Monday, December 21, 2015

Ski NC: North Carolina Ski Resorts are Open Despite the Unusually Warm Weather

snow-making machines on NC ski slopes
The NC Ski Slopes will be open for Christmas week with skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice skating and special activities. So far this ski season the weather has been uncooperative with warmer than average temperatures and rain, not snow. But thanks to modern technology and it's snow-making machines, the slopes are open and skiing with Santa, live music and other special events are underway.

Appalachian Ski Mountain   Skiing and snowboarding open on a base of 24 - 36 inches on 8 slopes with 5 lifts. 3 Sessions offered Daily: Noon-2, 2:30-4:30, and every evening 7-9, 12/21 - Spy Optics Session; 12/24 - skiing with Santa; 12/25 Christmas Day Ice Skating; 12/26 Midnight Blast Holiday Nights; 12/31 - New Year's Eve Extravaganza - ski until 11:30 PM with fireworks at midnight..

Beech Mountain Ski Resort   Ski 5 slopes with 4 lifts on a base of 12 - 26 inches.12/31 - New Year's Eve Celebration.  7:30 PM - 1 AM family friendly event at the View Haus, 21+ celebration at the Beech Tree Bar and grille. Live music, skiing, ice skating and more.

Cataloochee Ski Area    
Ski 5 slopes with 3 lifts on a base of  20-30 inches. DAY SKIING ONLY.   12/21-1/16 - Holiday rates in effect. 12/25 - Ride with Santa from 1 PM, open until 10 PM

Sapphire Valley Ski Area is still CLOSED waiting cold weather.  Zip line, rec center, golf and hiking open.

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort     Night skiing and riding open. Ski on 6 slopes with 3 lifts on a base of 10-26 inches. Tubing and ice skating open. 12/26 - Live performance by The Johnson Brothers; 12/27 - Live performance by Mountain Creek; 12/31 - New Year's Eve Celebration with live music, torch light parade at 11:45 and fireworks at midnight.

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort      Ski 3 slopes with 2 lifts on a base of 24 inches. Holiday Schedule - day skiing from 9am - 4:30pm and night skiing from 6pm - 10pm.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas at Connemara Displays Traditional Decorations at The Carl Sanburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock NC

December 19, 2015   Christmas at Connemara   The Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is decorated as the Sandburgs did, with traditional decorations, holiday music and programs. Take a leisurely stroll of the grounds and visit the goat barn. 

Christmas at Connemara also features music with local musicians and storytellers. Music/storytelling will be held from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM in the garage adjacent to the Sandburg home. Hot cider and cookies will be served. Holiday craft-making will be offered from 10 AM to 1 PM. Christmas decorations will remain until January 4

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The National Gingerbread House Competition and Display for 2015

2015 grand prize gingerbread house winner
November 18, 2015 - January 3, 2016   The National Gingerbread House Competition and Display  - Contestants from across the country bring their architectural masterpieces to The Grove Park Inn for display over the holidays. 

Be amazed at the imagination shown in these sugar-and-spice creations.  Strolling through the competition is a sure way to be swept up in the holiday spirit. There is no admission charge to view the entries to the National Gingerbread House Competition. 

In addition to the gingerbread overload, see the beautiful holiday displays throughout the Inn and warm yourself by the giant fireplaces in the grand lobby. Pick up a map in the lobby to find the various areas where the entries are displayed.

The Omni Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa - Renowned spa, scenic golf course,  sports complex with pool, tennis, racquetball, training.

Onsite restaurants, lounge, bars. A large variety of rooms and suites, varying stages of updates with many original Inn antiques.

See current BEST rates and SAVE with online booking   Current Rates ad low as $179 per night - BOOK NOW.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Mountain Spirits: Wine and Beer Tastings and Events for the week of 12/9/15

December10, 2015 at Brusin' Ales, 66 Broadway Street in downtown Asheville NC  5 - 7 PM Ballast Point Brewing Beer Tastings: 

Grunion Pale Ale: Our Grunion Pale Ale wasn't born on a beach, but in a backyard. Originating from an employee-only home brew contest, this award-winning hoppy pale ale is named after the tiny local fish known for late night frolics on shore. A pair of new hop varieties lend strong yet balanced summer melon aromas and herbal flavors, while a soft caramel malt sweetness holds it all together. [5.5% abv] . 

