The Great Jen-Nis Weekend Winery Escapades

JenNis Beverage Marketing! Marketing the Craft Beverage Industry.

My birthday weekend so my gorgeous wife planned a weekend of craft brewhouse tours and tastings up in the area of Cornelius/Davidson/Lake Norman, North Carolina. Our close friends Will and Pam live in the area and are local brewery knowledgeable so big thanks to those two for guiding us on our local craft brewhouse tour! We always have great fun hanging out with these guys!

First Stop, Eleven Lakes Brewing in Cornelius. Named for the eleven lakes along the Catawba River.

Next stop at the nearby Ass Clown Brewing Company. They’re slogan is “Drink one, don’t be one.” Ass Clown first opened in 2011 so they’ve certainly been around a while. The t-shirts are most cool and worthy!

Jenni and I enjoyed a flight. The Dark Chocolate Sea Salt was my favorite.

Third stop was certainly my fav of the day. Primal Brewery is a larger operation with plenty of inside and outside sitting. Most recognizable by the totem carving proudly serving roadside notice of their location.

Located in Huntersville, Primal offers a great location to hang out with friends and enjoy some real good beer! Here we enjoyed another flight with my favorite being the Not So Harry Porter. The best T-Shirt though most certainly was for the Grim Creeper IPA.

Keeping the fun going, we next rolled into King Canary Brewery Company. This brewery just recently opened in Mooresville.

Final brewery stop of the day…..thank goodness…….was the awesome D9 Brewing. They have a really nice outside area and a food truck serving up some fine grub. A nice crowd was gathered to enjoy the day.

We ended our day of beer tasting fun with dinner at Sabi Asian Bistro in Davidson enjoying a really good bottle of White Peach Saki. Saki so good!

After a good nights rest, we all met up downtown Davidson at The Famous Toastery for brunch. I enjoyed a huge omelette and an Irish Coffee.

Keeping with our beer tasting weekend, after brunch we all drove an hour up to Morgan Ridge Vineyards and Brewhouse in Gold Hill. We all enjoyed a wine tasting and later a bottle outside overlooking the gorgeous grounds.

Keeping the promise of my birthday card, my gorgeous wife bought me a six pack of the Morgan Ridge Caramel Coconut Cream Ale for my enjoyment at home.

Thoroughly enjoyed our local craft brewhouse tour and we’d love to hear your recommendations? Leave us a comment and we’ll do our best to check out your favorite.

July 20, 2018


July 6, 2018

July 4th, 2018 was opening day for Wellborn Winery in Travelers Rest, South Carolina. We had waited in anticipation and it was great to see Tony and Debbie enjoy their grand opening celebration. A good crowd showed up and all in all the entire opening day was a huge success!

Tony and Debbie have done a great job with the property. A comfortable patio just outside the cozy tasting room offers tables to sit and relax. Several others tables are scattered about the property and overlooking the small vineyard.

Wines are crafted from French Hybrid and muscadine grapes grown in the estate one acre vineyard and also locally sourced from neighboring vineyards and farms.

Wellborn won a total of five medals in the 2018 Palmetto Wine Competition with the Woodsy White winning a gold. Several wines have also won medals in amateur competitions in Florida.

After enjoying the festivities and of course some award winning wine, we said our goodbyes and headed toward Tryon. We were excited to check out the construction progress at Mountain Brook Vineyards.

The construction didn’t hinder the crowd who were enjoying the musical talents of Bren Sams.

It was fun to sit with Carroll and Bren (during her short breaks between sets). We enjoyed moments chatting with Vickie, winemaker Liz, and even saw David Murphy who was one our head judges in the Palmetto Wine Competition. The views remain gorgeous even through the construction.

Our Forth of July first date tradition is watching the fireworks display from downtown Spartanburg. Arriving early to secure a good spot and thereby finding some time to kill, We meandered over to the AC Marriott and enjoyed something refreshing.

Finished our Independence Day fun with a great view of the patriotic fireworks display!

Happy Weekend Wining!

Once again afforded the opportunity to visit Dollywood free of charge by Jenni’s employer, of course we’re making a winery escapade weekend out of it.

