Floyd, VA -- Great day trip for foodies and winos in the NC Piedmont!
We planned a day trip to Floyd County, VA for this past Thanksgiving weekend. The town of Floyd is about 3 hours from Chapel Hill. We were shocked by the high quality of the food and booze joints we visited! Such a surprise. We find NC wine to be undrinkable, but we really enjoyed a lot of the wine we sampled in this area. This area has a handful of good wineries, and it is also home to Foggy Ridge Cider. I highly recommend this little escape from the Piedmont. Here are my recs:
Foggy Ridge Cider - Producer of hard ciders, more French in style than American. Their Serious Cider is crisp and dry like champagne without the yeast. So delicious and so food friendly. You can't leave this place (or their website) without learning shocking stats about the humble apple.
Chateau Morrisette - Gorgeous grounds and buildings. Lovely, snuggly restaurant for a winter lunch, lots of fireplaces and tudor-style finishes. Very reasonably priced lunch menu and wine menu that features their own wines as well as others from across the US. Their tasting room welcomes dogs! Very excited about that. Generous pours and friendly staff. Wines are really good.
Villa Appalaccia - VA vineyard featuring Italian grapes, founded by scientists from NC in the mid-90s. Designed to look like an Italian villa. Enjoyable wines, we bought 1/2 case. Favorites include the Pinot Grigio (and I am NOT a Pinot Grigio drinker!), Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc.
Dogtown Pizza - Excellent wood fired pizza place with a great beer list and games for big kids.
I don't have huge amounts of experience with NC wines, but what I've tasted hasn't been great. Virginia does have some really nice wineries, especially up in the Middleburg/Charlottesville area. Not great, but fairly good, and in the autumn the drive up alone is worth it.
I think Villa Appalaccia wines are much better than Chateau Morrisette....I think they are probably the best NC/VA wines I've had. I especially like there Aglianico. You're right, the Floyd area is a fun place to visit.
The beer and wine festival they have at Meadows of Dan is always a good time, too.
There are some decent NC wines, BTW. For example, Bin 54 in Chapel Hill has Grove Winery's '05 Nebbiolo on their wine list.
1201 M Raleigh Rd., Chapel Hill, NC 21517