Thursday, February 18, 2016

Winter Fishing in the North Carolina Mountains

Did the Gopher see his shadow? Who knows, and who pays attention to stuff like that? "Whatever is outside the window is the weather for the day", that’s just how it is. But regardless of the weather, there is always fishing year round in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina

photo courtesy Curtis Wright Outfitters
Winter has always been one of the favorite times to get out and probe the depths for salmonoids, and this season has not been a disappointment. Slightly elevated stream flows due to snow melt and rain have left us with only one thing to do - add more split shot! With mountain weather refusing to be a complete science, it never hurts to be totally prepared for anything... gloves, wool socks, hand warmers, a thermos, and possibly, looking at the forecast for this weekend, a T-shirt and maybe, just maybe a hand full of dries. 

Soon we should be expecting the first major hatch of the season, the Epeorus pleuralis, ("Quill Gordon" for those of us that didn’t study Latin) and for our friends from PA, “March Grays”. The guides at Curtis Wright Outfitters live by the hatches; and if you have any questions about what’s happening bug wise, or would like to take a Guide Trip for some early season risers, just call us - Curtis Wright can get you on the water. 

Mountain Spirits: Beer and Wine Tastings for the week of 2-18-16

February 17, 2016 at  Heinzelmannchen Brewery, 545 Mill Street in Sylva NC - The Brewery will be closed February 17-24, but otherwise hours ( through March 13) are Wed - Sat, noon to 9  PM and Sun - Tues by appointment of chance. Check out the latest great trio: Soft Pretzels, Heinzelmannchen Beer, Lusty Monk. Backwoods Bakery from Whittier makes Soft Pretzels from organic flour that are divine! Lusty Monk Mustard is made in Asheville and is a delicious complement to the pretzels and beer. When you order your beer, order a pretzel and mustard too. 

February 18, 2016 at Brusin' Ales, 66 Broadway Street in downtown Asheville NC  5 - 7 PM   Celebrate the WNC launch of Tröegs Independent Brewing with one of their national First Squeeze events for the knock-your-socks-off-hoppy 2016 Nugget Nectar. Meet some (really, really) cool people from the brewery, pick up an art print, beer swag, and of course, a beer tasting:

Troegs 'Cultivator' Hellesbock - "Emerging from springtime's fertile ground, our Cultivator celebrates the start of hop-growing season as sprawling fields of hop rhizomes climb and tether to hop bines. This spring bock delivers hints of toasted grains, fresh baked bread and delicate floral hops." [6.9% abv]
Troegs 'Troegenator' Dopplebock - "Monks had fasting figured out. No food? No problem. Just drink a Double Bock. Thick and chewy with intense notes of caramel, chocolate and dried stone fruit, 'Nator (as we call him) serves as a tribute to this liquid bread style." [8.2% abv]
Troegs 'Jovial' Dubbel - "Originally brewed for Chris' wedding, we decided Jovial was just too good a union of dark stone fruit character and evocative notes of toffee, chocolate and molasses to make only once. You may kiss the beer." [7.0% abv]
Troegs 'LaGrave' Tripel - "Named after our fave French backcountry ski town, LaGrave's rare yeast produces a rocky head releasing aromas of crusty bread and earthy spices. Our Triple Golden Ale carves out flavors of ripe pear, straw and black pepper with a dry, champagne powder finish." [8.0% abv]
Troegs 'Perpetual' IPA - "At Tröegs, artisanal meets mechanical in a state of IPA we call Perpetual. Cycling through our HopBack vessel and dry-hopping method, this bold Imperial Pale Ale emerges rife with sticky citrus rind, pine balm and tropical fruit." [7.5% abv]
Troegs 'Nugget Nectar' - "It's impossible to forget your first squeeze. Once a year, as the newest humulus lupulus harvest arrives at Tröegs, we blend these super-fresh hops into an Imperial Amber Ale. Excessively dry-hopped, Nugget Nectar is an explosion of pine, resin and mango." [7.5% abv]

February 19, 2016 from 5:30 - 8 PM at Maggie B's Wine and Specialty Store, 10 C South Main Street in Weaverville NC:   Friday Night Wine Tastings.   February 28 -Ukrainian Easter Egg Class.  3-5:30 PM,  $35 (includes equipment).  Sara Eadie will be conducting a Pysanky Egg Class at Maggie B’s again. These eggs are done in a wax and dye resist process like batik. It is an Eastern European art form that goes back thousands of years. Come learn an art form that is rich in beauty and tradition! Call Maggie B’s to reserve your space. 828 645-1111.

February 28, 2016 at 8 PM - Asheville Brewing Company, 675 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville NC: 15th Annual Oscar Party at the Merimon Ave Location  Monday pizza special and Thursdays $10 growlers.

