Monday, December 3, 2018

Hendersonville's Appalachian Ridge serves up artisan ciders and spirits



ROAD TO 100 NORTH CAROLINA WINERIES ... 


#82 – Appalachian Ridge Artisan Cider

Hendersonville is one of our favorite small towns to visit in North Carolina. We’ve been visiting for years and seen the growth of this small town blossom. Recently a new winery has emerged as well as a new cidery, Appalachian Ridge Artisan Cidery. You may wonder why are we featuring a cidery in our journey to visit 100 wineries in North Carolina. We use as our guide ncwine.org and listed is Appalachian Ridge, which makes sense since the owners are also the owners of Saint Paul Mountain Winery. And then there is the debate as to whether cider is more like wine or more like beer. For that debate, we asked three North Carolina cider makers that very question for NC Cider month.




Every time we visit Saint Paul Mountain Winery, and have the opportunity to try their ciders, we ask about the new Cider house and when we can expect them to officially open the tasting room. And this year, the Cider house  officially opened and we finally had the opportunity to pay them a visit. 

After finishing up a tasting at Saint Paul, we literally did a hop, skip and a jump across the street … well, not literally. We actually hopped in the car and drove about a block to this quaint cider house. It was a Tuesday afternoon in November, and with the rain tapering off, we walked into the restored 1920s-era barn that has been converted into a tasting room – with the sounds of Frank Sinatra playing in the background. The atmosphere was warm and inviting. Another couple was just finishing up their tasting as we sat down at the bar and decided on two full tastings that included six ciders and two spirits.

The first three ciders on the list – Bald Top Mountain, Saint Paul Mountain and Bearwallow Mountain were all pretty traditional-style ciders from dry to sweet. Each one showcased the style in a perfect manner, and all represented what we believe these types of ciders should taste like. The final three, well, they now start to play around with your tastebuds. The Mount Pisgah starts dry but finishes sweet. In the Sugarloaf Mountain you get some hints of honey and tannins. And the flavor of ginger in the Cliffield Mountain made this lively cider our personal favorite.

Both the spirits we sampled that afternoon were delicious. The Peter Arly is a blend of apple brandy, apple cider and time in French oak barrels. And the Rachel Katherine is a dessert-style sherry made with Chardonnay grapes that has a buttery taste and pineapple nose. 


The tasting room sits on family land and overlooks the orchards of French apple trees that were brought over from the Normandy region of France. Appalachian focuses on French- style ciders made with local apples, pressed and bottled onsite.

Triangle Around Town's top ­čŹĚchoice: Cliffield Mountain

Hours: Sun - Thurs 12 pm - 6 pm; Fri - Sat 12 pm - 7 pm

Tastings are $7 for 6 ciders OR $10 for 6 ciders + 2 spirits

Visit the Facebook page for upcoming events.
______________________________________

By Jennifer Primrose
Twitter: TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: trianglearoundtown | Pinterest: TriangleAT | Email: trianglearoundtown@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Video: Addison Farms Vineyards

The Frisbee’s began the vineyard and winery back in 2009 as a way to preserve the family farm. Initially a tobacco farm, there are currently six varieties planted on Addison Farms land – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Petit Verdot and Petite Manseng. 

In 2011, the first fruits were produced and in 2012 the tasting room opened. We recently visited the winery and had an opportunity to chat with co-owner and winemaker Jeff Frisbee.

Check out excerpts from our interview below.




Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Addison Farms Vineyard's quaint charm lies just north of Asheville



ROAD TO 100 NORTH CAROLINA WINERIES ... 


#81 – Addison Farms Vineyard 

We first met Jeff and Dianne Frisbee of Addison Farms Vineyard in Leicester at the inaugural NC Wine Bloggers summit in March of 2018. While talking with them and then having the opportunity to try their wine, we knew we needed to pay them a visit soon, especially since we had just started our Road to 100 North Carolina Wineries series. It took us almost 8 months, but we finally planned our trip out to the Asheville/Hendersonville area and it was time to check them out!


We arrived in Asheville on a November Sunday morning and headed straight for Vortex Donuts because that’s what you do when you’re in Asheville … in addition to Biltmore house, the breweries, the food scene and some hiking! We had a 2 p.m. appointment with Jeff at Addison Farms to interview him for our Over A Glass series and the vineyard is only a short 20 minute drive (or 14 miles) northwest of Asheville.  When we arrived, we drove up on what almost seemed like someone’s property. Perhaps because Addison Farms is a family-owned and operated vineyard having been in the family for 4-generations. The vines overlook the serenity of the mountains while around the front side of the tasting room the cows are grazing. It was a windy day but also a beautiful Fall day in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The Frisbee’s began the vineyard and winery in 2009 as a way to preserve the family farm. Initially as a tobacco farm, there are currently six varieties planted – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Petit Verdot and Petite Manseng. In 2011, the first fruits were produced and in 2012 the tasting room opened. To hear more about Addison Farms from Jeff himself, check out our Over A Glass.


