Our Wine Tonight – 2015 Tenshen Red

Our wine tonight is the 2015 Santa Barbara County Red Wine.

Deep purple in color.

Opens nicely with 60 minutes of decanting.

Bursting of fruit on the nose, black cherry, black plum, wild blackberry, and eucalyptus.

Same fruit flavors on the tongue, plum, black cherry, blackberry, spiced rum and coke, fading to a lingering finish of prune, fig, mint, and spice.

Varietals: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvédre, Petite Sirah & Merlot

Winery Escapade scoring on the American Wine Society twenty point scale.

Appearance: 3 Aroma: 5 Taste: 4.5 Aftertaste: 3 Impression: 2

Total: 17.5 – Gold Medal worthy!

15.5% ABV

Priced at $25 a bottle.

Winemaker: Joey Tensley


Farm to Table Wining…..

Farm to Table Dining. It’s all the latest rage. Every city boast chic restaurants promoting farm-to-table dining. A social movement focusing on food sourced directly from local farms. Sounds great right? However, as the key criteria is locally sourced, wouldn’t you agree locally produced wines should also be offered? We think so. Who wouldn’t want an excellent wine produced from a local vineyard paired with their farm-to-table meal? Keep it local right! Putting aside all romantic notions, a vineyard is every bit a farm. The larger majority of our local vineyards in the Southeast are family owned small businesses.

Josh Jones of CityScape Winery in Pelzer, South, Carolina, said that currently both Saskatoon Steakhouse and Kitchen Sync restaurants in Greenville are offering CityScape wines on their menus. We are further aware of restaurants in North Carolina offering locally produced wines. So it’s not unheard of, we just need to encourage chefs to consider locally produced wines the same as they do with locally grown foods.

So the next time you’re dining farm-to-table, ask for a bottle of locally produced wine. Let’s get this social movement growing!


Quick Reminiscing of 2018 and Looking Forward to 2019

2018 brought us many new experiences and of course several challenges. We rung in 2018 downtown Greenville, South Carolina….Yeah That Greenville!

The first few weekends took us to Morgan Ridge Vineyard and Brewhouse, Misty Creek Vineyard, Parker-Binns, and Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard.

Valentines weekend took us to Charleston and Savannah. We enjoyed a visit to view the 400+ year old Angel Tree before making our way to Deep Water Vineyard.

March brought our anniversary and a visit to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This trip offered us the opportunity to visit Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg plus a viewing of the oldest cultivated grape vine in the United States. The “MotherVine” located in Manteo is known to be 500+ years old. This scuppernong still produces grape today.

In May we hosted the inaugural Palmetto Wine Competition at the historic Belmont Inn in Abbeville. We’re proud of the event and thankful for the opportunity to promote the South Carolina wine industry.

The summer months brought visits to the Yadkin Valley, Upper Hiwassee Highlands, Eastern Tennessee, and to many of our local favorites.

October we were blessed with a visit to Highlands, North Carolina and a stay at The Old Edwards Inn. We were lucky to have the Sommelier give us a tour of the wine cellars.

Christmas brought us another opportunity to visit Charleston where we experienced a gorgeous Christmas Eve sunset on the beach at Isle of Palms!

Yes, this post skips right by so many fun times and visits to so many awesome places. Our resolution is to better promote all of the amazing small businesses and destinations for which we are fortunate to visit. We remain thankful for our family and friends, and for your continued support of our blogs Winery Escapades and Our Wine Tonight.

Here’s to a healthy, prosperous, and happy 2019.


