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A Taste of Carolina: local wineries feature products at 10th annual festival

September 19, 2012

Weathervane Winery featured their products at the 10th Annual Taste Carolina Wine Festival.

Music and high spirits occupied a corner of North Carolina during the 10th annual Taste Carolina Wine Festival. Although situated alongside the interstate, individuals entered another piece of mind as they immersed themselves in the taste of locally-made wines and engulfing sound of country music, savoring the comforts of summer a week after Labor Day.

Wineries and businesses throughout the state filled the field belonging to Piedmont Triad Farmers Market, located off I-40 in Colfax, N.C. Sept. 15.

“My favorite part is the different wine experiences that you can have and the entertainment and the food,” said Mary Kay Darr, who attended the festival with her sisters the previous year.

Darr and her two siblings returned this year and brought their grown children and children’s friends along for the day’s event. While she looked forward to trying a variety of flavors, Darr was also excited to return to a familiar favorite, she said.

“Our favorite wine is Weathervane Winery,” Darr said. “We like sweet wine, and there wasn’t one of theirs we didn’t like.”

Although Sid Proctor, the owner and winemaker at Weathervane Winery, does not share the same taste as his customer, he said he caters to the market’s preference.

“If it were up to me they would all be dry, but people seem to really enjoy sweet wine in this area, so we make a lot of those as well,” said Proctor, who has attended the wine festival the past six years.

The festival is a good opportunity to introduce his product to a new crowd, he said.

“The reason I like the wine festival is because you get to talk to new customers and people interested in wine, and you get a chance to give them a quick education,” Proctor said.

Although William McPherson, the 2012 Greensboro Jaycee president, said he did not have the opportunity to try the wines this year, from past experience he is partial to Stonefield Winery.

“The gentleman who runs it actually has a Ph.D. in winemaking,” McPherson said. “All the wines are great, but their wines are phenomenal.”

Groups of family and friends surrounded the various booths to try each winery’s selection. While some engaged in taste testing, others reclined on the lawn and listened to the music of Evan and Dana, Chris Lane Band and Band of Oz.

Courtenay Barron, a friend of Darr’s daughter, attended the festival for the first time.  Barron welcomed the opportunity to try something new, but said she was most excited to spend time with her friend and relax.

In contrast to Barron, McPherson’s highlight of the event could not be spotted at the festival.

“My favorite part is giving back to the Greater Greensboro community,” he said.

Proceeds from the 10th Annual Wine Festival will be donated to the Empty Stocking Fund, an organization that provides holiday gifts for children who would not otherwise receive presents.

“We always have our ears open, and we’re looking for more ways to become involved,” McPherson said.

The Greensboro Jaycees is a young professional organization dedicated to developing leadership skills through involvement in community service.

Video by Melissa Kansky and Gabby Szewcow

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