Posts Tagged ‘Blue Ridge wine and food festival


Fire on the Rock Competition for 2013!!

Our little village about 10 years ago recognized that April was a month that was under-appreciated in our part of the mountains. Along with several neighbors and friends we sought out a way to bring April as a month to be looked forward to for visiting the small village of Blowing Rock, NC. Jimmy Crippen, Scott and myself concocted the idea of a wine festival over drinks one evening while we were waiting for our table. The chamber of commerce became the logical body to bring this idea to life and after almost a year of debate and committee work a budget was set and a dream began to come to life.

While I can claim to know a bit about wine, I am not a restaurateur, but Jimmy was. He helped get the other food services lined up for winemaker’s dinners and conceptualized a brilliant competition for the local chefs of the area…and Fire on the Rock was Born!

That concept has grown to a “Competition Dining Series” across the state of North Carolina since then. Where we as diners vote on blind tasting of plates prepared by the best chefs across the region culminating in a state-wide competition of “Iron Chef Style Dining”.  For many people, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity; at least until you try it the first time and become addicted to the rush of judging the work of the best chefs.

Fire on the Rock begins again this Monday (08 April 2013) in Blowing Rock. Is there any better reason for you to come into town early for the Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival than to participate in this taste challenge? If you want to experience the flavors of this competition in its birthplace, this is your opportunity! Reservations are simple and easy as clicking on this link for the Fire on the Rock 2013 Competition… and now with the festival and Fire on the Rock, you have all the reasons you need to come visit our little village in April every year!


The Blue Ridge (international) Wine and Food Festivel

I’ve been to far more wine festivals and wine competitions than I care to count. Seven years ago, before we dreamed of Christopher’s Wine & Cheese we initiated an effort in conjunction with the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce to develop a local wine festival to bring people into our community to experience the wonder and delight of Blowing Rock during the month of April. It was then decided the concept was viable and a committee was formed to develop and execute The Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival.

It began as a very small, intimate affair with wine education seminars, a local wine competition, and a cooking competition among local chefs. It has grown beyond measure since that point and time, mostly in good ways. The festival has grown from something small and local into something much more exclusive and international with promise of great things to develop yet.

The first year it seemed that we had to absolutely beg for 4 local chef-types to participate in the Fire on the Rock Chef’s Challenge; today there are preliminary competitions that begin in February leading up to the festival because so many of our local culinary experts are participating.

Our first year of  the festival, we had to seek out and beg for facilitators to direct our seminars and bring in a chef to do cooking demos and classes. Today, we have culinary talents that ask to join in and our seminars span the course of multiple days bringing in talents from culinary universities, university level professors, trades professionals, and just down right interesting people.

Our first year, we were barely able to fill the grand tasting with local, North Carolina Wineries. This year we have wine makers from around the world wanting to know how they too can participate in our festival. We have wines from North Carolina, Virginia, California, Washington, Oregon, Chili, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, France, Spain, Germany, Japan, and Italy.

Uncorked! has grown from a small gathering of locals into a festive party themed from a wine region around the world in which people gather to celebrate and get primed for the festival. Wine Maker’s Dinners have become a huge affair that chef’s dream of the rock star wine maker of their choice and what they would prepare for a pairing with the wines from that wine maker for a year.

Our lodging partners are always stocked and ready to help guests of Blowing Rock not only with accommodations, but with plans and packages to simplify the matter of getting into the programs you’re interested in. Give them a call and let them help you make a long weekend of wine festivities this year.

All of the improvements and growth of our international Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival is because of one single factor- you. You come and participate and wine makers from around the globe have watched, listened, and been captivated by you and your interest in high quality wine and food, and they’re seeking to get into a position to have you in their audience. This year, I think we have one of the most exciting line ups in the nation for a wine festival, and I bet you are going to love it!

So, check it out and make sure to get here next weekend!


(April) 2011 Friday Night Flights Themes announced

Wine Tasting Program

Wine Tasting Program

Every Friday evening at 5:30 Christopher’s Wine and Cheese presents a structured wine flight and  is pleased to announce the following programs being presented in cooperation with the Carolina Wine Academy:

April 01, 2011April Fools! Wines that are not what one may expect from the first glance. There are a tremendous number of wines that have little nuances hidden within that can be rather shocking at first, but with a couple of sips step up for your sipping pleasure!

April 08, 2011Wines of the Southern Rhone. We will celebrate the spring with delights of  the Rhone A few grapes being grown in Rhone that shine and are not commonly recognized. Can you tell the difference between a Sauvignon Blanc and a Umi Blanc? Bet you can when we’re done with this program!