After we concluded our interview with Jeff he took us on a tour of the barrel room before heading back to the tasting room to taste some wines. We went through seven wines starting with a mead and ending with the Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot blend, Coming Home 2013. 


Producing around 1,000 cases per year, Addison Farms wines will tend to be on the lighter, acidic side rather than tannic. Jeff believes wines should be paired with food and that is what he strives for by producing lighter bodied wines. So, when we purchased a bottle of the Red Dress 2015, a Montepulciano, we decided to pair it with a pasta Bolognese dinner while we were vacationing in Asheville.



Next time you take that trip out to Asheville, consider a scenic 20 minute drive up to Addison Farms Vineyard and add it to your itinerary.

Triangle Around Town's top ­čŹĚchoice: 2015 Red Dress, blackberries and cherries with a hint of spice - paired well with pasta bolognese

Hours: Year-round Friday and Saturday: 12-5 p.m. and Sunday: 1-5 p.m.

Tastings are $10 + tax for 5 wines or $14 for 7 wines + reserve wines


Visit the web page at http://www.addisonfarms.net/ for Facebook for upcoming events.



______________________________________

By Jennifer Primrose
Twitter: TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: trianglearoundtown | Pinterest: TriangleAT | Email: trianglearoundtown@gmail.com

#GivingTuesday reflects back to local Raleigh cat shelter

In Memory of Hamilton "Bones" Baxter
Alumni of SAFE Haven for Cats, Raleigh, NC
November 2003 - June 16, 2018


As a previous volunteer of SAFE Haven for Cats, located in Raleigh, I will never forget the day I first met Hamilton. It was Spring, 2003, and he had just been admitted into the isolation area at the no-kill cat shelter where I was assigned to clean on that particular shift. As soon as I took him out of his enclosure, he gave me the biggest bear hug and I knew he had to be mine. Even though I already had two cats at home and was not in the market to take on a third, he chose me and I could not let him down.

He was the biggest love bug there was and would just sit in my lap for hours. I was in love. When I wasn’t there, other volunteers stepped in and sat with him – for hours. And made sure I knew he was getting the proper attention when I was not there.

Finally the day came when he was ready to come home. And lucky for him, his new grandparents were also in town that day and were there to welcome him to his new forever family. He was promptly placed in a bathroom until he was ready to explore, which did not take him long. As soon as he laid eyes on his oldest sister, Oreo, he was smitten. I was no longer the love of his life as Oreo was his everything which also left the now middle child, Mai-Tai, a little left out but right into my arms. I couldn’t complain.

Oreo and Hamilton - It was love at first sight for Hamilton

Over the course of his life, he was sadly in the shadows of his sisters, which grew by one through marriage, but he also gained a daddy. Hamilton could be a little rough with the girls at times, but rarely on purpose. He loved to sit in the window and watch the birds and squirrels play all day. At times he would be forgotten about as the “girls” drama overshadowed him. But he rarely fussed. He was rarely sick and the occasional hairball turned into a dramatic event – each time. Vet techs loved him and he returned the love.

In 2012, he had to say goodbye to his sister Mai-Tai and we could tell he was a little scared, but with the help of Oreo, he overcame. In 2014, however, his soulmate Oreo, sadly left this world leaving behind just him and his step-sister, Sleestak. The house felt empty. Hamilton and Slee were not the same without Oreo in the house. He became more loving again with me as he used to be all those years ago and sit on the couch with me to watch TV. He yearned for his dad’s attention and demanded to be petted by him. A year-and-a-half after losing Oreo, we adopted again and brought in a 9 month old feline girl who decided it would be a good idea to bully Hamilton. He took it in stride. I warned our newest bundle of joy not to poke the bear or he may poke back! He poked back … finally … and took dominance. Proud momma moment!

For a boy who was never sick, mother’s intuition began to set in early 2018 that something didn’t seem right but I could not put my finger on it. When he went in for his annual, I told the vet but could not tell her what to look for. His blood panel came back indicating overactive thyroid and he was put on medication. On his recheck, the numbers did not come down as expected and we were directed to continue as we were and bring him back in six months unless he continued to lose weight or we saw other signs. Two weeks went by and after we returned from a weekend away, I noticed he wasn’t eating. Now his eating had been a challenge for some time since he no longer wanted his food, but Slee’s food. But he ate. This time he was not and he was retreating to the closet or under the bed. Off to the vet we go.

