Once again, Rhett needed someone to look after the grandkids, while he made an army business trip to South Korea. Bev’s sister accompanied her the last time but she was unavailable this time and I got drafted, so after a week home from our RV trip we headed for Eastern NC. Fortunately I’d taken advantage of a few days of warm weather to winterize the RV and do a few other things to get ready for cold weather, so I was available.
Much of our traveling has been associated with visiting our kids in different parts of the country and the world, so I was looking forward to my first trip to Bragg and this area. Ft. Bragg is located adjacent to Fayetteville, NC, which is about 60 miles south of Raleigh and about halfway between Charlotte and the Atlantic coast. The fort is named for Confederate General Braxton Bragg and it covers over 251 square miles (650 km2) in four counties (it’s roughly 22 miles long by 11 miles wide). Like most military bases, it has many units housed here, but it is primarily known as the home of the US Army Airborne Forces, Special Forces (Green Berets), and Delta Force. The post has also taken over the adjacent Pope AFB and it’s now their army airfield. In his new job, Rhett had to become a jumper and said it’s just not natural to jump out of a perfectly good airplane – I could not agree more – but he’s made six jumps and is still walking upright so I guess he’s learning how.
This day the weather called for some rain, so we put off some of our other plans and went winery visiting instead – one of Bev’s favorite things to do. Surprisingly to me, there are several wineries in NC, with the ones in this area seemly committed to making wine from the native grape that grows well here – muscadine. After a little research we discovered the oldest and largest winery in NC to be only 1¾ hours from us and since we had limited time we decided to visit just it.
The Duplin Winery, is located in Rose Hill, NC which is near, well nothing actually, and it is owned by the 3rd generation of the Fussell family – check here for more details on their story. Upon entering the winery tasting room, we were greeted by a very bubbly lady who explained things to us and then secured our tasting pourer – he was totally devoted to us.
I took a few shots around the winery and the tasting began. They offered a free tasting (unusual anymore) of 12 wines, all or mostly muscadine, then we tasted about 4 more.
We made our selections, 3 cases worth, and headed for the onsite Bistro restaurant, of course recommended by the bubbly greeter. This is the entrance to the Bistro and part of the seating.
The waiter took a shot of use at the table.
Our salads were made with some leaf and iceberg type lettuces and we both ordered the homemade muscadine, tomato, and basil dressing which was somewhat sweet but a nice vinaigrette.
We both ordered the special of chicken parmesan over penne pasta.
It was good and for a non-Italian restaurant, at a winery, in the middle of nowhere, it was probably outstanding. We got a slice of Mama Ann's Grape Hull Pie to go and ate it at home - good and unusual. Rather than just a stop-by-and-try-our-wines place, they've turned theirs into a tourist destination - brilliant business plan I thought.
We would like to have spent more time and taken some shots of the cotton tuffs along the road from the recent harvest and some of the scenery, but we were pressed for time.
Header Photo - From Wikipedia – “Iron Mike is the de facto name of various monuments commemorating servicemen of the United States military. The term "Iron Mike" is uniquely American slang used to refer to men who are especially tough, brave, and inspiring ...”
All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.
One year ago: Chicken And Dumplings
Two years ago: Crappie With Brown Butter Prosciutto Caper Sauce