The Blowing Rock Blue Ridge Wine Festival is quickly becoming one of the foremost events that both locals and visitors look forward to in the spring every year. This year’s Blue Ridge Wine Festival, which is one of a handful of Blue Ridge Mountain Festivals hosted in Blowing Rock, is scheduled for April 15-18, 2010. The culinary element of the festival, the Fire on the Rock Chef’s Challenge competition events, has been taking place over the course of the past few weeks, and everyone is excited about the Semi-Finals and Finale. We are excited about this year’s Blue Ridge Wine Festival and wanted to provide the visitors to our site with more information about what’s scheduled to take place during this fantastic weekend-long event. The Blue Ridge Wine Festival is sponsored by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, Blowing Rock Tourism and Development Authority, and numerous other sponsors such as local area businesses. Media sponsors are the 107.9 The Link, WNC Magazine, Fox Charlotte TV, 93.1 The Wolf, and other regional publications.

During this fantastic weekend, many of the area Blowing Rock Inns and management companies that offer Blowing Rock Vacation Rentals and Blowing Rock Lodging offer specials and Blue Ridge Wine Festival packages when you book Blowing Rock Lodging from Thursday-Sunday. Here are the festival happenings for the weekend:

Thursday:
-Uncork the Festival Opening party – "A Taste of Rio" is the theme; it starts at Chetola Resort at 6:00 pm
-Blowing Rock Hospital Designer Showcase Home – This event kicks off at 2:00 pm and ends at 6:00 pm. Local designers were asked to decorate and furnish a local mountain home located off Main Street. The address is 1732 Main Street, and proceeds from this Blue Ridge Wine Festival event will go towards helping to purchase new beds for patients at Blowing Rock Hospital.

Friday:
– Downtown Shopping, Dining, and Walk-throughs – Area Blowing Rock merchants welcome you!
– Wine Seminars featuring various participating wineries (See itinerary below)
– Cooking Classes – Learn to cook with vino! (See itinerary below)
– Winemaker Dinners – See list of participating area Blowing Rock Restaurants & Wineries; call for reservations early!
– Meet & Greet with festival attendees and VIPs
– Blowing Rock Art & Antique Gallery Stroll – Downtown Area
– Designer Showcase Home – At 1732 Main Street from 2:00-6:00 pm
– Late Night Music and Entertainment Featured All Around Town – check out Blowing Rock Restaurants & Bars such as Six Pence Pub, Twig’s, Canyon’s, Sledgehammer Charlie’s, Glidewell’s, and Woodland’s for nightlife.
* Below is a nice preliminary schedule for some of the restaurants that we just listed.

Saturday:
– Downtown Shopping, Dining, and Walk-throughs
– Grand Wine Tasting in Downtown Blowing Rock
– Fire on the Rock Chef’s Challenge Competition – 11:00 am & 4:00 pm
– Semi-Finals at Hayes Performing Arts Center – $10 per ticket, or $25 for combo pass
– Murder Mystery Event by Ensemble Stage hosted by Crippen’s at 10:00 pm
– Designer Showcase Home – at 1732 Main Street from 2:00-6:00 pm
– Late Night Music and entertainment featured all around town (see above)

Sunday:
– Fire on the Rock Finale at Hayes Performing Arts Center – 2:00 pm; $10 per ticket, or $25 for combo pass
– Champagne Brunch
– Designer Showcase Home

Itinerary for Seminars & Classes on Friday (featured on BlueRidgeWineFestival.com)
Seats are limited! Must be at least 21 years of age to participate in any seminar or class.

Wine, Chocolate & Cheese
Christopher’s Wine and Cheese, Sunset Drive
12:00pm, 1:30pm, and 3:00pm
Enjoy a class full of classic pairings. Three sessions offered! $20 per person. Advance tickets available through the ticket link above. At-the-door ticket sales are cash or check only.

Wine, Spice & Food Flavors
Maple Lodge Bed & Breakfast, Sunset Drive
1:00pm and 3:00pm
Join Catherine Rabb of Johnson & Wales University as she guides you through a tour of sweet, salty, spicy flavors and the wines that accompany them. $20 per person. Advance tickets available through the ticket link above. At-the-door ticket sales are cash or check only.

Wine Tasting 101
Inn at Ragged Gardens, Sunset Drive
12:00pm and 2:30pm
Mel and Janie Masters, owners of several international wineries, will walk you through the basics of wine tasting. Learn how to find flavors and discern colors in this popular seminar. $15 per person. Advance tickets available through the ticket link above. At-the-door ticket sales are cash or check only.

