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


#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 🍷choice: 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 for Facebook for upcoming events.


By Jennifer Primrose
Twitter: TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: trianglearoundtown | Pinterest: TriangleAT | Email:

#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


By Jennifer Primrose
Twitter: TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: trianglearoundtown | Pinterest: TriangleAT | Email:

Monday, November 26, 2018

This Wilmington winery is a conundrum to NC wine


#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 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 🍷choice: 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 for Facebook for upcoming events.


By Jennifer Primrose
Twitter: TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: trianglearoundtown | Pinterest: TriangleAT | Email:

Friday, November 16, 2018

NC CIDER WEEK: A Naughty Penguin Invade the Hard Cider World

Matt Galiani is the owner of Morrisville's The Naughty Penguin.

The Naughty Penguin is new to the world of hard ciders here in the Triangle. Based in Morrisville, Matt Galiani runs this small batch nano cidery. The name Naughty Penguin comes from a nickname Galiani was given in high school. "When I went to open the business, and was thinking of names, all my friends agreed I needed to call it penguin something," he says. Naughty comes when people drink, says Galiani – hence, The Naughty Penguin was born.

For part of our efforts to spread the word of hard cider here in North Carolina during NC Cider Week, we decided to reach out to Matt and ask him a few questions about this wonderful beverage that has come back into the spotlight over the past couple of years.

How did you get into making cider? I found it was my favorite thing in the brewery world to make. I also loved how you could make it so simply, but still have a complex taste. The fact that apples are so different from one another, and then the age of the apple can change the taste was awesome to me.

There are so many different types of ingredients one can put into cider. Tell us a little bit about your favorite ingredients – and where do you get your inspiration from? I love apples as the main ingredient. There are so many different kinds and each tastes different. As a business, I do need to add in other things as well, but for myself, I love making different batches of cider with different apples. 

What's your favorite type of apple used to make cider? Pink Lady apples. Not sure why. I just love them. 

Hard cider has been gaining a lot of traction again here in the U.S. Can you explain why so many people are reaching for a cider today who might not have picked one up a couple years back. Cider is coming out because people have finally realized that it doesn't need to be an overly sugary or carbonated drink. Most of the new ciders or craft ciders are not soda ciders. I am hoping that the traction for taps will allow us more than 1 per location, as people realized there are many different kinds and just as unique as craft beer.

What do you love the most about making ciders? I love the fact that I can just take some cider and let the yeast go to town. 

What can we expect from The Naughty Penguin as the end of the year draws to a close? I am so new that I'm just trying to continue to come out with new ciders. I have a bunch of different ideas, but we will see which ones come out. I am excited to finally have a working taproom. We will continue to try and prepare for the new year and with any luck and skill, get some bigger things going as we continue to grow.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

NC CIDER WEEK: Chatham Cider Works inspiration stems from childhood

Photo c/o Chatham Cider Works
Maureen Ahmad and Jim Crawford of Chatham Cider Works.

Opening this past January, Chatham Cider Works is located inside the confides of the Chatham Beverage District – a unique "compound-esque" location in Pittsboro that houses Fair Game Beverage Company and Starrlight Mead and its newly opened tasting room. It is there you'll find the husband and wife team of Maureen Ahmad and Jim Crawford making their passion – dry-style hard ciders. We recently caught up with head cider maker, Ahmad, and asked her a few questions about cider in general.

There are so many different types and ingredients one can put into cider – from other fruits, hops, barrel-aging, etc. Tell us a little bit about your favorite ingredients you’ve put in ciders. And where do you get your inspiration in creating these ciders? We've kept it simple and over the last year have worked to perfect a couple of different styles. We barrel-age our Highway 64, and we use foraged fruit for our Backyard Blend. The inspiration for the barrel came straight from childhood! Jim grew up with a barrel of hard cider every season in the family barn in Pennsylvania (that the kids were supposed to leave alone).