Jenni and Dennis

Seven Jars Distillery….& Winery…..& Brewery – Charlotte

We were intrigued seeing a Charlotte urban winery pop up on the VinoWine app. However our initial research led us to believe it only to be a store selling kits for home brew and winemaking. A closer look revealed something of greater interest, a winery, brewery, and distillery all rolled up in one! The story of Seven Jars starts during prohibition times. The families Father, Frank Ratcliffe, operated a popular Charlotte Social club. There’s a long background story, though we’ll encourage you to visit and hear the entire story for the full effect. Long story condensed, Frank was a well-known bootlegger serving his homemade booze in a private upstairs room above the dining room! Seven Jars is “legally” keeping the family legacy! The winery and brewery exist in the back of their store which does indeed sell supplies one would need to home brew or produce homemade wine. For only $15, we got the full tour and background story along with a taste of their wines, beers, and spirits. I believe to have counted 15 wines and 4 beers available. The wines of course are kit wines, but they were able to tell us from where the juice originated, mostly from the West Coast.

We then moved next door to the distillery.

The distillery produces rum, vodka, and whiskey’s. First we tasted the rum and then the pickleback vodka, of which we brought a bottle of back home.

We also sampled the apple pie whiskey and the rye whiskey. Lastly we sampled the whiskey smoked with applewood chips to enhance the flavors. Seven Jars is blending their own “shrub” for mixing and will soon offer their signature Bloody Mary mix. Check their website for a free downloadable recipe book.

Don’t fret…The bourbon is in the barrels. Sign up for their email list and you’ll get all the forthcoming scoop.

This one is a must in the Charlotte metro area, just a few minutes from mid-town. Can’t go wrong with this trifecta, Seven Jars Distillery, Winery, and Brewery!

A Few Things We Love About South Carolina Wineries!

As natives of South Carolina, allow us to share a few things we love about South Carolina wineries.

We love Pinot the pig, fun gatherings, and award winning wines at CityScape Winery in Pelzer.  

We love the annual Harvest Festivals and Pack the Porch festivals at Enoree River Vineyard in Newberry. So much fun!

We love hard apple cider and those hot apple cider donuts at Windy Hill Orchard and Cidery in York.

Love visiting Deep Water Vineyard on Wadmalaw Island outside of Charleston for a wine tasting, and walking next door for tasting at Firefly Distillery.

Love an after dinner visit to Old Rock Quarry Winery in Enoree. Feels like visiting old friends and hanging in their backyard drinking sweet homemade wine.

Pam loves drowning the cat at Cats Paw Winery in Rock Hill. Jenni loves the wine bottle gun opener!

Love a glass of estate grown European Vinifera wine and lunch from the café enjoyed on the terrace at Victoria Valley Vineyards in Cleveland. Love the Vine to Wine tours at Mercer House Estate Winery in Lexington. Five vineyards, five scenic ponds, 2 creeks, on a one mile walking path. Have a glass while exploring nature!

Love a tasting at Boardwalk Winery and Carolina Vineyard Winery when visiting the Grand Strand.

Love Open House the first Saturday of every month at Wandering Bard Meadery in Mauldin.

Love the estate grown French-Hybrid varietals at Wellborn Winery in the Woods up in Travelers Rest.

Love the fresh fruit wines produced at Lazy Bear Winery in Easley.

Love enjoying a bottle in the barrel room at Island Winery on Hilton Head Island.

We absolutely love hosting the Palmetto Wine Competition at the historic Belmont Inn in historic Abbeville.

Love the original Palmetto Signature Six. Six award winning wines produced entirely from South Carolina grown fruit.

Love so many of the award winning wines produced and bottled in South Carolina.

Palmetto Wine Competition’s award winning Best in Show; Raspberry White Zin from CityScape Winery.

Palmetto Wine Competition gold medal lineup!

A few more of our favorite South Carolina wines!

How about setting out to visit all of our South Carolina wineries! All of our South Carolina vineyards and wineries are locally owned small businesses. Cheers!

Your Household Guide – 1951

Stumbled upon the most interesting book tucked away in our hall bookshelf. This guide published in 1951 is full of long lost wisdom.

Thought it’d be interesting to share a few.

My comments in italics.

– To keep cookies fresh and crisp in the jar, place a crumpled tissue paper in the bottom.

* * *

– To cut a fresh cake use a wet knife.

* * *

– Cool a freshly baked cake away from drafts, as a draft can cause your cake to fall.

