Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I include this link back to her blog,I hope you enjoy this too.


Report From the field: Floyd, VA
Several months ago, courtesy of the article “Southern Dream Towns” in Garden & Gun magazine, we read about a sleepy place named Floyd in Southern VA. In addition to being one of those one stoplight towns packed with charm, hippies, farmers, and great restaurants, we found a number of local boozeries in Floyd County. The rolling hills surrounding Floyd are home to a cluster of places that make a variety of really good beverages including nationally recognized wine and French-style cider. We were shocked at how much better the wine is just a few hours away from North Carolina vineyards. NC beers knock our socks off, but the vineyards have yet to impress. Check out the highlights from our journey. If you live in the NC Piedmont and need an idea for an off the beaten path staycation, I nominate a day trip to Floyd County, VA.
Foggy Ridge Cider – Diane Flynt is the 21st century’s Johnny Appleseed…only with more alcohol. If you can’t visit the orchard, visit this website, and be prepared to learn about the dozens of apples you won’t see on your grocer’s shelves. She currently bottles three types of hard cider, First Fruit, Serious Cider, and Sweet Stayman Cider as well as one cider-apple brandy blend, Pippin Gold. Our favorite, Serious Cider, is dry and crisp like champagne without the yeast.

View of the apple orchard at Foggy Ridge Cider

View of the apples that didn't make the cider cut.
Chateau Morrisette – At the recommendation of the Foggy Ridge proprietors, we rushed to a lunch at the Chateau Morrisette restaurant. What a pleasant surprise! The interior space felt like a German country house. I loved my roasted pheasant and butternut squash ravioli and the house Chardonnay (at $16.99/bottle!) was delicious as well. Make reservations in advance. This is one of the finer places to eat in the area and seats go quickly, especially in the dining rooms with fireplaces.
We totally enjoyed the tasting room as well. The structure is separately housed a short walk away from the dining room. Generous pours, good local wine, and a tasting room that allows dogs = a recipe for love.

Chateau Morrisette restaurant exterior.

Chateau Morrisette tasting room.
From there, we sped over to Villa Appalaccia, a winery that specializes in Italian grapes. We had so many favorites. We split a case with my parents, but the Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, and Rustico were standouts. This winery has another unique distinction…their Simpatico is the only regional wine carried by my favorite Chapel Hill restaurant, Lantern.
In need of more food and a walk in the chilly fall air, we finally headed into downtown Floyd. Our first stop was the Tasting Room, a central location in town where you can sample wines, cider, and mead from five local producers all in one elegant, tiny room. Fab idea. They also have great specials on combo packages from a variety of different producers that you can’t get at the source. Very cool. At the recommendation of our pour guy, we visited the Floyd Country Store,Oddfellas Cantina, and Dogtown Pizza before heading out of town. The pizza at Dogtown rocked. We ordered simply–local sausage with caramelized onions. I recommend you do the same.

Floyd Country Store

Inside the Floyd Country Store.
My dream list of holiday getaways this year did NOT look like this:
1. Floyd, VA
But I am so glad we made the trip. Surprisingly good food and booze and gracious hosts greeted us at every doorstep. Our Floyd day trip was the perfect quick fix, an escape from the familiar. Proof that sometimes a three hour drive to a foreign region is just as satisfying as a hop across the pond.

No comments:

Post a Comment