I won’t go into details at this point except that he went in on a Tuesday, was diagnosed with advanced stage pancreatic cancer, that had already spread to his abdomen, and by Saturday, in the comfort of his own home, in my lap and with the help of Lap of Love, we said our final goodbyes. Way too soon yet in my heart, I know he is reunited with his true love, Oreo, at the Rainbow Bridge. I will miss his bear hugs the most because he had the best hugs EVER!


So, this was Hamilton’s story. Off the streets of Raleigh, into the shelter of SAFE Haven and into a loving home with now heartbroken parents who loved him unconditionally. I write this to acknowledge that without the tireless efforts of these non-profit, no-kill, animal shelters, that cats like Hamilton would never have had a chance at a good life.

To learn more about SAFE Haven for Cats and the work they do to save countless felines, check out their website at www.safehavenforcats.org.

______________________________________

By Jennifer Primrose
Twitter: TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: trianglearoundtown | Pinterest: TriangleAT | Email: trianglearoundtown@gmail.com

Monday, November 26, 2018

This Wilmington winery is a conundrum to NC wine





ROAD TO 100 NORTH CAROLINA WINERIES ... 


#80 – Noni Bacca Winery

One reason we love our state of North Carolina, and being located in Raleigh, is that we are roughly 2 hours to the beach and a little more than 2 hours from the mountains. Being centrally located gives us so many options for weekend or even day trip getaways. When it comes to North Carolina wine, there is no exception. Our coastal region boasts 12 wineries from as far north as Jarvisburg with Sanctuary Vineyards to as far south as Silver Coast Winery in Ocean Isle Beach. The typical wine varietal that you will find in this region is the muscadine – the oldest cultivated grapevine in America. As for us, we prefer to head west towards the mountains but every once in a while we like to head to the beach. Back in August, we did just that and while we were visiting Wilmington, we decided to stop into Noni Bacca winery, our 80th winery on our Road to 100 NC Wineries.

After relocating to Wilmington from Buffalo, New York, Toni and Ken Incorvaia opened Noni Bacca winery – an urban winery – to hone in on their wine-making skills learned and developed through their family history. We arrived on a rainy afternoon to this urban winery, and perused the shop area before finding a seat at the tasting bar. We were greeted by Ken, who took us through the tasting menu that day. 

Perhaps we did not do our homework prior to planning this trip, but we were surprised to not see any wines with grapes sourced from North Carolina. Listed on ncwine.org we made an assumption that all the wineries at least sourced some or all of their grapes from North Carolina. This began our conundrum … would this winery be considered an NC winery or not? And better yet, does it matter? 

The wine blends they are creating are unique and tasty. The grapes are sourced from all over the U.S. and beyond. Noni Bacca produces 60 to 70 varietals of wine on premise and have won 170 international medals since 2009. Everything from Old and New World reds including Chianti, Sangiovese and Merlot; whites including Chardonnay, Viognier and Pinot Grigio; fruit wines and dessert wines, you will definitely find something to love for all palates.


We had a great time talking with Ken and learning about their history and background from back in Buffalo to how they welcomed Wilmington as their new home. As we were talking, you could not help but notice all the bottles of wine adorned with medals. Ken very proudly informed us of all the medals they have won from the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition over the years. But what struck me was when I saw a Goo Goo Dolls label affixed to one of the wine bottles. I had to ask and as it turns out, the Incorvaia’s are friends with the band from their days in Buffalo. Back in 2012, they teamed up and asked fans to design a wine label for a limited-edition Goo Goo Dolls vintage produced by Noni Bacca which was later auctioned off for charity.


With a list of so many wines to choose from, it was hard to decide what we wanted to try. There were interesting blends and we ended up taking home a bottle of Grigionnay, a blend of Italian-style Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. Not fans of Chardonnay, we both agreed the Pinot Grigio added an element that softened the harshness that we sometimes get with 100 percent Chardonnay.

So, as NC Wine Bloggers, we did walk away scratching our heads as to whether Noni Bacca would be considered a true NC winery, but as wine lovers, we walked away liking what we tasted and curious about the ones we did not try, like the Pumpkin Porta Pie, Porta Caffe – a double gold medal winner or the Pink Hooters, a pink grapefruit wine. It almost feels more like what you may find in a craft brewery when it comes to flavor creativity.

Next time you make your way out to Wilmington for a day at the beach, go check them out. 


Triangle Around Town's top ­čŹĚchoice: Grigionnay, a blend of Italian style Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio

Hours: Mon - Wed 10 am - 6 pm; Thur - Sat 10 am - 9 pm; Sun noon-5 pm

Located at 420 Eastwood Rd, Ste. 108, Wilmington, NC

Visit the web page at https://nbwinery.com/ for Facebook for upcoming events.

______________________________________

By Jennifer Primrose
Twitter: TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: trianglearoundtown | Pinterest: TriangleAT | Email: trianglearoundtown@gmail.com