* * *

– An apple cut in half and placed in the cake box will keep the cake fresh several days longer.

* * *

– Leftover rolls: Place a pan of water in the bottom of the oven when you reheat rolls or biscuits. The steam from the water will rise and make the bread taste fresh and soft as the day it was baked.


– Plant radish and cucumber seeds together to keep bugs off cucumbers.

* * *

Note we don’t recommend the below just found it interesting as we had no earthly idea what was Paris Green.

– To kill worms on cabbage, take one teaspoon Paris Green and 9 parts of flour and dust on cabbage.

* * *

– Tiny seeds are easier to plant in an even row if sprinkled from a salt shaker.


– For rats and mice place sulphur where they run as they won’t run through sulphur.

* * *

– Gum camphor will keep away ants. Now can someone tell us what Gum Camphor is?

* * *

– Chiggers: A simple remedy which usually kills the chigger after the first application is kerosene oil and table salt, equal parts. Seriously…kerosene oil?

* * *

– Hot alum water will destroy insects.

Had to google ” alum water.”

* * *

– Store apples with potatoes. This will keep the potatoes from sprouting. One apple to every 4 potatoes.

* * *

– Make sauerkraut when the moon is new until the first quarter, and the juice will stay on until it is used. Huh?

* * *

– To label jars of food, write on the jar while it is still hot with a bright colored crayon. We really take sharpies for granted!


– When you wash baby’s bonnet, fit it over an inverted bowl to dry. Helps the bonnet hold its shape.

* * *

– To whiten laces, wash them in sour milk. Why sour milk?

* * *

– A slice of lemon in the water in which clothes are boiled will make them whiter.


– A small cork glued to the side of your sewing machine drawer or box, makes a convenient holder for your thimble. Wine bottle cork? We could hold a lot of thimbles!

* * *

When needles have become rusty and seem unfit for use, rub up and down in earth and they will be like new. Uh…,earth?

* * *

– String your pearls with dental floss.


– Place an egg in a pan of water. If fresh, it will lie on its side. If a few days old, it will tilt upward. If stale, will stand on end. If very old, it will float. No “use by” dates!

* * *

When peeling onions, put a slice of bread in your mouth. I assume to prevent tears but it doesn’t really say….

* * *

– Rub scissors with butter to cut marshmallows.

* * *

– Onions will not make the eyes water if scalding water is poured over them before they are peeled. Surely it means scalding water over the onions and not ones eyes, which the latter would surely make the eyes water!

* * *

– Spinach may be the broom of the stomach, but sauerkraut is the vacuum cleaner. Okay then!

* * *

– Candles last longer if placed in the refrigerator for a few days before using.

Honey, are we having candles for dinner?

* * *

The blade of a knife passed though a flame will slice bread more smoothly than a cold blade.

* * *

– When scalding a chicken add one teaspoon of soda to the boiling water. Then the feathers will come off easier and the flesh will be clean and white. No not soda pop!

* * *

To make the address plain on a parcel post package use a matchstick instead of a pen.

* * *

– To make old popcorn kernels pop, put in jar with one tablespoon of water for two weeks, then it will pop.


Slice bananas with a silver knife, they won’t turn dark.

* * *

– Do not wash eggs before storing, as water destroys the protective film that keeps out air and odors. Which leads us to this informative read about the difference in processing of eggs in Europe vs. in the U.S.A

Time Savers

– A pan of cold water placed in the oven will cool it off quickly.

* * *

– To ripen bananas quickly, peel and place in oven 350 degrees for 10 minutes.


– A pitchfork is better than a hoe for uprooting grass.

* * *

– A drop of sulphuric acid on dandelions will cause death of the roots.

* * *

– Mix coffee grounds with dirt to set geraniums in. Increases growth and bloom.

* * *

– Use a pan of clean, dry sand as a storage place for small garden tools. This will retard rust.

Now my most favorite helpful household hints from 1951

If the accident is serious, SEND for a physician at once.