February 19, 2016 from 5 - 7 PM at Hops and Vines, 797 Haywood Rd. Ste 100 in West Asheville NC: FREE Beer Tasting - Troegs Brewing Co.  
Prime Time Pale Ale - Simcoe hops bring a plethora of flavors and aromas from this crisp American Pale Ale. From floral to earthy, citrus to pine, this dry ale is an easy drinker.
Hi-Pitch IPA -  A Western North Carolina take on the West Coast style IPA. Huge citrus hop aromas make this a Hop Head’s dream. Its full body balances well with the bitterness and allows the drinker to enjoy its depth of hop flavors and aromas..
Passion Fruit White IPA - This India pale ale blends the dark, white grape characteristics of hallertau blanc hops with subtle tart, tropical fruit notes from passion fruit. The addition of coriander, orange peel & heavy handed portion of flaked wheat rounds out the flavors in this refreshing summer-meets-winter brew.
February 20, 2015 from 3 - 6 PM:  FREE Wine Tasting - Wines from Italy.
San Marzano Negroamaro - Deep ruby red with violet reflections; intense aroma, with notes of plum and cherry, spicy, with rosemary and vanilla scents. A full-bodied wine, soft and balanced, easy to drink. 12.99/750ml
San Marzano Malvasia  Sauvignon Blanc - Straw yellow colour with green reflections; broom floral notes and a hint of citrus and tropical fruits on the nose.  Lively in acidity, fresh and mineral. 12.99/750ml. 
Cetamura Chianti 2013 Intense bright ruby red, cherry and blackberry nose with cinnamon and clove nuances. Full and well-balanced, soft but tasty, with good structure. Pleasant acidity, clean and persistent aftertaste. 12.99/750ml.

February 20, 2016 from 3 - 7 PM at Appalachian Vintner, Free Wine Tasting
with the purchase of $10 or more. Wine Wednesday - $1 off wine by the glass.

February 26, 2016 at  Shelton Vineyards
, 286 Cabernet Lane in Dobson NC: Chef's Table at the Harvest Grill - a special evening presented by Chef Paul and pastry Chef Frances as they create, plate and present a one-of-a-kind dining experience. FREE SHIPPING on 6 bottles of regularly priced wine.

February 19, 2016  7 PM at  Classic Wine Cellar,
20 Church Street, Waynesville NC -
Sean Bendula live with Guitar, Vocals, Folk-Americana, Pop, Originals.   
February 20, 2016 at 7 PM - Joe Cruz with piano and vocals performing music of the Beatles, Elton John, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel.
WOW: 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 dinner.


February 19, 2016 from 4 - 7 PM at Table Wine,
1550 Hendersonville Road, Suite 102, Asheville NC -
New Extreme French Values - Stop by the store every Friday for one of the best free wine tastings in Asheville. This week,  pouring a trio of new arrivals from France including the 2014 Domaine Brunet Pinot Noir, a new Case of the Month Selction. In addition, you’ll get to try the new vintages of the white and red Cotes du Rhones from Southern France’s Ferraton Pere et Fils.

Februaru 20, 2016 from 2 PM - 5 PM: Try Three For Free Wine Tasting
featuring New European WIne Arrivals
Try Three for Free Wine Tasting this Saturday.

February 19, 2016 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.

February 10, 2016 from 6 PM - 8 PM at Brushy Mountain Winery, 125 West Main Street in Elkin NC - Live Performance by Folk Artist Libby Haynes.
February 20, 2016 - Americana with Caroline Beverly and Joe Thrift perform live from 6 to 8 PM. 
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

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Asheville Hosts Annual Arts and Crafts Conference

February 19 - 21, 2016    2016 Arts and Crafts Conference  in Asheville NC Enrich your understanding of the Arts & Crafts Movement as the historic Grove Park Inn celebrates the 29th anniversary of the most popular Arts and Crafts event in the world.  

photo courtesy National Arts & Crafts Conference
Inspired by The Omni Grove Park Inn's rich Arts & Crafts tradition, from Old Hickory rockers to the Roycroft chandeliers, this three+ day Arts & Crafts event in Asheville features discussion groups, workshops, seminar presentations, walking tours, displays, demonstrations and three shows with antiques, contemporary crafts, books and magazines. This conference is designed for passionate collectors.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Groundhog Day at Chimney Rock State Park

February 2, 2016  Grady's Groundhog Day at Chimney Rock Park What will Grady predict for the remaining winter weather forecast?  Come to Chimney Rock Park and find out while enjoying an educational program on the lives of groundhogs and other woodland critters. 

photos courtesy Chimney Rock Park
Guided family hikes on the Great Woodland Adventure trail will follow the program at noon and 12:30 PM. Kid’s Groundhog Day crafts will be offered from noon-1 PM.