April 15, 2011- The first Sunset Stroll of the season! We’ll have 2 wineries present and presenting wines for your pleasure, J. Lohre and X Wineries. The gang of Gals from Artists alley will also be with us displaying their art as well. This program is being presented in conjunction with the Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival that runs April 13-18, 2011.

Wine HistoryApril 22, 2011Evolution of wine. We will take a stroll through the past and a look at the future through wine. Sampling a wine from the same recipe used in the court of Julius Caeser, wines that are made with little to no refining much as they were thousands of years in the past , and wines that are being made with cutting edge technology to reduce allergen and alcohol levels.  A wonderfully delicious taste of history and science blended together!

April 29, 2011Wines of New Zealand and Australia. We’ll take a trip down under and visit with some of our favorite fruits of the southern Hemisphere.New Zealand


Made in America: Marie Hosfield

Marie Hosfield

Marie Hosfield

Neighbors and friends are among a man’s greatest assets in life. Our made in America concept drives us out into our community to make friends with our neighbor’s and through that we discovered a little community in the edge of Blowing Rock called Artist’s Alley, a small community driven around the arts that open their homes/studios once per a year to the world to showcase their talents and wares.

Among the first of the artists we have met there is Marie Hosfield, a artists who works in acrylic paints on canvas. Among the things you will notice with Marie upon first meeting her is a slight mischievous grin of playfulness that translates into her scenes on canvas. Secondly, I found her to have a lot more character and suitability than first met the eye- again I should have looked closer at her art and I would find the same characteristics.

Her art has richness and depth typically found in oils, I in fact at first thought she was painting with oils. In all reality, she uses acrylic paints with finesse and character. She corrected me on my assumption and told me “it’s all in the brush stroke”. Whatever it is, I’m honored to have a friend that is that talented and capable with a brush.

Marie and the Artist Alley gals are scheduled to be here in the shop on the evening of April 15, 2011 for the first Sunset Stroll of Galleries this year during the Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival. Be sure to come by and visit the ladies and take a bit of  the Pride of Blowing Rock home with you from our local artists this year!


The finest Wine and Food Collection under the stars…

Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival

Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival

If you had an opportunity to taste wines and meet the people behind them from Coturri Winery, McCrorie Family Winery, Raptor Ridge Winery, Toloosa Winery, Gemtree Winery, Davis Family WInery, CLos la Chance Winery, Hanover Park Vineyards, Childress Winery, Montnore Estates, Chateau Morrisette Winery, White Oak WInery, Napa Cellars, Cadoni Winery, Lo Ducca Wines, J. Lohre, St. Francis Wines, X Winery, and too many others to keep listing- all at one event; would you try to get there?

I would and would say that most any self-respecting member of the wine appreciation community would be stark raving mad not to try and get to that event! Guess what? You now have your opportunity to go to such an event, THE BLUE RIDGE WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL will be hosted by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce April 13-17, 2011 in downtown Blowing Rock, NC. You will have the opportunity to meet the people behind the wine, dine with them, sip wine with them, go to seminars with them and other wine experts from around the world… you will have an opportunity to discover why wine is the passion for thos if us who enjoy it when you discover the passion behind the people that make it!

Reserve your package

Reserve your package

Over the past seven or so years this festival has grown into an international wine and food festival that has become one of the premier events on the East Coast. I have attended trade shows, wine festivals, and judged wine maker’s competitions all over the place and I always come home reaffirmed that our little community still has one of the best shows out there. Our little village of Blowing Rock brings in the best talent from all over the world and put them within your grasp for learning why they do what they do with grapes and food. The stewards of this festival are a group of volunteers that work diligently to discover new and exciting things in the realm of culinary marksmanship to captivate your imagination on make you fall in love with your senses all over again.

Inspiration for your palate is only a few weeks away, and after April 17, 2011 there is a year before such a magnificent collection of culinary and wine making talent will be able to convene again- and even then it shall only occur in Blowing Rock, NC. So make your plans now and be sure to check out the package deals available through our lodging partners.

Come, stay in the heart of the village- enjoy the finest food available on the East Coast and the greatest wine collective tasting in the world. Come laugh, love, and be merry at THE BLUE RIDGE WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL April 13-17, 2011.

And should you not be able to get here for the festival, we will be having a complete selection of wines being shown at the festival that you can order on line anytime during, or after the festival!

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