Valdosta Daily Times

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January 2, 2013

A Fall Visit to Virginia’s Blue Ridge Country

(Continued)

ROANOKE — Wine, Music, and Crafts in the Roanoke Valley

Oenophiles (wine lovers) will not be disappointed with wineries that are scattered throughout the valley. Several host special events.  During our stay Virginia Mountain Vineyards offered “Wine, Moon, and Stars,” that included food, music, an astronomy exhibit complete with telescopes, and, of course, wine. Wine tasting and music were offered on Sunday afternoon when we stopped at the Chateau Morrisette Winery near Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

Roanoke Valley is a slice of Appalachia where residents are known for arts and crafts and music rooted in bluegrass and blues. This area is also well known for the making of musical instruments. Artists from a wide area are attracted to this beautiful part of the country and galleries are scattered throughout the Roanoke Valley. The best method for viewing the work of several artists without traveling all day is to attend an arts and crafts festival. Music festivals are also prevalent.

The annual Blue Ridge Folklife Festival held each October at Ferrum College includes craftspeople making guitars, banjos, fiddles, dulcimers, and mandolins. Traditional crafts represented include broom and basket making, chair caning, quilting, knitting, and wood carving.

Those interested in music and/or crafts should check the calendar of events on Roanoke Valley’s website.  For those interested in learning or perfecting a craft, classes are offered at the Rocky Mount Center for the Arts in Rocky Mount.  Items made by local craftsmen are offered for sale.

IF YOU GO

Getting there: Roanoke, Virginia, is approximately 580 miles from Valdosta, depending on the route chosen. Include the Blue Ridge Parkway in your trip and the mileage and time required to get to Roanoke will lengthen. We chose to drive the parkway in slow motion in order to enjoy the fall foliage. A spring drive when the Rhododendrons are blooming would be equally rewarding.  Fights from Valdosta to Roanoke (via Atlanta, of course) start at around $520.

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