8:40 AM, 04/11/2013
Author: Jeff Eason
Source: The Blowing Rocket
Folks in the High Country are enjoying the big thaw from what
has seemed like a yearlong winter.
Ghostly pale legs and arms are a frequent sight these
days as we peel off several layers of winter clothing and enjoy the sunshine.
we’re ready to trade our cabin fever for spring fever and do a little partying.
One of the
biggest parties of the year will be held this week through Sunday when Blowing Rock hosts the annual Blue Ridge
Wine and Food Festival.
This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever, with
several new events and a host of new sponsors.
Presented by the Blowing Rock Chamber of
Commerce, the Blue Ridge Wine and Food festival is a celebration of all things tasty and includes
wine dinners, an opening “Uncork the Festival” get-together, “Grillin’ and Chillin’” with live music
by The Graybyrds, wine and food seminars, the Fire on the Rock Chef’s Challenge, the Grand Wine
Tasting, the inaugural Corkscrew 5K road race, champagne brunches and more.
Fire on the
This year, for the first time, the Fire on the Rock Chefs Challenge is divided between
restaurants in the Asheville area and restaurants in the High Country.
The four first rounds
of the Fire on the Rock dinners in the Blowing Rock series will take place during the week of the
Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival, April 8-11.
Each evening at the
Meadowbrook Inn, two chefs and their teams will face off in the “Got to Be NC” Competition Dining
Utilizing a secret ingredient that was revealed to them at noon that day, the
chef teams try to create three superb dishes. At that evening’s dinner service, customers decide who
has created the best dishes — without knowing which team created them.
Hosted by Fire on the
Rock creator Jimmy Crippen, Fire on the Rock dinners are fun, exciting and supremely tasty.
For reservations, call the Meadowbrook Inn at (828) 295-4300.
A highlight of the festival since its inception is the Winemaker’s Dinner. Hosted by
a number of restaurants in Blowing Rock, Valle Crucis and Boone, each dinner matches a selection of
wines from a particular vineyard with courses from that particular restaurant.
dinners include “The Best Cellar presents Alaska Seafood” (Wednesday); Timeberlake’s Restaurant at
Chetola Resort presents “Wine Flights” (Friday and Saturday); The Table at Crestwood
(Friday);Vidalia’s featuring Hanover Park Vineyard (Friday); Gamekeeper Restaurant featuring
Vineyard 59 Imports (Friday); Twigs Restaurant featuring Davis Wine Importers (Friday); 1861
Farmhouse Restaurant and Winery (Friday); Vidalia featuring Shelton Vineyards (Saturday); The
Chestnut Grille at Green Park Inn presents “The Great Green Park Gatsby Party” featuring Robert
Baile Winery (Saturday); and Gideon Ridge featuring Robert Craig Winery.
On Sunday, Foggy
Rock Eatery and Pub will host a special Sunday Beer Brunch Crab Boil.
During the festival,
Woodlands Barbecue and Picking Parlor will feature salmon from Alaska smoked in the restaurant’s
smoker in Blowing Rock.
Uncork! the Festival
Uncork! the Festival is a
culinary delight of Alaska seafood and other fresh meats, fruits and veggies served under the Grand
Tasting Tent with some very special reserve wines not offered at the Grand Tasting.
the Festival will also feature foods prepared by some of the finest restaurants in the area,
including The Table at Crestwood, Casa Rustica, Char and Makoto’s Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar.
The event takes place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 11. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at
the door. For more information, call (828) 295-7851.
Seminars and cooking
The Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival will host a number of interesting, entertaining
and informative wine seminars and cooking classes on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 11-13.
They are scattered throughout Blowing Rock and feature a number of fun topics. You must be 21 or
older to participate in any seminar.
Seminars and cooking classes include “Wine and
Chocolate” at the Meadowbrook Inn at 4 p.m. on Thursday and at noon on Friday; “Wine and Cheese” at
the Meadowbrook Inn at 2 p.m. on Thursday and 2 p.m. on Friday; “Wine and Foods/Spices” at Hillwinds
Inn at 3 p.m. on Thursday and 11 a.m. on Friday; “Riedel Challenge” at the Inn at Ragged Garden” at
noon on Friday; “Hidden Treasures, Best Values” at Hillwinds Inn at 1 p.m. on Friday; “Convert Me! I
Want to Buy Local” at the Inn at Ragged Gardens at 2 p.m. on Friday; “The Italians” at Hillwinds Inn
at 3 p.m. on Friday; and “Cooking with Chocolate” at the Green Park Inn at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Grillin’ and Chillin’
North Carolinians take special pride in their barbecue.
Alaska is famous for its delicious denizens of the deep. These culinary skills of both states will
be on display at this year’s Grillin’ and Chillin’ event, scheduled to take place under the big tent
on Maple Street from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, April 12.
Outside the tent, Morris
Hampton, proprietor of Big Mo’s Barbecue, will be prepare a whole hog pig picking with all the
fixings. Inside the tent, enjoy delicious seafood from Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, as well
as a selection of North Carolina wines and craft-made beers.
Grillin’ and Chillin’ will also
feature live music by The Graybyrds.
For more information or tickets, call (828)
Grand Wine Tasting
The centerpiece of the Blue Ridge Wine and Food
Festival is the Grand Wine Tasting, held under the big tent on Maple Street from 2 to 6 p.m. on
Saturday, April 13.
This is your chance to taste a variety of great reds, whites, sparkly
and blush wines in a single afternoon.
The event will feature a wide assortment of wines
from North Carolina wineries, as well as from vineyards around the globe. Light fare will be
available featuring Alaska seafood and much more.
Advance tickets are $35, tickets the day
of the event are $45. To reserve tickets, call (828) 295-7851.
The Grand Wine Tasting is
open to adults 21 and older. No infants, no children or pets are allowed to enter the tent.
Child-care services are available through Chetola Resort’s Recreation Center. A 24-hour
notice is required to secure a baby sitter. Contact Chetola’s Recreation Center at (828)
Parking for the Grand Wine Tasting will be available at Tanger Shoppes on the
Parkway, the two downtown parking decks and around town. The Wine Festival Shuttle will make stops
at the Grand Wine Tasting tent, in downtown Blowing Rock and Tanger Shoppes on the
The list of other events in the Blue Ridge
Wine and Food Festival includes a self-guided High Country Wine Trail tour that visits four area
wineries on Thursday and Friday; a “Cork & Canvas painting class at the Blowing Rock Art and
History Museum on Thursday; a coffee tasting at Bald Guy Brew on Saturday; Ensemble Stage’s
interactive murder mystery at Meadowbrook Inn on Saturday (adults only); a concert featuring
Acoustic Syndicate at Canyons of the Blue Ridge on Saturday; and champagne brunches at Canyons and
Blowing Rock Grille on Sunday.
The Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival is
presented by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce and is sponsored by AutoTrader.com and the Alaska
Seafood Marketing Institute.
For more information, call the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce
at (828) 295-7851.
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