Goodboy Norman Featherstone

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Another Weekend Alone for the Pug

The People left me alone for almost the entire day this past Saturday. Buddy got to stay outside, but Woman said it was too hot for me, so I had to stay in the house. I bet Buddy was having a good time outside chasing squirrels and rolling in the grass. I was so bored! You would be surprised at how few squirrels I get to chase in the house. I have a squirrel toy, but it doesn't seem to want to play chase very often. Woman did arrange for Kari to come over and let me go potty around lunch time, but she didn't even stay and play with me, but tossed me right back into the house as soon as I was finished lifting my leg. She claimed she had a baby shower she needed to get to, but I don't know. She looked like she was lying.

While I was stuck indoors staring at an unchaseable toy squirrel for many hours, the People had a good old time gallivanting around Yadkin Valley. I'm not exactly sure what gallivanting is, but I imagine it looks a lot like skipping. I can't recall ever having gallivanted myself, but I do have a short memory. The People said it was really hot that day, so the one good thing is that while they were sweating their butts off, I was chilling at home with the a/c.

So what's Yadkin Valley you ask? Maybe this will clue you in.

chardonnay grapes at laurel gray winery

Those are grapes. But, they're not the kind you pop into your mouth. They're the kind that turn into Chardonnay! It's wine on a vine people!

The People visited 5 wineries this past Saturday. They had tastings at 4 wineries and just lunch at the 5th. Yadkin Valley is about 2 hours from Asheville, and the wineries are all pretty close to each other. There isn't a lot of food in the area though, and if there is one thing the People want when they're out gallivanting on a hot day, it's good food. You would expect most of the wineries to have a cafe, but they don't. I think they're really missing out on some cash if you ask me.

The first stop was Buck Shoals. Woman said it was only 11am when they arrived and the place was just opening up. I guess not a lot of people chug wine at that time of day.

tasting room at buck shoals winery

Woman really liked their apple and honey meads. These items aren't listed for sale on their website for some reason though. They did not get to try the Viognier, which disappointed Ian a bit.

Here is a shot of the vineyard at Buck Shoals. There was no special tour, but the People took a short stroll around the grounds on their own.

vineyard view at buck shoals winery

The People visited Laurel Gray next. The establishment is named after the son and daughter of the proprietors. Their daughter's middle name is Laurel and their son's middle name is Gray.

tasting room at laurel gray winery

Laurel Gray had the most expensive wine, but it was Woman's favorite winery. They consider themselves a "boutique", and all their crops are tended manually and wines handcrafted. The wife part of the co-owners took the People for a little tour of the vineyard and shared some interesting facts about the land and the process of growing grapes and producing wine. Woman said it was fun, and she is envious of these people for getting to play in the dirt all day.

Here is a photo of some of the vines at Laurel Gray. These vines are about 7 years old.

vineyard at laurel gray winery

Here is the patio area where you can have lunch. I guess you have to bring your own though, because there is no food for sale there!

porch view of laurel gray winery

Woman liked their Chardonnay and their dessert wine, which they call Nectar because it is so sweet.

The next stop was Raffaldini, which was the most high-scale winery on the list. These people really put a lot of effort into making the tasting room and scenery look like an authentic Italian winery.

tasting room at raffaldini winery

Raffaldini had a small food selection, but it was very pricey and rather lacking in quality. They were trying to charge $10 for some cheddar cheese. It's sad that they don't offer good food or at least decently priced crappy food, because the patio area is gorgeous. The People would have liked to have lunched out on their patio, but they wanted some real food and kept rolling on to the next stop.

tables with a view at raffaldini winery

Here is a photo of the People on the patio in front of a lovely fountain.

ian and tammy at raffaldini winery

A view of the vineyard with mountains in the background.

vineyard view at raffaldini winery

The People had lunch at Elkin Creek winery, but they did not stay for a wine tasting, because time was running short. These wineries are only open until 6pm and the People wanted to visit as many as possible!

restaurant at elkin creek winery

Woman took this cool rooster photo at the winery. Chickens and roosters run loose here. If you have a chicken phobia, don't visit this winery.

rooster at elkin creek winery

The People said the food was really good. They both had paninis, but they can't remember exactly what was on them, and Woman feels like a fruitcake photographing food in restaurants, so there are no photos.

The last winery the People visited was Grassy Creek. There are no photos of this event though, because all the vines visible from the road were barren, and since there was a wedding reception setting up in front of the tasting room, there was no way to get a good photo of it.

