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Today we welcome a posting from Patrick…

To begin, I would like to say what an honor it is to be asked to write a guest blog entry.   As a child, playing in the cane fields of Hawaii, I would look out across the endless beaches where the hula dancers frolicked and think, “Someday I too will write a blog entry for Carolina Locavore.”  At long last loyal readers, my day has come.  I can set aside the cure for cancer, the workable Middle East peace proposal, the new pitch that would propel the Cubs to the World Series. I have accomplished that for which I was set on this earth.
 
Ah, but now for a topic.  I can’t cook.  I have a vague idea where the refrigerator is in our house. I don’t particularly care for vegetables. And my knowledge of North Carolina agriculture begins and ends with the pretty sign at the entrance to Lee County depicting our local agriculture products: cows, lemons and poodles.  At least that is what it looks like when driving by at speed.  I think we grow tobacco and cotton.  I don’t believe you can eat either one.
 
So here I sit, a fine glass of Biltmore Estate Century Red wine at my side, and I am really stumped.  As an aside, Biltmore Estate is a wonderful local winery located in the hills above Asheville on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate.  It is one of the most popular wineries on the East Coast, and our local grocery store carries several different bottles.
 
The winery has been in business since 1985, very old by North Carolina Winery standards.  The first vines were planted in 1971.  European varietals such as Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot are grown on the estate as well as newer American-French hybrid varietals such as Viogner.  Biltmore has created quite a reputation for creating California style varietal wines on the east coast.  The high elevation (2,200 feet on average) provides the ideal warm sunny days and cool nights so beneficial to European and California varietals.
 
This particular wine is thick and rich.  The copy on the side of the bottle says it is an Italian style wine, but I think it is spicy like a Rioja from Spain.  We had it with a rich tomato and ground beef casserole tonight, and it stood up to the acids in the tomatoes as well as the hearty corn bread topping.  Their Chardonnay is delightful too, and I can’t wait to taste their Rieslings (a particular weakness of mine).
 
Check them out at
 
 
You can also learn more about the many other North Carolina wines at:
 
 
OK, I am stumped.  I can’t think of anything local to write about.  I just don’t know Carolina agriculture like our real host.  I am sad to say, I have failed.  At least I have this wonderful red wine to console me.  Take care readers until another day and a topic comes to mind. – The NC Cork
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