Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ft. Bragg Visit - Winery Visit

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



  1. Hi There, So you have been 'on the go' again... Sounds like fun... AND--your visit to the winery and dinner there must have been nice...

    Been warm here --but the rains/cold temps are coming.

  2. I live right in the middle of Oregon's well known wine country and love to go tasting. Free tastings are a thing of the past around here. But even with that it's a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I don't have to drive more than 5 miles to be at 3 of the best wineries in the state. My little farm town is becoming a tourist destination.

  3. Larry, Cute place... Laurie loves finding little wineries like this, sampling the wines and then something to eat. It's usually a warm and friendly experience. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  4. We've never visited Ft. Bragg and need to put it on our travel bucket list. Our son and family live in Chapel Hill, NC, so it would be a nice place to see! The winery sounds great!

  5. I suppose free tastings = a large tasting room. Lots of folks can gather around that counter. Plus, I can't remember a winery I've visited that has bar stools at the tasting area. Usually you just stand. I'd love to visit that place.

  6. Wow. looking amazing. The world of wine is a wonderful world of flavors, food pairing, vintages, grape varieties, growing regions and fun. It brings on laughter, camaraderie, sharing, good times, mellow times and friendship.


I appreciate and enjoy your comments