Weatherford Democrat

Z_CNHI News Service

October 2, 2013

Morganton, N.C., highlights outdoors, plus wine, ale and art

Chemists with a zest for the outdoors seem to be creating soft adventures for travelers in western North Carolina.

I swapped my notion of science limited to test tubes after meeting at least four chemists in Morganton, a cheerful, energetic community on Interstate 40, in between Asheville and Charlotte.

Morganton’s location between two metro areas indicates easy driving or fly-in access. It also means mountains, vast vistas, four seasons, lush grape vineyards and abundant apple orchards.

Hiking opportunities are as plentiful as daydreaming.  Table Rock in the Pisgah National Forest lured me to the top — 3,950 elevation.

But it’s the science that makes Morganton, with Bordeaux-style wines, microbrews from locally-sourced ingredients, apples of 15 varieties, and a community of pottery making and blacksmithing.

Chemical engineer Jennifer Foulides left a high-end career in New York City, choosing this Burke County land hugging the Catawba River to expand established vineyards and perfect the making of wine with her husband, Ed Wisnieski.

“We prefer chemistry to wizardry,” she says, “creating a full circle at Silver Fork Winery: growing the vines, aging wine in French, American and Hungarian barrels, bottling and then sharing in our tasting room.”

Why so named? These 32 acres produce grapes in the confluence of Silver and White Fork creeks. Organic chemistry Ph.D. Larry Kehoe planted the first five acres, now well established after 21 years.

At Fonta Flora Brewery, chemist Todd Boera altered the water in his brewing tanks to accommodate 30 pounds of figs procured locally, transporting them on his bicycle. 

This brew master oversees seven tanks in the brand-new microbrewery he developed with brothers Mark and David Bennett.

“This is farm-to-table beer,” says Mark Bennett. “We’re brewing to match the seasons and flavors of western North Carolina.”

History reigns too. Fonta Flora is real -- an African American community, submerged in 1912 with the building of a dam to create today’s water sports mecca, Lake James.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Grandstands feel a little empty at NASCAR races

    Two decades after NASCAR started running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the crowds have thinned considerably. It's probably no reflection on the sport's massive following, which stretches from coast to coast, but it surely doesn't NASCAR's image help when the cameras pan across all of those empty seats.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN