Restaurant: Mawa’s Taste of Africa

Restaurant review and photos by Hal Goodtree.

Morrisville, NC – Chicken and steak is great. I love my tilapia, tuna and tilefish, too. But where can you go for goat?

The answer is Mawa’s in Morrisville. Read more

One of Our Favorites: Crema Coffee

Story and photos by Hal Goodtree

Cary, NC – Crema is the thin layer of foam at the top of a cup of espresso. If you’re serious about your coffee, Crema Coffee in Cornerstone Plaza (corner of High House and Davis Dr) is just the place for you. Read more

Superbowl Recipe: Squeaky Cheese and Other Green Bay Treats

green-bay-food

Story by Hal Goodtree. Photographs: Cheese Curds by Ross Grady, Brat Sandwich by Seth Swain and Leinenkugel by Brian Hechel.

Cary, NC – This year’s Superbowl match between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers is epic in so many ways.

Last week, we ran a recipe for Pittsburgh’s Famous Primanti sandwich. This week, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about enjoying food the Green Bay way.  Read more

Superbowl Recipe: Pittsburgh’s Famous Primanti Sandwich

 

Story by Leslie Huffman, Photo by Kimberly Chance

Cary. NC – One more week until the big game. Yes, the Super Bowl! Born and raised in Pittsburgh, I know that nothing is more sacred to someone from the Burgh than the Steelers. And, what better to eat while watching the big game than with a famous Primanti Brothers sandwich? Here, we’ll reveal the “secret” recipe so you can make this Pittsburgh version of comfort food right here in Cary. Read more

Food: Roundup of Sushi in Cary

Story and photos by Leslie Huffman

Cary, NC – Sushi could be considered a trendy food, but I can’t seem to get enough. I find sushi to be a delectable delight both visually and to the pallet. My gal pals and I try to visit different sushi restaurants around Cary at least every two weeks for lunch and it is a favorite date night event with my hubby. Read more

Recipe: Champagne Cocktails

Story by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – The bubbly will be flowing on Friday night in Cary and across the world for New Years Eve. But whether you fancy Moet, a nice Cava or serene Prosecco, Champagne cocktails are all the rage. Read more

A Short Drive From Cary: The New Napa?

Story by Matt Young

Cary, NC – I grew up around grapes. Many of my relatives in Northeast, PA (yes, that’s the name of the town) had vineyards. When my family moved when I was a boy, I was surprised to learn that there were people that had never seen a vineyard or tasted home made wine. Standing in a vineyard is something very personal to me. I still make wine in my garage.

“We’re a short trip from the hottest wine-making region in the country and I’m going to write a story,” I told the publisher.

“You can’t expense a trip to California, Matt” he said.

“No, it’s right here in North Carolina,” I said. “An hour and a half away in the Yadkin Valley.”

North Carolina Has A Long History as Wine Country

The wine history here  in North Carolina is long.  In 1840, North Carolina was the number one wine producing state in the Union according to the U.S. Census. Over the course of a couple hundred years it was shut down and started back up for a number of reasons – some examples include The Civil War and prohibition. In the late 1990’s, land turned from tobacco to grapes. The Yadkin Valley was named as the state’s first American Viticultural Area shortly after that.

“(North Carolina) wine would be distinguished on the best tables in Europe, for its fine aroma, and chrystalline transparence.” – Thomas Jefferson

The State of North Carolina now ranks 7th in the nation in wine production. A nice history can be found at VisitNCWine.com. But the North Carolina wine and grape industry is not just muscadines, scuppernongs and sweet wines anymore. Our friends just to the west are growing the grapes and making and selling cabs, merlots, zins and chardonnays.

Making up stuff about wine. Photo by Trish Prestia.

Taking One for the Team

I planned a day-trip to Yadkin Valley – gathered up 3 other couples and my bride, we hired out a limo (about $100 a head, but it can surely be done for less). Sounds like a lot of money, but its something you may do once only every 5 years, and its what you might pay for a two-hour concert or a day at the State Fair.

Truth be told, I would have done this whether I worked with CaryCitizen or not. I chose Weathervane, Childress, Junius Lindsay, Native Vines and RayLen to visit.

Here’s the down-low in a nutshell:

Weathervane: Quaint, nice little gift shop, knowledgeable staff, informal. Tastings are $5 (you get a glass to keep).

Childress: Touristy, but great wines, huge selection and a great bistro for lunch. There was live music when we were there and a big crowd. Huge gift shop. Very knowledgable staff. Tasting are expensive at $10 and up, but you get a glass to keep. Great views.

Junius Lindsay – Small, outdoor tasting bar. Beautiful surroundings. Friendly staff. Wines feature Syrah and Viognier. Tastings are $5 (you get a glass to keep).

Native Wines – Very rustic. Down-home surroundings. Friendly, very informal staff.   They claim to be the first “American Indian Owned and Operated Winery in the US”. Tastings are $5 (no glass).

Ray-Len – This was my favorite, although all of the wineries had their own “personality.” Amazing, sensibly priced wines, huge vineyard and the staff was great. Highly recommended.

Of course, it wasn’t just about the wine. The scenery was beautiful. We had a lot of laughs as you can imagine. We were with good friends. We drank a lot of wine – a lot. But in small amounts over the course of 6 hours – we all had our wits about us on the ride home.

Yadkin Valley Wine Region Map

Here’s  Google Map of the Yadkin Valley Wine District. Rollover the dots to see the wineries.

View Larger Map

Feel free to email me at matt.young@carycitizen.com if you want some advice on planning a trip of your own or have a favorite NC winery to recommend. We are also interested in covering other “Short Drives From Cary.” Shoot me a line with your ideas!

“It is well to remember that there are five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend, one’s present or future thirst, the excellence of the wine, or any other reason.” – Latin Proverb