Sculpin: "Our Sculpin IPA is a great example of what got us into brewing in the first place. After years of experimenting, we knew hopping an ale at five separate stages would produce something special. The result ended up being this gold-medal winning IPA, whose inspired use of hops creates hints of apricot, peach, mango and lemon flavors, but still packs a bit of a sting, just like a Sculpin fish." [7.0% abv]. 

Grapefruit Sculpin: "Our Grapefruit Sculpin is the latest take on our signature IPA. Some may say there are few ways to improve Sculpin's unique flavor, but the tart freshness of grapefruit perfectly complements our IPA's citrusy hop character. Grapefruit's a winter fruit, but this easy-drinking ale tastes like summer." [7.0% abv]. 

Habanero Sculpin: "Our Sculpin IPA with Habanero Pepper began as a crazy experiment that's taken on a life of its own. While its bright fruit notes and hoppy bite has made the original one of our favorites, this version takes that balance of flavors to the next level with the citrusy, floral heat of habaneros. Sculpin are known to sting, but this one's got a kick." [7.0% abv]. 

The Commodore: The Commodore came out of our search for a medium-bodied American Stout. The recipe began at our R&D pilot brewery, but quickly became a favorite of our crew. Strong flavors of roast coffee and bittersweet chocolate balance with light citrusy hop aromas, highlighted by a crisp, bitter finish. One sip of this gold medal-winning stout will have you ready to take command of your own fleet. [6.5% abv]. 

Victory at Sea: "Our Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. We infused this robust porter with vanilla and San Diego's own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee, balances perfectly with the sweet caramel undertones of the malt, creating a winning combination for your palate." [10.0% abv].  

December 11, 2015 from 6 - 9 PM at Maggie B's Wine and Specialty Store, 10 C South Main Street in Weaverville NC:   The Weaverville Candlelight Stroll is one of the area's favorite holiday events. The Christmas lights will be twinkling so come join in the cheer. The Montford Park Players will be preforming, Santa will be taking requests and all the businesses will be open late. Maggie B's will be hosting a free tasting from 6-9 plus there will be holiday samples out to taste.

Maggie's Deal of the Week: Olive Tapenade Dip: Great to have out for holiday parties. WAS: $9.99/lb. THIS WEEK: $5.99/lb.

December 11-17, 2015 - Asheville Brewing Company, 675 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville NC: Movies at 675 Merrimon - Hotel Transylvania 2; The Intern (Thursday and Friday); Sicario; Rocky Horror Picture Show. NFL Football on Sunday - Panthers VS Falcons. Monday pizza special and Thurdays $10 growlers.

December 11, 2015 from 5 - 7 PM at Hops and Vines, 797 Haywood Rd. Ste 100 in West Asheville NC: FREE Beer Tasting - Brooklyn Brewing - Brooklyn has been a long-time staple of craft beer with a rich history of well known brewers and a tradition of supporting homebrewers. 
Brewed since 1994, Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout has itself become a modern classic, heralded the world over. It achieves its dark chocolate aroma and flavor through the artful blending of six malts and months of aging. Properly kept, it will improve in the bottle for many years. This stout is the toast of the winter season in many countries, and there is nothing better to enjoy with chocolate desserts, cheesecake, ice cream, fine cheeses and roaring fireplaces
 A classic Saison, an unfiltered golden farmhouse ale with a wonderfully clean malt flavor and our hero, the quirky Sorachi Ace hop, standing front and center. Dry-hopping releases Sorachi Ace’s bright, spicy aromatics to tickle the nose before ascending into a fine harmony between Pilsner malt and playful Belgian yeast.
Brooklyn Lager is amber-gold in color and displays a firm malt center supported by a refreshing bitterness and floral hop aroma. Caramel malts show in the finish. The aromatic qualities of the beer are enhanced by “dry-hopping”, the centuries-old practice of steeping the beer with fresh hops as it undergoes a long, cold maturation. The result is a wonderfully flavorful beer, smooth, refreshing and very versatile with food.