There are a variety of apples to work with in making cider. What’s your favorite to use and why? We love the foraged fruit we use in Backyard Blend. We can identify about a third of it – and the rest is crabs, deer apples and neighborhood apples. It's always funky and tannic and delicious.

Some people will say cider is similar to wine because it doesn’t contain malt like beer. But cider is served in tulips or pint glasses and poured on tap just like beer. What is your take on this subject? Our cider ranges from 7 to 10 percent and it's all bubbly. I don't love it in pint glasses. I like either a flute or tulip so you get the bubble, enjoy the aroma and not warm it with your hands.

Hard cider has been gaining a lot of traction here in the U.S. lately. Can you explain why so many people are reaching for a cider today who might not have picked up a cider years ago? Because it's delicious! Americans used to drink hard cider all the time. Cider connects us to farms, to growing seasons, to terroir. We're coming back to something that we knew and loved once upon a time – and that's a good thing.

What do you love most about cider making? I love prepping or juicing outside and having bees and butterflies angle in for a sip. They love the smell of apples as much as I do.

What can we expect from Chatham Cider Works as the new year approaches? Any new releases you can share with us? Upcoming events? We're working hard with our neighbors at the Chatham Beverage District in Pittsboro to create a destination for people who love craft beverages. We'll be partnering on events to bring people to Chatham County, including Mead Day, Death Faire and Pepperfest. We promise the cider will be cold and plentiful!

Learn more about Chatham Cider Works by visiting the website here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Bedrock Wine Company spotlights wine at Raleigh's Vidrio

Advintage Distributing's Ariel Tetterton (left) and Bedrock Wine Co.'s Chris Cottrell.

Wine dinners are a fabulous way to experience so many different things at once. One typically meets new people while enjoying dinner at your table. Of course there is sampling all the wines you might have never tried before. And we can't forget the food. And at most of these dinners you'll get the opportunity to meet the winery's winemaker or owner, and learn firsthand how the winery operates and the history behind how its wines are made.

All of that happened to us on Nov. 8 when we were fortunate enough to take part in the Bedrock Wine Company wine dinner at Raleigh's Vidrio, hosted by Taylor's Wine Shop. Around 65 attendees dressed in their best evening dresses and suits were there to try the wines of California's Bedrock, which have just recently begun to see distribution here in the state.

Related Story: New Mediterranean restaurant opens in Raleigh's Glenwood South

To help us understand more about the winery and its history, Bedrock's co-owner and winemaker Chris Cottrell guided us through the history of the wines, the property in California, its recent acquisition and his thoughts on old vine Zinfandel.

Taylor's Wine Shop really knows how to put on 'Grade A' wine dinners. Besides the dinner at Vidrio, the wine shop has recently had dinners featuring California's Vineyard 36 and Burly Wines at Buku in Wake Forest. And to end the year, Taylor's will host a winemaker's dinner with wines from Croze & Smith Wooten Wines at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse on Dec. 6. To purchase tickets for that event, click here.

Below is a look at the 4-course food and wine pairing.

The buttery taste of the lobster paired well with the Chardonnay.
Course 1 – Lobster Capaccio: eggplant croquette, tomato tartare, beet greens
2014 Brosseau Vineyard Sparkling Chardonnay – Chalone

The fattiness of the fish was good with the tart Ros̩ Рbut the
grapes didn't pair – you don't typically eat grapes with wine.
Course 2 РBranzino Fum̩: olive oil, celery leaf & grape salad, vinaigrette
2017 Bedrock Rosé (Mouvedre/Grenache)

The tartare and kibbeh paired best with the Syrah, while the merguez
was best suited with the red blend.
Course 3 – Lamb Three Ways: tartare, kibbeh, merguez, harissa, Greek yogurt
2016 Syrah, North Coast
2016 Evangelo Vineyard Heritage Red (Zinfandel/Mouvedre)

The braised beef was the best course of the evening, and went great
with both the Zins to end the night.
Course 4 – Braised Short Ribs: potato espuma, pickled radish
2016 Old Vine Zinfandel
2017 Esola Zinfandel, Shenandoah Valley, Amador County