A pomegranate wine from Lumberton and a muscadine from Mocksville were the top winners in the 2016 N.C. State Fair Wine Competition sponsored by the N.C. Wine and Grape Growers Council.

Stephens Vineyards and Winery of Lumberton won Best of Show and the N.C. Winegrowers Cup for its Pomegranate Wine. The fruit wine also won the “Best Fruit, Honey, Dessert and Other” category.

Chestnut Trail Vineyard’s Fantasia won the N.C. Muscadine Cup. The winery, which opened in 2015, is located in Mocksville.

“Chestnut Trail Vineyard’s win is a great example of the constant evolution of North Carolina wine,” said Whit Winslow, executive director of the N.C. Wine and Grape Growers Council. “Here you have a newly opened vineyard in the heart of the Yadkin Valley, known for its European varietals, that is able to produce a top-quality muscadine wine on par with other wines produced in the state.”

In addition to the two cups, best-of-category awards were presented to the following commercial wineries:
• Best Sparkling: LOT 151 by Surry Cellars, Dobson
• Best Rose/Blush: Pink Eye Rose by Owl’s Eye Vineyard and Winery, Shelby
• Best Red: Shiloh 2014 by Laurel Gray Vineyards, Hamptonville
Best White: McNeill by Cypress Bend Vineyards, Wagram

In the amateur competition, Sandy Mendenhall of Greensboro won Best of Show for her Viognier/Gris wine.

The competition had 480 total entries in both commercial and amateur categories. “We saw about a 15 percent increase in entries compared to 2015,” Winslow said. “There were 397 wines in the commercial division and 83 wines in the amateur.”

Winners will be on display in the Education Building throughout the fair, Oct. 13-23. North Carolina wine also will be available for sample and purchase at the Got to Be NC Wine and Craft Beer tasting area in the Hunt Horse Arena outside Gate 8.

North Carolina’s wine and grape industry contributes $1.7 billion to the state’s economy. The state is home to more than 180 wineries and 525 commercial grape growers. North Carolina is ranked 10th nationally in wine and grape production. More information about North Carolina wineries is available at www.ncwine.org.


Golf Digest’s Geoff Shackelford reveals his list of the 10 Best Golf Course Designs in America, and Pinehurst No. 2 made the list.

Pinehurst No. 2, Pinehurst, N.C. / Donald Ross (1935) 7,565 yards, Par 72
The design Donald Ross took from infancy to completion in his retirement years fell into disrepair during decades when architectural demands emphasized fairness. But now reflecting a desire by more golfers to tackle a somewhat-mysterious landscape, Pinehurst No. 2 again presents a series of cunning design-induced questions while never overwhelming the sandhills landscape re-exposed by Ross mentees Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. An inspiration to so many architects, everything about the Pinehurst No. 2 experience reflects the vision of its creators and shows that golf architecture does not need to be played by an ocean to elicit awe.

Mr. Shackelford prefaces his selection of golf courses for this list by saying, “Given golfers and their propensity to disagree on the merits of even the most revered masterpieces, proclaiming design perfection can be dangerous. However, these ten golf courses in their current form come as close to achieving architectural absoluteness thanks to a melding of strategic complexity, walk-in-the-park beauty, experiential purity and an overall sense of design permanence.”

Would you agree with his selections? To view the entire list, click here.

The Deuce overlooks the 18th hole of Pinehurst No. 2

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. (September 1, 2016) – For decades, golfers and guests have gathered on the veranda overlooking the 18th green of famed Pinehurst No. 2. Now, they are able to do so in The Deuce, Pinehurst Resort and Country Club’s new bar and restaurant.

Featuring a bar area that opens onto the veranda, The Deuce offers the resort’s best view of No. 2’s historic finishing hole where the game’s greatest players have prevailed, including Payne Stewart, who won the 1999 U.S. Open with a dramatic 15-foot par putt there to beat Phil Mickelson.

The Deuce provides a setting like few in the world of golf.

“Even when you are sitting inside The Deuce, you are literally a ball-toss from the 18th green of Pinehurst No. 2,” says Pinehurst President Tom Pashley. “When the windows are open, you can hear the sounds of the game, whether it’s a roar for a made putt or the groans for one that just lipped out. You feel like you’re part of the event, whether in one of the seats on the veranda, or even sitting at the bar.”

Adorned with vintage photographs and other memorabilia illustrating the storied history of No. 2, the 5,000-square-foot Deuce serves lunch every day as well as an array of appetizers throughout the afternoon and evening. Lunch includes a variety of sliders, sandwiches and wraps while appetizers will include Crab Hushpuppy Beignets, Lobster Mac’n’Cheese Croquettes, Wings, Pretzel Bites and Loaded Tater Tots.

The bar, which is open to the public, features an assortment of specialty cocktails and North Carolina craft brews, including the Pinehurst Pale Ale, brewed specifically for Pinehurst by the Highlands Brewing Company, as well as selections from the nearby Southern Pines Brewing Company.

“It’s not just typical bar food,” Pinehurst Executive Chef Thierry Debailleul says. “It’s fresh, inventive and original food, and it all comes with a spectacular view. It’s made-from-scratch cuisine in a relaxed, comfortable setting that we feel will become the best lunch spot you can imagine anywhere.”

It’s the setting and the ambiance that set The Deuce apart. With large, custom-made windows designed to open onto the veranda, The Deuce is mere steps away from the 18th green. Pashley believes the bar and restaurant will enhance the Pinehurst experience, both for patrons and the golfers coming up 18.

“I think it’s going to lend a lot of drama as a player comes up 18 because the butterflies are going to begin to stir,” Pashley says. “If you make a putt you’re going to get a roar; you’re going to light up the place. But if you’re sitting in that front bunker and you’ve got to hit a shot to the back pin, now you’re thinking, ‘All of these people are watching me, and if I hit this thin…’ It’s going to make the final hole on No. 2 that much more dramatic.

“You hope to make the putt or hit the shot because you know you’re going to get a reaction. It puts you in the shoes of what it’s like to play in the U.S. Open. You’ve got a gallery, and it will make your finish that much more exciting.”

The Deuce is a fitting end to a memorable round.

“After shaking hands after your final putt, you’ll be able to walk a few steps to begin celebrating and recalling the round you just played,” Pashley says. “There’s never been that at Pinehurst, not in this way, where there is a place designed and built for you to celebrate the golf and good times you’re having at Pinehurst.”

For media information, visit pinehurstmedia.com.