The People are going back to Yadkin Valley on July 26th for the Herb Festival being held by 5 wineries. At the Herb Festival, each winery creates a dish seasoned with a particular herb and serves it with a glass of wine chosen to complement the dish. Each person receives a 4" potted herb from each winery. The cost is $20 per person. If anyone in the area wants to join the People, they would love to hang out - hint ... hint.

herb festival in yadkin valley

Speaking of People who live in North Carolina, like wine and just might like to attend Herb Festival, Woman received a package in the mail from Kristie. She was so excited to open it and find one of Kristie's sweet hand-made pixie sticks! Woman has planted the pixie stick with the mint, and it looks so cute. Gah. Did I just say that? I am getting old, and I think you nice people are rubbing off on me. I need to go watch some network tv to counteract all the niceness you people throw my way.

pixie stick from kristie

In other news, Jazzy is coming to stay with me again either today or tomorrow. This is pretty exciting. Here is a photo that shows what I think of all this excitement.

norman and jazzy

Buddy is still here too. I am hoping Jazzy and I can form an alliance against Buddy and give him a little what for. We might throw some how to in there just for fun.


  • At 5:55 PM, Blogger Tami said…

    I’m sure Kari would love to know that “she looked like she was lying”. That sentence TOTALLY cracked me up!
    I had no idea there were so many wineries on N.C. I’m sure now is the time to sight see before it gets too hot ;)

  • At 5:56 PM, Blogger Tami said…

    IN N.C. NOT "on". Yes, I know it is not an island!

  • At 7:52 PM, Blogger The Devil Dog said…

    On Norman, trust me, you would not have wanted to be outside Saturday. It was WAY to hot. We pity Buddy for being in the horrible heat. You definitely had it made in the shade. As for the wineries, cool! Mom didn't know there were that many in NC. The only problem with wineries is.... mom is allergic to grapes. She's not fun, huh?


  • At 10:48 PM, Blogger rpm said…

    Norman, your people are having entirely too much fun while you are at home chilling out. But it looks as if your house is turning into the doggy drop-off for vacationers. Maybe we'll bring two pugs and and dachunds up to your house later this year while we visit the Biltmore! I bet Ian would LOVE that!

  • At 11:47 PM, Blogger Christine & Giggs said…

    Raffaldini does look very fancy! I think their building is beautiful. Sounds like a super fun day -except for Norman (insert trombone sound here).

  • At 7:30 AM, Blogger girlville said…

    wow norman, your people chose EXCELLENT wineries to visit! i'm am so very glad they had fun...did they come home with one or 2 cases? i will check my calendar to see if we can go to the herb festival as it sounds like a lot of we are low on wine ;-)

  • At 9:21 AM, Blogger Punchbugpug said…

    Norman, maybe the Woman should start a winery of her own...she could name it after YOU! You could greet and give tours...hahahaha

    Sigh....I would love to join you in the herb festival....sigh....

    I'm looking forward to our son moving to NC, so I can VISIT more often!

    I love the pixie stick....mine is planted inside right now, but will be having a place of honor in the screenroom after this weekend.

  • At 9:35 AM, Blogger Goodboy Norman Featherstone said…

    Your son is moving to NC? I did not know this. Where is he going to be living? When is this happening? I am pretty darned excited.

  • At 9:56 AM, Blogger Clover said…

    Hi Norman!
    I am really sorry you had to stay home ALONE again! It looks like your people had a super fun time though - my mom wishes she was closer to a place like that!! Thanks for sharing about their trip even though it must have made you feel even worse that you were home alone staring at your catatonic squirell.
    Love CLover xo

  • At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    HI Norman... you need to come visit us, it's still awfully cool in Vancouver, so you, Gus and Indy would have ball racing around the backyard, going for a short walk to the school to hang out with the cool kids. ;) We have chaseable squirrels and squirrel toys I will throw for you! Your parents can coem too, we have a ton of wineries in the okanogan valley!

  • At 11:23 AM, Blogger Pam said…

    That sounds like a really fun trip!

  • At 1:38 PM, Blogger Page said…

    That wine weekend your people did sounds like fun! I wanna go to the wine/herb festival!! I wonder if I can convince Rob to travel up that way in July! We could bring the pugs! Fun! I'm totally inviting myself! ;)

  • At 2:22 PM, Blogger Goodboy Norman Featherstone said…

    We would love to host you Page, and your Pugs are always welcome here!

  • At 8:58 PM, Blogger girlville said…

    norman, i hope page comes to the herb festival...tell you peeps i think we are 'in'.

  • At 8:07 AM, Blogger Goodboy Norman Featherstone said…

    Super Girlville!

  • At 10:28 AM, Blogger Nevis said…

    Poor neglected Norman.

  • At 2:29 PM, Blogger Suki Sumo said…

    Oh boy. My mom and dad would be way into neglecting me for some wineries. We should form a support group.


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