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The 15th Annual Yadkin Valley Wine Festival

The 15th annual Yadkin Valley Wine Festival will be held Saturday, May 21, in beautiful Surry County at Elkin Municipal Park. Started in 2002 with 7 wineries the festival had 4,500 attendees. Organizers are expecting 10,000 attendees this year

Showcasing the top wineries from North Carolina’s wine country, festival-goers will have the opportunity to sample from 30 wineries that are either located in the Yadkin Valley or use grapes harvested from Yadkin vineyards.

Originally developed to promote viticulture, local vintners now find themselves competing with well-established wine-regions, like California, and are taking home top prizes.

The 15th Annual Yadkin Valley Wine Festival

Many people think of wine as a scary adventure and aren’t sure what to expect. Education is an important component of the festival, with winery representatives on-hand to answer questions and help people find wines that suit their tastes.

In addition to wine tastings, the festival includes food, music and crafts. Taylor Vaden’s Tribute to Elvis and Phatt City, a beach music and R&B band, will provide entertainment. Between music sets, kids can participate in a grape stomp.

The 10th annual Yadkin Valley Wine Auction will take place in downtown Elkin the night before the festival, Friday, May 20. The gala-style affair includes dinner, dancing, and live and silent auctions. Items up for auction include furniture, travel packages, home decor items, college football tickets and more. That event is at The Liberty events hall and starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50, with all proceeds benefitting the Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Details:

Yadkin Valley Wine Festival tickets are $22 in advance and $30 at the gate. Active duty and retired military can purchase day-of tickets for $20. VIP tickets are available for $100. The VIP package includes preferential parking and access to the hospitality tent. Shuttle service is available to and from participating hotels for $5 per person.

The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For complete details and to purchase tickets, visit www.YVWF.com or call (336) 526-1111. To learn more about the Yadkin Valley area and explore lodging options, visit www.YadkinValleyNC.com.

Carolina Jubilee to Benefit Carolina Farm Trust

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Lisa and I are food people. We have recently also become farm people. Well, to clarify, we don’t own a farm or even work on a farm. But we have come to know many farmers and are pretty entrenched in the agriculture movement in America. We get that we need to balance sustainability with the need to feed people affordably. Farmers need to be paid a fare wage. People need to eat. The land needs to be preserved. Food needs to be healthy and affordable. Farming and the food supply need to be sustainable. Animals need to be cared for. The list goes on… Myriad issues are at play, but the bottom line is we cannot poison our land to feed our people. There has to be a better way.

Carolina Jubilee

Carolina Jubilee, a benefit for local food sustainability will be held October 16th-17th at VanHoy Farms in Harmony, NC. The two-day event will showcase local bands, food purveyors, and vendors, with all proceeds to benefit the Carolina Farm Trust (CFT).

Click here for tickets!

The Carolina Jubilee Festival is an annual music event with the mission of providing support for the Farm-to-Table initiative with locally produced food and beverages and a variety of regional bands.

Local and regional farms will be represented, and education will be provided on the importance of the agriculture industry and its sustainability. Carolina Jubilee will also invite vendors and organizations that focus on clean energy and the promotion of eco-friendly products and services.

The two-day festival will take place at the gorgeous VanHoy Farms Family Campground, with over 100 rolling peaceful acres of land with full camping facilities and amenities: hiking, water activities, pool, event coliseum, and more. Camp out at the festival!

Contact VanHoy Farms to reserve your campsite ($10/car).

Carolina Farm Trust is a locally run non-profit with the plan to drive action in regional food sustainability. Its mission is to protect our state’s farm land and foster an ecosystem of sustainable farming.

The loss rate of farm land is alarming. Every year 100,000 acres of land is lost to urban and suburban development in North Carolina alone. Any guesses what is the biggest hurdle starting a farm or expanding a farm? Land.

CFT is looking to compete with developers for land, buy it, and lease it back to the farming community, at rates low enough to cover the taxes (think something akin to the Nature Conservancy model). This will work two ways: allows new entrepreneur farmers to have access to land and existing farms to build and expand. By giving land access to new entrepreneur farmers and existing farmers to expand, we are helping the supply reach the local demand. CFT’s goals are based on true economic development and investment in the Carolina region.

“I care deeply about our small agriculture community and hope to save our farm land, provide economic development within the agriculture community, as well as bring other nonprofits and people of all walks of life together to focus on sustainable initiatives that are crucial to our means of survival,” states Wyatt, Executive Director of Carolina Farm Trust.

There are many ways to get involved and support CFT’s mission:

  • Get up a ticket to the festival in October
  • Become a sponsor of, or vendor at the event
  • Become a featured farmer
  • Volunteer
  • Share Carolina Farm Trust’s story and mission

Questions? Want to help? Ready to become a sponsor? Contact Zack Wyatt at zack@carolinafarmtrust.org. Stay tuned on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

#CLTBeer — Staying Local with Great Beer

Great beer under Carolina blue skies is right up our alley over here at Handmade NC, and we want to talk more about great North Carolina beer. In 2009, the beer scene in Charlotte was limited to big brands with little imagination. That changed when John Marrino opened Olde Mecklenburg Brewery in 2009, leading what was to become a booming business across the Charlotte region. North Carolina now has more craft breweries than any other state in the South.

Ilina and I both enjoy a good beer and love that craft beer is a seasonal affair. We go from saisons in the spring to summery IPAs, Oktoberfests in the fall, and round our palette out with stouts and porters in winter. When I’m looking for a new beer to try, I personally head over to my favorite Charlotte purveyor, Brawley’s Beverage on Park Road.