Friday afternoon drove a little out of our way to visit Goodwater Vineyards in Mosheim, Tennessee.

Goodwater is a family owned and operated vineyard, with 25 acres under vine. Growing Seyval Blanc, Chardonnay, plus Noble and Magnolia Muscadine.

The Seyval Blanc was light, crisp, and refreshing. We took a bottle back to enjoy at our hotel.

Friday evening after setting in at our Sevierville hotel, we grabbed some dinner at the Applewood Farmhouse Grill. We headed over to the Island in Pigeon Forge.

First we stopped at Bootleggers Homemade Wine.

Then made our way to Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine. What a fun place, tastings are $5 but you receive a coupon for $5 off a bottle.. ..which no doubt you will purchase at least one.

Tish was our moonshine server and trust us, she was very entertaining.

Saturday after a late start and a very good breakfast buffet at Reagen’s House of Pancakes. We started our day at Tennessee Legend Moonshine. This was one of the better moonshine distilleries which we’ve visited. The flavored moonshines are exceptionally good.

We then trekked over Hillside Winery which we had visited last year. We last year really enjoyed the Vino Russo and couldn’t pass up bringing another bottle home with us. The labels are also really cool, featuring either a dragonfly or a butterfly.

We spent the rest of Saturday at Dollywood and enjoyed several of the shows.

Except before heading back to the hotel, we ventured over for tasting at Thunder Road Distillery. I was able to check out the shine in one of their tanks.

Sunday we headed over to Gatlinburg before heading home. Despite pour rain, we were able to enjoy tastings at Gatlinburg Wine Cellars, Tennessee Homemade Wines, Sugarland Cellars, and Doc Collier Moonshine. Of interest was the Cotton Candy wine at Gatlinburg Wine Cellars and the Buckeye Moonshine at Doc Collier.

If it’s been awhile since you last visited Gatlinburg – Pigeon Forge then we’d highly recommend a visit soon. The wineries and distilleries certainly add to the charm of these mountain tourist towns.

Cheers!

The below article is a combination of writings with the main parts written by Jenni and Dennis’ musing in italics. We thought it’s be fun to present this way.

Wine dinner pairings are at their core are an intrinsically social event. Perhaps a simpler way to state would be just to say they are really, really fun! Pairing wine with food brings out depths of flavor in both the wine and in the food. In such a pairing when both the dinner and the wine are of exceptional fine quality, something special, and delectable is created.Monday night Dennis and I were privileged to get to attend Mountain Brook Vineyards’ first wine dinner with the new owners, Vickie and Jonathan Redgrave. They selected Luna del Sol in Lake Lure as the restaurant venue. This is the most quaint and fun hidden gem I believe in Lake Lure. We were supposed to start out on the beautiful patio but Mother Nature had other plans so the pre-appetizers were moved inside to their “oh so cute” bar area along with the lovely song stylings of Bren Sams. They have some of the funniest signs all over the bar area. Below is a picture of just one of my favorites.

We enjoyed a wonderful peach sangria that Vickie made and then a sampling of their Pinot Grigio with some Bruschetta.  There was also a lovely salmon with capers but as I am not much of a salmon fan, we relied on the many other guest whom enjoyed the salmon and proclaimed it was very good. We guesstimated a crowd of about forty joined us in enjoying this fabulous dinner with wine pairing.

The restaurant is a true hidden gem with multiple personalities, nestled in the lower level of the Apple Valley Market. Certainly not fitting the personality of upscale, though the outside patio could certainly pass that test. The bar area is quaint and unassuming, with the most hilarious bar signs typical of a neighborhood tavern. A more formal dining room is adjoining the bar. Chef Bruce and Tina are the proprietors and they certainly understand customer service. Just browse the numerous online reviews for confirmation.

We moved into the main dining room that is simply gorgeous. We started out with prawns over fettuccine with lemon, garlic, butter, chardonnay appetizer paired with Mountain Brook’s oaked Chardonnay. I am generally not a Chardonnay fan, but I absolutely enjoyed this combination very much.

