The Yadkin Valley Wine Tours travel among the vineyard rows and through the dark cool of barrel cellars, letting guests get up close and personal with the wineries of the Blue Ridge Mountains foothills. Chauffeured excursions by van or bus roll along back-country roads and scenic highways and make stops at wineries along Swan Creek, Shallowford Trail, Yadkin River Trail, and others.
At each winery, the guide unveils a little piece of North Carolina's winemaking heritage, explaining why the area's grape-growing climate is considered similar to that of Burgundy and the Italian Piedmont, just with much, much more distant views of the Alps. Afterward, a wine tasting lets everyone drink in the local flavor and learn proper tasting technique. Tours often follow the themes of the season, combining wine tasting with mining for gems in the summer, taking in the changing foliage in the fall, and stops at toasty fireplaces in the winter.
FAA-certified flight instructors Doug Boyle and Todd Halver make it their mission each day to share with others the technical and liberating aspects of flying. However, the vessels they use aren't your typical airplanes. Instead, the duo leads pupils on midair treks in aircrafts that are part motorized tricycle, part hang glider, and part flying monkey from The Wizard of Oz. Some of the crafts are even able to take off from the waters of Belews Lake. Doug and Todd impart safe, efficient, and inspirational guidance on trips ranging from intro flights to flights that help participants earn their own FAA sport-pilot's license.
A lot has changed since Cash Lovell Stables & Riding Academy opened back in 1940. Since then, the facility has grown to encompass three indoor riding arenas, a full-service tack shop, and even a climate-controlled lounge with free Wi-Fi. But one thing hasn't changed: the academy's commitment to helping kids learn the value of compassion and hard work through the art of horsemanship. Lessons take place across the well-appointed facility, year-round, and illuminate students in the English riding style known as saddleseat. Suited for beginner, intermediate, or advanced riders of all ages, the courses are led by highly-trained equine specialists who are fluent in all the major horse dialects.
While not managing multiple restaurants, The Stocked Pot and Company owner and chef Don has cultivated local TV stardom by hosting a cooking show on NBC from 1986 to 2002. He later appeared on channels as diverse as Hallmark and Sundance with celebrities including Dave Chappelle and Maya Angelou. His son and on-staff wine expert, Andrew, has acquired culinary knowledge from his travels to five continents and more than 25 countries, which steeped him in local traditions, authentic ingredients, and large cauldrons of curry. The Stocked Pot's chef-taught classes cater to all ages, experience levels, and epicurean desires. Aspiring chefs can learn to roll and construct creative sushi, properly wield a knife, or cook poultry. Printed recipes, which can be taken home, help students follow along and finally learn how to spell hors d'oeuvres. A retail store stocks tools to further aid in personal kitchens.