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Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival

Article Published: Apr. 3 | Modified: Apr. 14
Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival

The ever-popular Grand Tasting has been expanded into two tastings, one at 1:30 p.m. and another at 4:30 p.m.

Photo by Frank Ruggiero

If it’s April in the High Country, it is the beginning of festival season.

This year’s Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival, presented by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled for April 10 to 13 and looks to be the biggest and best one ever.

The Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival annually attracts thousands of wine and food lovers to Blowing Rock for wine dinners, workshops and demonstrations, live music concerts and other special events.

The 2014 Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival’s evening events kick off with a fantastic event, called “Taste!” “Taste!” will feature signature dishes presented by area restaurants and samplings of wine and beers.

“Taste!” begins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 10, at the Grand Tasting Tent on Maple Street.
Participating restaurants and food vendors include Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola Resort, Gadabouts Catering, the Table at Crestwood, Chestnut Grille at the Green Park Inn, Town Tavern of Blowing Rock, Six Pence Pub, Canyons of the Blue Ridge, The Best Cellar, the Blowing Rock Ale House, Woodlands Barbecue, the New Public House & Hotel, Bistro Roca, Blowing Rock Produce and Provisions, The Picnic Basket at the Blowing Rock Market, Art of Oil and many others.

Tickets for “Taste!” are $35 in advance, $45 at the door.

Grand Tastings

The centerpiece of the festival is the Grand Tasting under the giant tent on Maple Street in downtown Blowing Rock. This year, the Grand Tasting will be held twice, once at 1:30 p.m. and then again at 4 p.m.

The Grand Tasting features hundreds of different types of wines from North Carolina and around the world. It is also a catered event with mouth-watering food items to eat at your leisure. Tickets for the Grand Tasting are $45 in advance, $55 at the door.

This year’s festival also includes a Grand Reserve Wine Tasting at the Inn at Ragged Gardens on Sunset Drive. Sponsored by the Blue Ridge Mountain Club, tickets for this exclusive event are $80 in advance and $100 at the door. The Grand Reserve Wine Tasting at 12:30 p.m. is sold out, but tickets still remain for the tasting at 3 p.m.

New this year on Saturday will be a number of satellite tasting tents for food and wine located at various spots around downtown Blowing Rock. Attendees of the Grand Tasting and Grand Reserve Tasting can visit these satellite tents at their leisure from 11:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. for free. Those not attending the Grand Tasting events can pay a small admission fee at the entrance to the satellite tents.

The satellite tents are located at Celeste Interiors at the Village Shops, the Shops at South Marke, beside Christopher’s Wine and Cheese, at the Blowing Rock Ale House’s brewery and in front of Vincent Properties.

Workshops and Demos

The more you know about wine and food, the more ways you can figure out how to enjoy them together. The Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival offers attendees a wealth of workshops and demonstrations all over the downtown Blowing Rock area. Most of them cost between $25 and $28 and include food and wine.

Workshops and demonstrations include “How to Taste Wine Like a Pro” (Thursday, April 10, 11 a.m.), “Hidden Treasures, Best Values (April 10, 2 p.m.), “Wine and Chocolate” (April 10, 4 p.m.), “Pinot Noir Challenge” (April 11, 11 a.m.), “Fun with Bubbles” (April 11, 11:30 a.m.), Riedel Challenge (April 11, noon), “Pair Like a Pro” (April 11, 12:30 p.m.), “Wine and Chocolate” (Firday, 1 p.m.), “Discovering Spanish Treasure” (April 11, 2 p.m.), “Southern Gourmet Cooking” (April 11, 2 p.m.), “Hidden Treasures, Best Values” (April 11, 3 p.m.), “Wine and Food and Spices” (April 11, 3 p.m.) and “Coffee Cupping” (April 12, 8 a.m.).

Wine Dinners

Wine dinners are always a big part of the Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival. Most feature an exquisite menu of items prepared by one of our local chefs, with the various courses paired with wines from one or more wineries.

This year’s festival features wine dinners at Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola Resort, Casa Rustica, Rowland’s at Westglow Resort and Spa, Twigs, Vidalia, the Table at Crestwood, the New Public House and Restaurant G at Gideon Ridge.

Live Music

This year’s Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival is your chance to hear some of the region’s best musicians.

On Thursday, April 10, the Town Tavern in Blowing Rock will host a Wine to Water fundraiser, featuring the Katie Taylor Duo. There is no cover for the event, and it will feature door prizes and raffles.

The “Taste!” after-party will take place at Twigs Restaurant and Bar, beginning at 8 p.m., featuring live music by Klee and Mike. There is no cover charge for the event, and food will be served until 9:30 p.m.

On Friday, April 11, California recording artist Jonny Kaplan will bring his smooth grooves to the Grand Tasting Tent on Maple Street for a concert at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 per person and are available in advance at the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce.

Twigs will host a “Mountain Jam” from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on April 11, with live music by the Harris Brothers. The event will feature moonshine tasting and artisan cocktails. No cover.

The Luke Combs Band will be playing unbridled country music at the Town Tavern, beginning at 9:30 p.m. April 11. No cover.

The Tony Bailey Band will perform a free show at Twigs on Friday, from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. The event will feature moonshine tasting and artisan cocktails.

The Harris Brothers will perform at the Town Tavern in Blowing Rock, beginning at 6:30 p.m. April 12. No cover.

Canyons Historic Restaurant and Bar will host a concert featuring the Cedric Burnside Project beginning at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. Cedric is the grandson of late legendary Mississippi bluesman R.L. Burnside. Ticket are $10 per person and advance tickets are available at Canyons.

Todd Wright and Friends will serve up some powerful instrumentals at Canyons during the Sunday Jazz Brunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. No cover.

For more information on the Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival, call the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at (828) 295-7851, or visit

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