Small Bites: Barrel tasting at Addison Farms

WINE COUNTRY: Upcoming events at Addison Farms Vineyard will offer visitors a glimpse into the winemaking process. the vineyard, winery and tasting room are on a 55-acre family farm in Leicester. Photo courtesy of Addison Farms Vineyard

As a relatively new winery, Addison Farms Vineyard is still experiencing many firsts — from the planting of its first vines in 2009 to its first grapes crush in 2010 to the addition of many new varietals over the years. On Saturday, April 11, owners Jeff and Dianne Frisbee will embark on another new venture — their inaugural barrel tasting.

Barrel tastings are annual events hosted by wineries that offer the public a chance to visit the vineyard and sample unreleased vintages straight from the fermenting vessels. Jeff Frisbee says they also want their first tasting to “create an intimate environment where our guests have the opportunity to see some of the inner workings of our farm and the winery.”

The Frisbees (and their dog, Sam) will offer private tours of their vineyard and winemaking facility, which is located on Jeff’s parents’ 55-acre Leicester farm, a property that has been in his family for four generations. Visitors will have a chance to discuss viticulture and winemaking with the Frisbees and sample Addison Farms’ bottled wines plus a few straight from barrel. “It will give us a chance to compare different vintages of the same wine and see how changes in weather created differences in the wines,” adds Jeff.

Participants will also have a chance to buy wine futures, meaning they can purchase favorite barrel vintages at current prices to reserve what they want for when it is bottled. Gourmet picnic lunches will be catered by Corner Kitchen and are included in the $40 tickets.

The Frisbees also invite those with an especially keen interest in the winemaking process to attend Addison Farms Vineyard’s 2015 planting day on Saturday, April 18. Guests can either relax with a glass of wine and watch the work going on or jump right in and participate in the planting process.

The barrel tasting takes place at noon Saturday, April 11, at Addison Farms Vineyard, 4005 New Leicester Highway, Leicester. The deadline to buy tickets is Saturday, April 4.Visit or call 581-9463.

Conference on fermentation sciences

Western Carolina University and the Western Office of the N.C. Biotechnology Center will highlight craft brewing and fermentation sciences during the Molecules in the Mountains conference on Thursday, April 9. The biannual conference is part of the N.C. Biotechnology Center’s Science in the Mountains series and will feature “experts from around the country on topics including the biology and chemistry of brewing, as well as the science, business and art of fermentations,” says a press release from WCU. The keynote speaker will be brewing-industry expert Ray Daniels of the Siebel Institute of Technology and the Cicerone Certification Program. Daniels’ presentation will examine how and why craft beer has become important to Western North Carolina’s economic landscape. The conference is free and open to the public. Lunch and refreshments will be provided at no charge.

Molecules in the Mountains, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, April 9, A.K. Hinds University Center at Western Carolina University, 1 University Way, Cullowhee. Preregistration is required by Thursday, April 2. To register, visit

Fig celebrates ten years

Biltmore Village restaurant Fig will kick off its 10th anniversary on Tuesday, April 7, with a wine dinner featuring vineyard owner David Adelsheim of Adelsheim Vineyards, a pioneer of the Oregon wine industry and leader in sustainable agricultural practices. Pinot noir will be the featured wine of the evening, but a rose, a pinot gris and an Auxerrois, a unique varietal from Alsace, will also be included. Cost is $75 per person. Reservations are required.

6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 7, Fig, 18 Brook St. Call 277-0889 for details.

The MacNeill Uncorked

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad and the French Broad Vignerons are collaborating to launch a wine and rail experience this summer that is unique in WNC. On June 20, July 18 and Aug. 15, the railroad will highlight WNC wineries and cheeses in a first-class, full-service Nantahala Gorge Excursion trip in its plush MacNeill dining car. In addition to the cheese samples and pours from area wineries, guests will dine on entrees and desserts while a host and guest winemakers share facts about the WNC wine region and the history of each selected vintage. This summer’s three scheduled trips will serve as test runs for a planned wine train program that would include regularly scheduled runs with three or four cars seating a total of 100 guests. So far, participating wineries include Belle Nicho Winery, Parker-Binns Vineyard, Mountain Brook Vineyards, Burntshirt Vineyards, St. Paul Mountain Vineyards, Silver Fork Winery and South Creek Vineyards & Winery.

Departing at 10:30 a.m. June 20, July 18 and Aug. 15 from the Bryson City Depot. Cost is $109 per person. Ages 21 and older only. Reservations are strongly recommended. For tickets, call 800-872-4681 or visit, click on “Events” and choose “Nantahala Gorge Excursion.”


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