Just how many breweries does Charlotte have? To be quite honest, I’ve lost count. But Charlotte’s Got A Lot has a list of all the breweries in the Charlotte metro area, as well as breweries that will be opening soon. Each one of the breweries are unique, all bringing their own style to the Charlotte beer scene.

Charlotte's Got A Lot!

To celebrate North Carolina’s Brewconomy and the Charlotte craft beer scene, we are going to give away a fun package from Charlotte’s Got A Lot, the official travel and tourism resource of the Charlotte metro area. Entrants must be 21 and over to enter and live in North Carolina.

#CLTBeer Giveaway on HandmadeNC

What’s in the Box?

Lenny Boy Brewing Co. Kombucha

Birdsong Brewing Co. Growler

Smoked Amber Triple C Beer Soap

Lenny Boy Brewing Co. tap handle

Beer of the Carolinas book by Daniel Hartiss

Sycamore Brewing T-shirt (size Large)

Do you want to learn more about the Charlotte Craft Beer Scene? Click here to go to the landing page over at Charlotte’s Got A Lot. There you’ll find out more information about Charlotte breweries, beer and bottle shops, festivals, and beer tours.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Brewconomy Film on Tap to Showcase NC’s Beer Economy

Beer tourism is a thing. People flock to North Carolina for its beer. We are lucky to have a zillion breweries within arm’s reach. Hyperbole aside, there are breweries every which way you turn. And here’s the thing, quality abounds. This is not basement brewed swill I’m talking about.

The beer industry in our state is blossoming. It’s not just about getting hopped up on cans of cold beer at a backyard shindig. Beer is contributing to North Carolina’s economy in profound ways. The documentary film Brewconomy, to be released later this year, tells the story of craft brew and its impact on our state.

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“Through the voices of brewers, community leaders, government officials, scientists, farmers, business owners and others, Brewconomy tells the story of craft brewing’s affect on agriculture, community, and economy. These effects include providing jobs, increasing tax revenue, strengthening community ties, encouraging agricultural innovation and production, and generally improving the overall state economy.”

Filmmaker Camden Watts Roessler is a friend of mine and guest posted about this film venture on Dirt & Noise when the idea was in Kickstarter incubation. It’s been an incredible journey to watch unfold as Camden and her team took this rice grain sized idea and turned it into a film. Camden is a driven, creative spirit who sees a story where some might see none. From the first time I ever met her I knew she’s the kind of whip smart gal I’d like to enjoy a beer with.

Head to your favorite bottle shop to pick up a mix of North Carolina beers. Sit back and watch Brewconomy with an extra dose of satisfaction that you are helping our state’s economy. Let’s support both independent craft breweries and independent film makers! Share this trailer and help the film make its way to your community. Brewconomy will run first in the Triangle and make its way across the state with our help.

So tell me, what are you drinking these days?

I’ll start. I’m a fan of Trophy Brewing. It doesn’t hurt that I can walk there.

Camden tells me she’s enjoying Raleigh Brewing, Trophy, Crank Arm, Fullsteam. Her partner Shane Johnston is indulging in Raleigh Brewing, Nickelpoint, Fullsteam, and Crank Arm. You should know that Shane’s Ignite talk about craft beer’s impact on North Carolina’s economy sparked this film. I was at that talk and I think about it every time I buy an NC brew. Cheers to all the great things brewing in North Carolina!

Fill Your Easter Basket With NC Treats

The Easter Bunny is a procrastinator. You’d think all that sugar fuels him to hop around like…well, the Energizer Bunny. Alas, he lacks organizational skills. If your Easter Bunny needs a boost this season, hop on over to fill your basket with state fare.

If there’s one state that can boast the motherlode of locally made Easter basket gems, it’s North Carolina. We have curated some ideas to make your bunny’s job easier. Shopping locally bolster’s our state’s economy, of course, but filling your basketwith  local fare truly makes for a unique gift that makes a difference.

Fill your Easter Basket with NC Treats

Piedmont Candy Company is one of the last vestiges of a family owned candy company with production in the United States. It’s based in Lexington, NC, home of more than barbecue. Try the Puffs in the citrus and fruit flavors.

Piedmont Candy Peppermint Puffs #HandmadeNC

 

Chapel Hill Toffee, Videri Chocolate Factory, and The Secret Chocolatier will satiate your chocolate cravings way better than a waxy, hollow chocolate bunny.

Videri Chocolate Factory #HandmadeNC The Secret Chocolatier #HandmadeNC

Chapel Hill Toffee #HandmadeNC

Crude Bitters & Sodas has a wonderful selection of unique bitters and shrubs. I cast my vote for the Pineapple Ginger schrub. Serve it up with some Topo vodka for the grown ups. I mean really, Easter baskets aren’t just for kids, right?

Crude Bitters Pineapple Ginger Shrub -- #HandmadeNC

Big Spoon Roasters’ Peanut Cocoa Butter isn’t a body butter but it is a balm for the soul. Eat it off the spoon. Founder Mark Overbay’s favorite snack is a big ol’ spoon of peanut butter straight from the jar. Mine too.

Big Spoon Roasters Peanut Cocoa Butter #HandmadeNC

Tonya’s Cookies are the best kind of homemade treat…they are made in someone else’s home! Tonya comes from good kitchen stock; Chapel Hill’s famous Mama Dip’s is her grandmother’s restaurant. The ever so tasty White Chocolate Pecan Crisp is my favorite.

Tonya's Cookies White Chocolate Pecan Crisp #HandmadeNC

Counter Culture Coffee will be a hit among the adults who woke up for a sunrise church service. Try the #46.