winepage

Image via the Asheville Wine and Food Festival

Wine. Food. Spirits. Mountains. Beer. Desserts. Wine… Yep. The Asheville Wine and Food Festival is coming up August 21 – 23, 2014 in Asheville, North Carolina. The Festival is an opportunity to finish off the summer by indulging in craft cocktails, decadent desserts and all kinds of fabulous food. It’s going to be a great three days and the end of August seems just too far away to bear.

logo

So why am I taunting you with the promise of such savory delights almost two months out? Because the fun has already started. Winemakers from North Carolina and Appalachia are submitting their wines to the Commercial and Non-Commercial Winemakers Competition even as you read this and will continue to do so until the deadline of August 1, 2014. While we cross days off the calendar until the official start of the Asheville Wine and Food Festival, judges from the French Broad Vignerons, an organization that supports and encourages the development of the region’s wine industry, will be preparing for the final judging and adjudication that takes place on the Saturday, August 23, 2014.

After the final judging, visitors to the festival (you and I) can visit the Wine Competition’s booth to check out the winning bottles. Then, as many of the commercial winemakers also have booths at the festival, you can drop by the ones that intrigue you for a chat and a taste.

Beyond the intellectual thrill of discussing wine with the folks who made it, the Commercial and Non-Commercial Winemakers Competition provides a unique opportunity to experience the burgeoning wine industry in North Carolina and the Appalachian region. Although “burgeoning” may be a bit of a misnomer, as the State has a long and proud history of winemaking. In fact, North Carolina was a leading winemaker among the States in the pre-prohibition era and home to the first cultivated wine grape in the United States: the “scuppernong.” While Prohibition essentially hit the pause button on North Carolina’s wineries and vineyards, the industry maintained a foothold and has been thriving and growing for the last few decades.

So this is your chance to learn more about a wine tradition that is at once one of the oldest and newest in the nation. And, of course, to bask in the joy of raising a glass while standing in the first State to usher in Prohibition.

If you want to experience the delicious delights the Festival has to offer, you can purchase tickets through the Asheville Wine and Food Festival’s website.

For those who would like to submit an entry to the Commercial and Non-Commercial Winemakers Competition, the rules and entry forms can be found on the French Broad Vignerons website. The deadline for submissions is August 14, 2014.

 This post is sponsored by The Asheville Wine and Food Festival, but, as always, all words and opinions are my own.