Spring has officially sprung across the beautiful mountain towns in North Carolina. The foothills are bursting with blossoms, gardeners are pushing their tomato seedlings into the cool soil, and neighbors are starting to notice the aroma of smoky barbecue drifting through the air, ushering in a new season of outdoor food festivals.
This month, foodies in the foothills had even more of a reason to celebrate – SAVOR Blowing Rock which returned for its 12th year. The four-day food fest ran Thursday, April 20th through Sunday, April 23rd in and around the downtown area of “North Carolina’s Prettiest Small Town.”
Once known as the Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival, this annual spring event recently changed its name to represent something bigger and better than ever before. With the addition of regional craft breweries and other fortified spirits, plus new food and entertainment offerings, event organizers decided this full-fledged culinary extravaganza needed new name that could say it all. That’s how SAVOR emerged as the new buzzword for “food fun” in Blowing Rock.
As if it wasn’t already the toast of the town, this year’s SAVOR Blowing Rock is kicking it up a few more notches, with an expanded schedule of seminars and cultural events, live music and entertainment, craft beers, wines, and spirits from breweries, wineries, and distilleries across the state. Not to mention food and beverage tastings, pairings, and access to a full array of regional cuisine that showcases the culinary artistry of Blowing Rock’s best chefs and restaurants.
So how do you navigate your way through this four-day gastronomical gathering? Like most outdoor festivals in North Carolina’s mountain towns, SAVOR is designed as a walking tour through Blowing Rock’s streets, which are peppered with plenty of cafés, restaurants, shops, galleries, boutiques, and shops. As you stroll through this quaint mountain village, you get to sample, sip, and taste your way through it all, as you enjoy visual displays of arts and crafts, and listen to live music along the way.
The schedule of exhibits and events is so wide and varied, you’re sure to stay entertained – and well fed – for the full four days. SAVOR’s got something for everyone! There are too many events to list here, but here are a few featured favorites:
Bubbles & Bidding (event)
Reid’s Café is joining Country Vintner at the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum to showcase hand-selected champagnes, both rare and affordable, beautifully paired with hors d’oeuvres by Reid’s Café.
Cork & Canvas (event)
An evening of wine and painting in a relaxed atmosphere facilitated by a trained instructor. Each participant goes home with a finished work of art. No experience necessary.
Grilling with the Grill Masters (cooking class)
Learn to grill everything from appetizers to desserts in this class taught by Appalachian Energy, seller of numerous grills, smokers, and built-ins.
“Grapes that Don’t Belong” Wine Tasting (seminar)
Did you know the Pinot Noir grape is being grown in Germany? Learn how this is possible. And find out more fun facts about what grapes are being grown successfully outside of these traditional regions.
Whiskey and Cigars (seminar)
Blowing Rock Cigar Club invites you to experience our private membership club for a day. They’re offering whiskey flights paired with a Padron Anniversary 1964 cigar!
Beer and Food Pairing 101 (seminar)
Discover the possibilities of pairing beer and food. In this guided tasting (and sampling) you’ll explore what works together, and how to maximize your pairing experience
Wine & Cheese (seminar)
Explore the fundamentals of wine and cheese harmony and learn which cheese pairs best with your favorite wine.
Grand Tasting (event)
Step into the Main Tent behind First Citizens Bank on Main Street to sample some tantalizing food, beverages, wine, beer, and distilled spirits.
Sip & Shop (downtown event)
Sip and Shop through downtown Blowing Rock! Participating retailers will offer free drinks and nibbles along your way!
SAVOR Blowing Rock is produced by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. We can’t help wonder if it’s this civic-minded but fun-loving Chamber that’s responsible for keeping the “rock!” in Blowing Rock. Their vibrant town is known for its awesome year-round festivals. It’s a gem among the treasure trove of fabulous mountain towns in North Carolina.
In Blowing Rock, April brings not only SAVOR, but also Blowing Rock Trout Derby, a weekend fishing event for anglers of all ages. Blowing Rock also puts on a variety of small-town holiday festivals, parades, games, outdoor musical performances, and plenty more annual events, including their 4th of July Festival, Halloween Festival & Monster March, Christmas in the Park, and Lighting of the Town. Their January Winterfest is known as one of the High Country’s largest winter events and features a chili cook-off and the famous Polar Plunge into Chetola Lake.
Rock on, Blowing Rock! This is mountain living at its best! And it explains why so many people who are drawn to this town’s festivities find themselves sticking around to explore Blowing Rock real estate and other nearby Carolina mountain properties — like The Coves Mountain River Club, a gorgeous gated community in Lenoir NC just 20 miles south of Blowing Rock.
Chances are if you attended this year’s SAVOR Blowing Rock, you would have found plenty of Coves neighbors there. These folks are foodies and fun-lovers! And they can always point you in the direction of the best festivals happening in their beloved North Carolina mountain towns.
Drop in for a visit with these folks in their beautifully designed custom-built homes at The Coves Mountain River Club, and you’ll find them living in a secluded paradise surrounded by five miles of frontage along the Johns River. Here neighbors fish together from well-stocked waters, grill up their catch-of-the-day, serve it with fresh produce harvested from Isabel’s Garden, and pair it with a wine made of fresh grapes from Evelyn’s Vineyard.
At The Coves where foodie culture reigns supreme, community gardening is a popular activity. And spring is an exciting time of year at the community’s own on-site garden and vineyard. The Coves residents are busy sowing the seeds that will produce an abundant harvest of tomatoes, peppers, radishes, and greens from Isabel’s garden. And they’re tending to the Muscadine grapes that they’ll be harvesting later in the year when they’ll transform them into their own brand of homemade jams, wines, and glazes.
Locally sourcing and home-growing your own produce, wine-making, and fishing from your own back yard – these are just a few of the things that make life at The Coves a foodie’s paradise. These folks live for the sweet fall harvests, the spring food festivals (like SAVOR) and the farm-to-table dining experiences that are so popular in Lenoir, Blowing Rock, and the many charming mountain towns in North Carolina.
Are you ready to transform your own life into a mountain lover’s paradise? It all starts with your first exploration of Blowing Rock real estate and NC mountain land for sale. And we can help you with the exploring. While you’re in the area looking at Carolina mountain properties, stop by and see us at The Coves. We’ll show you our community garden and vineyard among many other amenities, as well as some of the most spectacular views of mountains, rivers, and waterfalls you’ve ever seen.
Call 828.754.0700 to schedule a visit to our stunning mountain community.
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.