The annual Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival took place this past weekend, and what a success it was! Blue Ridge Mountain Club (BRMC) was happy to work alongside the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce to participate in one of the key experiences in Blowing Rock. BRMC hosted wine seminars at the Inn at Ragged Gardens and the Maple Lodge, which was recently purchased and renovated by the owners of the Inn. One seminar, conducted by Kiley Evans of Raffaldini Vineyards, informed our members and guests about the ways the region and different soil types can affect the varieties of grapes best suited for the area and the different tastes to the wine it can bring. The other seminar was a guide to making blends, taught by Michael Helton of Hanover Park Vineyards. Each table was given three different unfinished wines recently pulled from the barrels. People were given the opportunity to try each wine to see what was missing and how it could be improved. Then, like mad scientists, the mixing began. People were adding a bit of wine "A" to "B", "B" to "C" and so on until they found the mixture that was just right to satisfy their palate. The beauty of this chemistry project is there was no wrong solution and people had a lot of fun testing their own blends.
After the seminars commenced, all of our owners and guests had to opportunity to meet and greet with each other at the Maple Lodge with light hors d’oeuvres and, of course, more wine. Then came time to venture to the main tasting tent where the sold out Chillin’ and Grillin’ event, sponsored by Blue Ridge Mountain Club, was underway. There we were treated to the sounds of the old time blues, courtesy of Pops Ferguson and his son, Clyde. This duo was the perfect pairing for a southern BBQ dinner.
The following day was the main event, and thousands of people made their way in and out of the tasting tent, able to sample and buy wines from all over the state and region. It was really a treat to see all the folks there having a good time and giving back to the local wineries that produce their product with passion and hard work. This year over 20 wineries participated and dazzled festival attendees with their varieties of wine.
Lastly, BRMC was happy to host a cocktail party featuring delicious food catered by Grouse Moor Catering. Everyone gathered in one of the cottages at Watson Gap Park to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery from the large deck. We were delighted to have Patrick and Kay Crouch return and delight us with their beautiful bluegrass and Appalachian folk music. All and all it was a great weekend, and if you missed it this time we will have other events coming up this summer, so stay tuned!
For more photos from the weekend, visit our Facebook page.