– To make geraniums bloom, use bloody chicken water. What???

Apparently Brandy is very helpful as an antidote for poison

Check out the phone numbers in the back advertisements

Hope you have enjoyed as much as I did. Some wisdoms of yesteryear have certainly been lost in time.

Rock & Rail – Jones von Drehle Vineyards

Our wine tonight is the 2012 Rock & Rail from Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery in North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley.

A Boudreaux styled estate blended table wine

Floral nose, medium bodied, lingering flavor notes of black cherry.

AVA: Yadkin Valley

Winery Escapade scoring on the American Wine Society twenty point scale.

Appearance: 3 Aroma: 4 Taste: 4.5 Aftertaste: 3 Impression: 2

Total: 16.5 – Silver Medal worthy!

Awards: Multiple Silver & Gold

12.5% ABV

Priced at $24 a bottle.

Ships: Multiple States via Wine Direct

Villa Rosa – Burntshirt Vineyards

Our wine tonight is the Villa Rosa from Burntshirt Vineyards in Hendersonville, North Carolina. A sweet red blend table wine.

Soft nose of plum and jam

Ripe blueberries on the tongue

Lingering finish of coffee and chocolate

Personal scoring on the American Wine Society twenty point scale.

Appearance: 2.5

Aroma: 4.5

Taste: 5.5

Aftertaste: 3

Impression: 2

Total: 17.5 Silver Medal worthy!

13% ABV

Priced at $20 a bottle.

Ships: Multiple States via Vino Shipper

Winery Escapade – Weekend 46 of 2018

We started our weekend off with the first ever wine club pickup party at Parker-Binns Vineyard and Winery. The party was held in the barrel room of the newly constructed production facility and featured live music, light hor d’oeuvres, and a glass of wine of your choice.

Justin, the winemaker, spoke about making of the wine and expanded upon how 2018 was a challenging year for the grape harvest. Bob, who owns Parker-Binns along with his wife Karen, spoke about future plans and offered an overview of the new equipment in the wine production facility and also reminisced a bit about the wineries journey. One highlight from Justin was how excited they were for future vintages of the estate grown Petit Manseng. The evening ended with a serving of scrumptious cheesecake with a copious drizzling of their special port wine.

Saturday we met our friends Will and Pam at Baker Buffalo Creek Winery. The weather was perfect for sitting outside and enjoying excellent wine and catching up. As always, another fun filled day with our great friends.

We enjoyed several wines though the highlight of the day was the seasonal Merry Berry. A grape cranberry Holiday blend.

Will and I took a stroll down to the old farmhouse. I took the first picture below and Will shot the second.

Sunday Jenni and I drove up to the Biltmore Estate as we needed to renew our annual passes. We scheduled our Christmas candlelight tour for 7 pm and headed over to the winery. We enjoyed our complimentary glass of wine in the wine club members lounge and with a little more time to kill enjoyed a tasting and browsed the gift shop.

I won’t bore you with all our Biltmore House pictures, but only a large sampling of a few of my favorites.

If you’ve yet the opportunity to visit the Biltmore House for a Christmas candlelight tour, we highly recommend the experience.

Jenni and I remain very thankful for the support of our blogs, wineryescapades.com and ourwinetonight.com.

We sincerely wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope to see you at a local winery soon!


Announcing The 2019 Palmetto Wine Competition

Jenni and Dennis Turner of WineryEscapades.Com officially announce the 2019 Palmetto Wine Competition will be held May 7th, 2019 at the historic Belmont Inn in Abbeville, South Carolina.

Planning for the 2019 state wine competition is ongoing and further details will soon follow. The 2018 competition awarded 38 medals amongst entries from nine South Carolina wineries.

The 2019 competition will award medals in categories of muscadine, bunch grape, fruit wine, mead, and cider. A highly qualified panel of judges bringing a wealth of knowledge will judge the wine entries by blind tasting. An awards gala sponsored by the South Carolina Winery and Grape Growers Association that same evening will crown and celebrate the award winning wines.