A week or so I was in North Carolina for work. I was at a project meeting for an international wine research consortium funded by a synthetic closure manufacturer, Nomacorc. One of the other participants has blogged about this here and here (he’s just a wee bit quicker than me at blogging).
This group has been meeting for almost three years now and many of us knew each other before the group was formed. It’s a close group and we have a lot of fun as well as work together very well.
The project meeting was held in Asheville in the Smoky Mountains at an amazing and somewhat bizarre hotel: The Grand Bohemian Hotel http://www.bohemianhotelasheville.com. Certainly grand and full of stuffed animals and light fittings made of antlers. Very hunting inspired, but luxurious as well.
The meeting program was full but included side activities to break up the serious intellectual sessions. Like a tour through the Vanderbilt’s house: Biltmore Estate .
The estate was next door to our hotel. Just 250 rooms and 50,000 hectares. Built over six years and finished in 1895 for George Vanderbilt. It is modeled on three 16th century French châteaux, so it’s a bit of a combination of styles. George was only the third son so his inheritance was no more near that of the other sons, but clearly enough to build his dream home and spend his days entertaining his guests in wonderful style.
Another day we took a hike in Chimney Rock State Park (http://www.chimneyrockpark.com)
We got to the top of this, after lunch (V= vegetarian, T = turkey, H = ham… check out the view)
We got to the top in an elevator though the rock ( how American is that!!)
And then, later, after walking down more than 600 steps. I knew all about that the next day.. and the day after wards.… we arrived at a waterfall. It was apparently not as full as it could be because it was the end of summer.
Here’s the group shot.