December 12, 2015 from 3 - 6 PM:  FREE Wine Tasting - Holiday Selections - Come get the perfect wine for your holiday celebrations, 10% off all featured bottles this Saturday, and come by the free tasting from 3-6pm. 
Vina Broco - This is a lovely new take on a very classic style. This 100% Mencia is rich with dark fruits and oak. Very well balanced with a velvety mouthfeel and a soft but noticable tannin balance, this would be a great mix up for the Pinot Noir drinker. 
Bliss - This stunning California Pinot Noir has aromas of dried cherries and Christmas spice which are followed by fruit forward flavors. The elegant finish is highlighted by notes of sweet cranberry. A wonderful wine to go with big, rich or spicy dishes. 
Routas - Pale straw color, with a light green hue. On the nose, aromas of lime sherbet, citrus, ripe pear and a hint of gooseberry come forward. On the palate, tropical fruit notes lead to a crisp, lively acidity  10% off all featured bottles on Saturday.

December 12, 2015 from 3 - 7 PM at Appalachian Vintner, A RARE Wine Tasting - 6 vintages of the same wine,
Domaine Rouge Bleu Mistral from 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Every day is a wine sale day -  find deep discounts daily on all in stock wines when purchased by the half or full case, plus a huge selection of wines discounted by the single bottle. Special orders also welcome.

December, 2015 at  Shelton Vineyards
, 286 Cabernet Lane in Dobson NC:  Last minute Christms gifts - order by 12/17 for guaranteed delivery by the 25th.  Chose from a variety of gifts and accessories. Get the perfect wine pairing Guide for the Holidays. Winery tours and tastings happening daily. Can’t make it to the vineyard? Shelton's website will feature wine specials throughout the month– so be sure to check back.

December 31 - New Year's Eve Celebration at Harvest Grill. 
Celebrate in style with a special menu followed by dancing - reservations required. Get details on the website.

December 11, 2015  7 PM at  Classic Wine Cellar,
20 Church Street, Waynesville NC -
Joe Cruz with piano and vocals performing music of the Beatles, Elton John, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel.   
December 12 at 7 PM - Jungle Bell  Bash featuring Shelia Gordon with piano and vocals
Wine on Wednesdays - stop by every Wednesday from 4 PM to 8 PM to enjoy unique varietals, regional tastings and more. Free tastings with the purchase of $15 of food or $16 per person.


December 11, 2015 from 4 - 7 PM at Table Wine,
1550 Hendersonville Road, Suite 102, Asheville NC - FREE Tasting - Orin Swift and Prisoner  Company Wines.
Phinney and Beloz craft wines that people just love to drink.  Stop by for a free wine tasting this Friday to see if you love drinking them.  Stop by, taste, learn, and save on some delicious, highly rated wines from Orin Swift and The Prisoner Wine Company.

December 12, 2015 from 2 PM - 5 PM: Big, Free Holiday Wine Tasting
Ryan Brazell and John McCarthy from Proof Wine and Spirits will join us to pour 12 different wines from their extensive portfolio.  From festive sparkling wines and great values for your holiday parties to premium, higher end wines perfect for gift giving or enjoying with the Christmas meal, we’ll have all bases covered.  This is a free wine tasting and all of the tasting wines will be on sale.

December 11, 2015 from  4 - 6 PM at  LaBouteille,
10 N Trade St, Suite A Tyon NC - Complimentary Wine Tastings  every Friday.   Every Saturday 12 -7 pm complimentary informal  beer tasting.

September 12, 2015 from  2 PM - 5 PM at The Wine Guy, 555 Merimon Ave and 1200 Hendersonville Rd., Asheville NC - FREE Saturday tastings
are a great way to sample new favorites in a casual setting. Sample 4 to 6 new wines. Light hors d’ oeuvres will be served and all wines poured will be specially priced

December 11, 2015 from 6 PM - 8 PM at Brushy Mountain Winery, 125 West Main Street in Elkin NC - Live Performance by Cory Myers and Luke Mears.
December 12 - Smoking  Joe Randolph performs live from 6 to 8 PM. Randolph, a Guitarist/singer/songwriter, is most known for his vintage sounding Retro Blues,Rockabilly, Instrumental Surf and Jazz.

Tasting Rooms:

Biltmore Winery, located on the Biltmore Estate, Asheville NC. Daily tasting and tours with Estate admission. Special events and tastings throughout the year.

Old North State Winery, 308 North Main Street, Mount Airy NC. Tasting room open seven days a week.
Reservations are recommended for tastings and tours.  Sample wines and browse the gift shop featuring wine related and gourmet gift items. Thursdays live music at 8 PM. 

RagApple Lassie, 3724 Ragapple Lassie Lane Boonville NC.  Tours are "on demand" noon to six PM daily.
Tastings are available noon to six PM daily and include up to 11 varieties of wine.

