Cena de Vino …or in other words, Spanish Wine Dinner!

I am thrilled to host our upcoming Cena de Vino at Rural Hill on Saturday, August 16, 2014! This will be the first wine pairing dinner of it’s kind here. I love food, and may possibly love wine even more, so I’m super excited to experience what Chef Tara and Sommelier Jordan have in store for us.

The Cena de Vino Menu:
The CENA DE VINO experience will feature five courses. The first course will be Croquetas de Jamon Serrano – Ham Croquettes. This will be followed by Gazpacho – chilled tomato soup with heirloom tomatoes, baby onions, grilled peppers, and smoked vinegar. The third course will feature Mediterranean Salad – a medley of artichokes, thin green beans, roasted red peppers, olives, and chickpeas with lemon herb vinaigrette. The main course will be Paella – a traditional rice dish with chicken, mussels, clams, chorizo, and herbs. The meal will conclude with a dessert of Flan served with berries. All courses will be paired with wine.

About Chef Tara:
Chef Tara Quinones love and passion for cooking came about as a child as she was fascinated watching her Grandfather “Papi” cook for hundreds of guests in his 75 acre summer resort in beautiful upstate NY. She is an alumnus of The Culinary Institute of America and has worked as a chef in West Palm Beach at the Four Seasons 5 Star Hotel, country clubs, as a private Chef in Boca Raton. Now in the Charlotte area, Chef Tara owns and runs her catering business and has worked as dining room manager, chef and general manager to several fine dining restaurants downtown Charlotte. It is her specialty to create custom menus designed especially for each client.

About Sommelier Jordan Wiley
North Carolina native, Jordan Wiley, has spent the past three years with European Cellars working closely with owner Eric Solomon at their Charlotte, North Carolina headquarters. Jordan studied wine with the Court of Master Sommeliers in addition to hospitality while attending the University of South Carolina. He has traveled to various winemaking regions including Napa, Italy, France, and Spain, visiting many of the properties imported by European Cellars.

About Eric Solomon, Owner – European Cellars:
As an importer, Eric Solomon is a champion of indigenous varieties and lesser known appellations with a knack for uncovering seriously delicious wines. Heralded by critics, including recognition as one of Robert Parker’s Wine Personalities of the Year, Food & Wine Magazine Best Importer, and Person of the Year at the 2008 Hospices du Rhone, Eric continues to seek out “the next big thing” and uncover the many treasures that lay hidden in the European landscape.

To make your reservations for the Cena de Vino at Historic Rural Hill, visit http://www.ruralhill.net.s

“Farm-to-Table” Rehearsal Dinner

The ever so popular, healthy and delicious way of eating fresh local foods is making a break-through in wedding foods and rehearsal dinners.  The support-the-local-farmer movement is ever rising in restaurants and with caterers nation wide giving brides many farm-to-fork options when choosing the meals they’ll offer their guests on that Big Day.  Not only do you want your wedding and rehearsal dinner guests to remember all the details that you poured your blood, sweat and tears into, you want your special weekend to show your guests who you are as a newly united couple.

Imagine the “wow” you can expect from your rehearsal dinner guests as they pull up to Rural Hill’s 265-acre farm and seat themselves in our beautiful Cultural Center venue for a farm-to-table meal from your favorite caterer that, like you,  supports the local food movement.  Trendy restaurants can certainly provide a great place for gathering all of your closest friends and family members the night before you say “I Do”, however, why not give them the opportunity to step back in time and enjoy the history, beauty and serenity that Rural Hill can offer?  Show them the Piedmont North Carolina that existed 250 years ago – because it still exists here.  And what better way to say “I support local…”?

Then and Now …The Story Behind the Cultural Center at Rural Hill

Along with the many people who know and love Rural Hill and its rich culture, there are many folks that don’t know a thing about it.  So here’s a brief summary of who, what, and when of Rural Hill and our beautiful Cultural Center.

 

In 1761 John Davidson, a blacksmith and American born son to Scottish immigrants married Violet Wilson, daughter of the wealthy Samuel Wilson.  In 1765 John purchased 250 acres from his father-in-law near McDowell Creek.  This is what formed the nucleus of Rural Hill.  Over the following 200 years Rural Hill transitioned from one of the largest and most prosperous plantations in Mecklenburg County to a small family farm.  In 1989, after 5 generations of continuous Davidson ownership, the land was sold to Mecklenburg County by Elizabeth, John Springs, and May Davidson, the last surviving direct descendents of John Davidson.  In 2011 May Davidson, the last surviving descendent of John Davidson passed on.  She left funds to be used for “building and/or maintenance of a cultural center dedicated to preserving and celebrating Scottish Heritage”.  Her generous gift enabled Historic Rural Hill to construct the Cultural Center at Rural Hill.

Ground was broken for the new Cultural Center at the Rural Hill annual “First Footin” on January 1, 2012.  The Center was dedicated during the next “First Footin” on January 1, 2013.

The Cultural Center contains the 2,000+ square-foot May Davidson Hall, a large multi-purpose space, and the Rural Hill Scottish Heritage Library.

 

Great story, right??  Not only can you experience the beauty that is Rural Hill, but the culture and history that we have to offer will truly set your event apart from all the rest!

I Heart Weddings

October 2013 at Rural Hill has been very different from years past.  Let me back up…

In January of this year we opened our beautiful new 4,000 square-foot Cultural Center.   This is no ordinary cultural center…it is a building that’s form was inspired by the lofty barns that once dotted Piedmont North Carolina’s backcountry landscape.  It has become the focal point of Rural Hill’s 265 acre farm.  This stunning barn with its modern amenities (caterer’s kitchen, granite countertop restroom facilities, etc) was erected at the end of 2012 with weddings and private events in mind.  Even though weddings were booked as early as May of this year, October has shinned a bright light on what’s to come.

October started off with me…the newest employee of Rural Hill, and three fabulous weddings booked!  Since I am directly responsible for managing the Cultural Center I happily attended all weddings, soaking in every experience.  There is so much to do and learn!  And every bride and groom is different.

Now, not only did we have wedding merriment ensuing on the weekends here this month, but we were also managing our 7 acre corn maze (or as I like to call it – our bread and butter).  Maze attendance is quite high here on the weekends and is very popular amongst folks of all ages throughout the region.  My challenge?  How to keep a bride’s dream day exactly that; all without ever noticing the hundreds of people coming and going for our full day maze.

Wedding number one this month went off without a hitch!  It was certainly an eye opener for what needed to be done however to prevent the “maze public” away from the private wedding celebration.  Changes were made, we staffed more heavily, and wedding number two went along perfectly smooth.  By the end of the month…and my personal favorite weekend… wedding number three proved to be a huge success.  Perfect weather, an outdoor bonfire (and of course s’mores), a great DJ, and lots of dancing led this bride and groom into the night of their lives.

Point of the story – fall is a great time to get married…especially here at Rural Hill!  We’re almost completely booked for Fall 2014 with only a few peak weekends remaining.  Don’t let the corn maze or any other big Rural Hill event scare you away from a wedding here.  We are the event experts and will ensure a perfect day that you’ll never forget…no matter what time of year.

Did I mention that I love weddings?  🙂  As of now we are finished with our 2013 weddings, but I’m already looking forward to March 2014 when they kick back into gear!

Please share your wedding experiences with us!  We’d love to hear from you!