Mountain Brook Vineyards has long been one of our favorite local wineries. The fact that new owners Vickie and Jonathan Redgrave want to take it to the next level is extremely exciting. Vickie told a story about when they were considering the purchase of Mountain Brook, they invited well respected winemaker Mark Friszolowski to evaluate the wines. Mark assured them, “these wines are good.” I imagine that is all the assurance the couple needed to convince Mountain Brook Vineyards winemaker Liz Pickett to stay on board. We certainly and wholeheartedly agree with Mark, the wines are good……really good!

Winemaker Liz Pickett

All of the wines are made and bottled at Mountain Brook Vineyards in Tryon. The very talented winemaker, Liz Pickett, does a fantastic job with all aspects of wine making and the night’s pairings were eloquently superb.

We moved onto the main course which was a perfectly cooked filet mignon with a cabernet demi glaze reduction, yukon gold potatoes , parsnip mash and haricot verts which was paired with Mountain Brook’s amazing Cabernet Sauvignon. Dessert was a yummy chocolate ganache with raspberry coulie paired with their Savor, a savory port style wine. A surprise wine, the Petit Verdot was generously shared as the nightcap. Regretfully, I was too busy eating, enjoying the wine, and socializing to take pictures of the plates. Just know that not only was it divine, it was also gorgeously presented!

Highlights: The Cab Sauv, slightly oaked, paired well with the steak and the Savor port paired with the decadent chocolate ganache was simply to die for!

Here’s to hoping for continuing dinner with wine pairings from Mountain Brook Vineyards and Luna del Sol. When visiting either, trust your GPS. A fun time was certainly enjoyed by all. Here’s to all the staff of Luna del Sol and also everyone from Mountain Brook Vineyards. Congratulations, your first wine dinner pairing was a resounding success. Cheers!

Jenni and Dennis

Wine Local!

WineryEscapades.Com

We thought it’d be fun to share pictures of our favorite local winery animals. Most small local wineries have an animal or two, a mascot if you will. These animals are most certainly part of the charm of these craft boutique vineyards and wineries.

Without further ado, we present………

Pinot the Pig – CityScape Winery – Pelzer, SC (Photo Credit: Josh Jones)

Henry the Peacock – Catawba Farms Vineyard – Newton, NC

Cooper – Mountain Brook Vineyards – Tryon, NC (Photo Credit unknown, used with permission)

LuLu – Parker-Binns Vineyards – Mill Spring, NC

Buddy – Shadow Springs Vineyards – Hamptonville, NC

Buddy is 17 years old and deaf by the way!

Stiv @ – Russian Chapel Hills Winery – Columbus, NC

Bruno – Brandon Hills Vineyards – Yadkinville, NC

Brownie the Goat – Deep Water Vineyards. – Wadmalaw Island (Charleston), SC

Maggie, and Tipsy always greet guest arriving at Enoree River Vineyards in Newberry, S.C.

Merle (Merlot) and Bear – Misty Creek Vineyards – Mocksville, NC

Bear getting attention from our friend WillMax and Shamus – OverMountain Vineyards – Tryon, NC.

Shamus chillin’ in his favorite chair..

Max relaxin’ on the patio (Photo credit: Belinda King)

Chloe guarding the vines @ Jones Von Drehle Vineyards In Thurmond, N.C.

At our Winery Escapades homestead, we have two; Miss Bella Rose our Dalmatian and Leo our Speagle -Spaniel mix rescue.

First Bella and playing in the snow

And Leo our Springer-Spaniel Beagle mix rescue.

As our tribute to a really awesome dog we just met at Parker-Binns Vineyards, meet Cuma! Cuma is ill and his wonderful pet parents are taking him on a bucket list of adventures. He was such a sweet dog with a beautiful soft coat. Pray for Cuma!

Keep it going! Please share with us your favorite pictures of your beloved pets or favorite winery animals. Cheers!

Mountain Brook Vineyards sits beautifully nestled in the foothills of Tryon, just minutes from the Tryon International Equestrian Center. The current tasting room sits high atop the vineyard property and offers dramatic mountain views looking over the four vineyards.