Bordeaux Wines
Hillwinds Inn, Sunset Drive
12:30pm
Wine writer and enthusiast Trevor Burton will reveal the secrets of Bordeaux wine, and what makes it so special. $20 per person. Advance tickets available through the ticket link above. At-the-door ticket sales are cash or check only.

Unusual Varietals and Blends
Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock
12:30pm
Wine experts Valerie Lynch and Phillipe Olcomendy will introduce you to unusual varietals from around the world. Get familiar with grapes like Torrentes, Verdelho, Columbard, and more. $20 per person. Advance tickets available through the ticket link above. At-the-door ticket sales are cash or check only.

Blind Varietal Comparisons
Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock
2:00pm
Enjoy a true wine tasting experience! Wine labels will be hidden while you taste and compare several wines. Throw all your preconceived notions out the window- they will do you no good in this seminar! Wines will be unveiled at the end of the class. $20 per person. Advance tickets available through the ticket link above. At-the-door ticket sales are cash or check only.

Summer Cocktails
Bistro Roca & Antlers Bar, Wonderland Trail
4:00pm
The Antlers bartender will teach you how to make great summer cocktails in this new and exciting class. $20 per person. Tickets available only through Bistro Roca. Visit www.BistroRoca.com or call 828-295-4008.

Cooking Classes:

Food for the Perfect Summer Party
Restaurant G, Gideon Ridge Road
11:00am
Chef Michael Foreman will show you a simple and delicious menu for your next summer party. Sample the dishes and take home a recipe! $25 per person. Seats are very limited. Advance tickets available by calling the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at 828-295-7851. At-the-door ticket sales are cash or check only.

Derby Celebration
Glidewell’s Restaurant, Main Street
2:30pm
Chef Skipper Clyburn will demonstrate the creation of traditional Kentucky Derby fare, including Derby Pie. Sample the dishes and take home a recipe! $25 per person. Advance tickets available through the ticket link above. At-the-door ticket sales are cash or check only.

Winemakers’ & Vintners’ Dinner Hosts – Here is a nice list of Blowing Rock Restaurants & Wineries that are participating:
Chetola Resort and Childress Vineyards
Crippen’s Restaurant and All Stars of Winesellers, Ltd.
Glidewell’s Restaurant and Hanover Park Vineyards
Restaurant G at Gideon Ridge Inn and Moffett Vineyards
The Table at the Inn at Crestwood and X Winery

Murder Mystery Event – Crippen’s Vintage Murder
This interactive Murder Mystery event allows participants to experience the show as a "murder" takes place; you will get the chance to solve the case yourself as you weed your way through a list of shady suspects cast for the show. Tickets are $32 individual and $60 per couple, ticket price includes wine tastings, dessert and the show. Seating is limited, call for reservations/tickets. For more information on the show and what to expect click to www.ensemblestage.com.

Live Musical Performances
Phillip Jazz Band Friday night at Glidewell’s starting at 7:00 pm.
Karaoke Night Thursday at Canyon’s starts at 10:00 pm
The Deciders with Melissa Reaves, Friday starts at 10:00 pm
Live Music TBA Saturday at 10:00 pm

HighCountryWebCams.com is happy to provide you with the shots from the live Mountain Web Cams that you love so much, and we have been doing so for around a decade. Visitors to our site love to check out the Blowing Rock Web Cam that overlooks Hwy 321 and the entrance to Chetola Resort. We also feature other area Boone Web Cams, including the Boone Cam located atop Howard’s Knob and the Rich Mountain Boone Cam that features panoramic views. We sponsor and partner with area businesses to showcase a variety of great mountain shots. Users of the site often like to check it out for current weather happenings, as well. We are always growing and expect to showcase more Mountain Cams this year than ever before. Click to see some of the new Mountain Cams featured on the site; we’ve picked up a few shots from the Asheville Web Cams and hope to keep expanding across the region and state in other areas. We love our advertisers and invite you to click to some of the banner ads for local area businesses. Without their support this site and all that it entails would not be possible. Many of the area advertisers are great local companies that offer such things as Blowing Rock NC Real Estate, Blowing Rock Log Homes, Blowing Rock Lodging, Blowing Rock Dining, Blowing Rock NC White Water Rafting and so much more! We know that you will show your support by letting them know you saw them on the site!

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