Calaboose Cellars, 565 Aquone Road, Andrews NC.  Tasting room summer hours:
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from Noon to 8:00. 

Carolina Heritage Vineyard and Winery,  170 Heritage Vines Way in Elkin NC - Open to the public for Tours and Tastings on Saturdays and Sundays
from 1 PM to 6 PM and at other times by appointment – call (336) 366-3301 to schedule a time.

Elkin Creek Winery, 318 Elkin Creek Mill Road in Elkin NC,  Open for tastings Thursday through Sunday,
11 AM - 5 PM and other times by appointment. 

Grassy Creek Vineyard and Winery, Tasting Room Drive off of Klondike Road, 235 Chatham Cottage Circle, State Road, NC -  Tasting Room open Wednesday through Saturday
11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sundays open 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. June through September: Saturdays open 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks,   315 Thurmond PO Road in Thurmond NC - Tasting Room Hours:
Wednesday - Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM, Sunday 1 PM to 5 PM.

Round Peak Vineyard,   765 Round Peak Church Road in Mount Airy NC - Tasting Room Open Daily: Sun–Thurs 12 pm–5 pm;  Fri 12 pm–8 pm;  Sat 11 am–6 pm (and until Sunset Jun–Aug); By appt. other times. The Tasting Room is also a cozy place to host your private event. With space for 20-40 people depending on seating, and the ability to cater any type of food or appetizers desired, we can create the atmosphere you'd like. Available any time except the normal business hours that the Tasting Room is open.
Shelton Vineyards, 286 Cabernet Lane in Dobson NC. Regular tour and tasting is offered daily departing every half hour.
This includes a guided tour of the 33,000 square-foot winery with an overview of the winemaking process, a tasting of five wines, and a souvenir wine glass. $5 per person.  Retail hours are Monday-Saturday 10 AN.-6 PM., and Sunday 12 PM - 6 PM (Daylight Savings Time); Monday-Saturday 10 AM-5 PM and Sunday 12 PM-5 PM (Standard Time). Tours and tastings are offered daily. The winery is open every day of the year except New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. A variety of additional special tours are available - reservations are required, see the website for details.

South Creek Vineyard and Winery, 2240 South Creek Road, Nebo, NC  Open Wednesdays through Saturdays
from 11 AM to 5 PM, Sundays from 1 PM to 5 PM through the year until January 1st. Tastings include the glass & are $6, $7 or $10 depending on the wines you choose. Music events are rain or shine and provided to South Creek Customers at no admission fee, unless it is a stated ticketed event.

Wedge Brewing Company, 125 B Roberts St. in the River Arts District, Asheville NC. Micro-brewery regular Hours:
Monday to Thursday 4:00 PM till 10:00 PM, Friday 3:00 PM till 10:00 PM. Live music on select dates and outdoor cinema. 

Greenman Brewery, 23 Buxton Ave., Asheville NC. The tasting room is open seven days a week
at 4 o'clock, or maybe earlier.

Slightly Askew Winery, 913 North Bridge Street in  Elkin NC - Hours of operation: Thursday - Friday 1 PM - 6 PM; Saturday 12 PM - 6 PM; Sunday 1 PM - 5 PM

Stoney Knoll Vineyards, 1143 Stony Knoll Road in Dobson NC -  Tasting Room Hours:
Regular hours March through December - Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM; Winter hours in January and February - Fridays 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM and Saturdays 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Wine tasting: $7.00, Wine by the glass: $5.00. 10% Case Discount on Regular Prices (includes free wine tasting and glass)

Other Wineries and Vineyards:
Olde Mill Winery and Vineyards,  2742 Simpson Mill Road in Mount Airy NC

Monday, December 7, 2015

Dillsboro Lights and Luminaries Showcase NC Mountains Historic Small Town Christmas Celebrations

December 11 - 12, 2015   Dillsboro Lights and Luminaries  Journey back to the days of yesteryear as Dillsboro presents its annual Festival of Lights and Luminaries. Experience the magic as the entire town is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, candles, laughter and song.

2500 luminaries light your way to unique shops and craft shops and art studios. Horse and buggy rides are available (f0r a fee) each night from 5-8 PM. Shopkeepers provide live music and serve holiday treats with hot cider and cocoa. Enjoy carolers singing and children may visit with Santa at Town Hall.

Learn more about Dillsboro on our
Dillsboro NC Visitor Guide