Mt. Vernon Register-News

Features

October 3, 2013

Morganton, N.C., highlights outdoors, plus wine, ale and art

Chemists with a zest for the outdoors seem to be creating soft adventures for travelers in western North Carolina.

I swapped my notion of science limited to test tubes after meeting at least four chemists in Morganton, a cheerful, energetic community on Interstate 40, in between Asheville and Charlotte.

Morganton’s location between two metro areas indicates easy driving or fly-in access. It also means mountains, vast vistas, four seasons, lush grape vineyards and abundant apple orchards.

Hiking opportunities are as plentiful as daydreaming.  Table Rock in the Pisgah National Forest lured me to the top — 3,950 elevation.

But it’s the science that makes Morganton, with Bordeaux-style wines, microbrews from locally-sourced ingredients, apples of 15 varieties, and a community of pottery making and blacksmithing.

Chemical engineer Jennifer Foulides left a high-end career in New York City, choosing this Burke County land hugging the Catawba River to expand established vineyards and perfect the making of wine with her husband, Ed Wisnieski.

“We prefer chemistry to wizardry,” she says, “creating a full circle at Silver Fork Winery: growing the vines, aging wine in French, American and Hungarian barrels, bottling and then sharing in our tasting room.”

Why so named? These 32 acres produce grapes in the confluence of Silver and White Fork creeks. Organic chemistry Ph.D. Larry Kehoe planted the first five acres, now well established after 21 years.

At Fonta Flora Brewery, chemist Todd Boera altered the water in his brewing tanks to accommodate 30 pounds of figs procured locally, transporting them on his bicycle. 

This brew master oversees seven tanks in the brand-new microbrewery he developed with brothers Mark and David Bennett.

“This is farm-to-table beer,” says Mark Bennett. “We’re brewing to match the seasons and flavors of western North Carolina.”

History reigns too. Fonta Flora is real -- an African American community, submerged in 1912 with the building of a dam to create today’s water sports mecca, Lake James.

Text Only
Features
  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Has the ipad lost its swag?

      The company reported this week that sales of its sleek, pricey tablet were down 19 percent from last quarter and 9 percent year-over-year. CEO Tim Cook tried to reassure investors that Apple's new partnership with IBM to sell its devices to IBM's corporate customers will help make iPads ubiquitous in the workplace. "This isn't something that worries us," he said of the iPad sales decline. But the numbers are disappointing no matter how you spin them.

    July 24, 2014

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 23, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 22, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 18, 2014

  • web_starbucks-cof_big_ce.jpg Starbucks sees more Apple-like stores after Colombia debut

    This week Starbucks opened its first location in Colombia — a 2,700-square-foot store with a heated patio, concrete columns, mirrors on the ceiling and walls of colorful plants.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 11.16.48 AM.png VIDEO: Comcast apologizes after customer service call goes viral

    Comcast issued an apology after one of its representatives kept a customer captive on the phone for nearly 20 minutes, demanding to know why he was choosing another cable provider.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20110929_bowling.jpg Why fewer people go bowling

    Like other industries facing tough economic times, America's bowling centers are trying to reinvent themselves.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Almost half of the world actually prefers instant coffee

    Americans' taste in coffee might be getting more high-end _with a growing fixation on perfectly roasted beans, pricier caffeinated concoctions, and artisan coffee brewers - but it turns out a surprisingly big part of the world is going in the opposite direction: toward instant coffee.

    July 14, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks