Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Raleigh Tourists, Part II

The first stop on this post actually happened the day before when we went to Chapel Hill but I felt like breaking it up. You're welcome! As you know, I am a wine lover. I also like finding and trying local wines and wineries when I'm in a new city. North Carolina has a bustling wine country but the most concentrated area of wineries and grape growing is in the more central and western parts of the state. In all my research, I found exactly 1 winery that was less than 30 minutes from my sister's house.

Chatham Hill is an urban winery in Morrisville, NC. We were a little unsure of where it was exactly because it's in a business park with no grapes around. Quite unorthodox. Once inside (where I didn't take a single picture!), we were pleasantly surprised. They had a tasting bar, retail area, and large open room with tables and chairs. We had the pleasure of having our tasting guided by the owner as we were the only ones in there on a Monday. Chatham Hill grows their grapes elsewhere but all the wine is made and stored onsite.

For $8/person, you got the tour (brief but informative), 6 tastings and the souvenir glass. We enjoyed several of their normal varieties but they also have a number of fruit wines. These were pretty syrupy, sweet and we didn't buy any of those. We did purchase both their Christmas Red and Christimas White and a bottle of Pinot Grigio to bring back to Ohio with us. The Christmas Red also came with a mulling recipe that was delicious. Really looking forward to sharing that with fellow wine drinkers this season.

If you're in the area, this is a good way to kill an hour and try some local wine without having to drive a few hours out of the way.

On Tuesday, we had other cultural things in mind. We decided to check out the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. The museum is open from 10-5pm Tuesday through Sunday, and a little later on Friday nights. Admission is free but they have rotating exhibits to tour for an extra fee. While there, they were running one on Edvard Munch (The Scream guy) and a Still-Life one. I'm sure these were lovely but at $18/person, we opted to tour only the free, permanent collection.

There was a sizeable contemporary and modern art section but this wasn't my jam. I much prefer the Renaissance and older paintings. While I can appreciate a modernist point of view, if it looks like I could have painted it, it doesn't impress me much. The museum also boasts a large Rodin sculpture garden.

Those are just two of probably 15 statues outside. There is also a trail/greenway behind the museum that has various pieces of artwork along it. This thing was HUGE and composed of wood and graphite.

I zoomed in on this tree so I didn't get to read its placard but my guess is the medium is some sort of aluminum.

And because I really liked my outfit this day. Here's one of me! The cowl tunic is from Target. I'm always looking for tops to wear over my leggings and boots. If I had enough options, that would be my everyday uniform.

The museum has two separate buildings housing their collection but both were easy to get around and not far from each other. I would recommend the museum as a good way to spend a couple hours. We are typically speedy museum people opting not to read every single description but we still spent a good amount of time there.

We also ventured to the Farm Market in Raleigh after the museum. I didn't take any pictures there but even in November they had lots of fresh produce for sale. We ate lunch at the southern style restaurant onsite and I succumbed to the fried chicken on the menu. It was fatty, and worth it. The Art Museum had a restaurant but my experience with museum restaurants is that they are often overpriced so we passed on that.

A great day in a new city!

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