New Owners, Vickie and Jonathan Redgrave recently shared with us thier grand vision for Mountain Brook. The couple, managing partners of the data discovery and security legal firm of Redgrave LLP, found themselves living at Lake Lure partly as a compromise. Jonathan, a native of Asheville, wanted a mountain home. Vickie, a lake home. Once the couple was settled in their new home on Lake Lure, they started a search for property in the area to fulfill a long shared dream of owning a vineyard.

Previous owners, Dennis and Mir Lanahan, have created an award winning winery, with seven and a half acres under vine. The original root stock was planted in 2002. The current menu of seven wines have won numerous awards from competitions in North Carolina, San Francisco, and The Finger Lakes of New York. An oaked Chardonnay and a Pinot Grigio make up the whites, along with a Rosè of Cab Franc. The reds are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Magis, a Bordeaux style blend.

Winemaker Liz Pickett remains to continue producing these award winning North Carolina wines and helping guest expand upon their wine knowledge through educational events held at the vineyard.

Vickie and Jonathan share a grand vision for Mountain Brook Vineyards. Striving to develop a destination winery, building upon the existing family friendly feel by creating beautifully manicured grounds offering numerous options for outside enjoyment of their wine. The existing round tasting room is the center feature of the below concept design. The upstairs space will continue to serve as the tasting room and the outdoor patio wrapping around the building will remain for guest to sit and enjoy the gorgeous views. The downstairs will be utilized as the winery’s retail gift shop. A beautiful grass lawn with a centerpiece fountain will be flanked on each side by shaded pergola canopies. A wedding pavilion will be constructed, and the winery production facility will be expanded. The winery facility will include a classroom allowing for opportunities to teach and learn about the art and science of winemaking, from vine to bottle.

Vickie and Jonathan plan to open six days each week, while closed on Tuesday. They will feature musicians and other events weekly. Future plans are being developed for wine dinners in partnership with the Tryon International Equestrian Center. This September the Equestrian Center is host to the World Equestrian Games, and the equestrian endurance race will wind through the vineyard and right in front of the tasting room. A great opportunity for guest to participate and view the international equestrian competition.

Jonathan mentioned, that as a native of Western North Carolina, they are committed to partnering with the other local vineyards and area small businesses to enhance the Tryon Foothills as a destination for wine lovers. Having visited hundreds of vineyards together, these experiences are shaping their vision for Mountain Brook. With seventy-five acres, the long term vision will certainly evolve over time. Though for now, Vickie and Jonathan have set their existing development plans in motion with construction ready to begin in the coming weeks. We encourage everyone to get by and visit soon, as this gem of a local craft winery is being polished to shine in the Foothills of Tryon!

Last couple of weeks we ended up just staying super local because of everything we had going on. Weekend 12 was anniversary weekend for us! I’m amazed that it has already been a year.

So we started our vacation out by just getting a few errands done on Thursday. After all that was complete we decided to ride up to ParkerBinns for a little bit. Those guys are so super fun! We had a nice visit with Karen, Bob, Kelly and of course Lulu. We met a very nice young man at the winery, Scott McCormick, who is the manager of Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery in Lake Lure. Dennis & I cannot wait to go for a visit! While at Parker-Binns, we were treated to a taste of the new Chardonnay and a taste of the new hard blackberry apple cider. We enjoyed both very much and the artwork of the wineries garden on the label for the Chardonnay is beyond gorgeous! The artist is local and we’ll try to link her page. We enjoyed a bottle of the Rosé during our visit. The view is always super gorgeous at Parker-Binns.

Friday morning we left early and headed for the Outer Banks. It’s a rather long drive so we decided to break it up a tad and stop at Gregory Winery just South of Raleigh. They are predominately a muscadine vineyard with some fruit wine combinations as well as 4 fortified wines. Tasha was our server and she was so fun! You can tell she really enjoys what she is doing. Lane (the owner) came in as we were doing our tasting and spent a good deal of time chatting with us. This one is well worth a visit.

As we still had several hours on the road, we only did the tasting, but bought a bottle of the peach blend and 2 bottles of the fortified wines. Countinued on to Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks, checked in to our hotel and found dinner at Awful Arthur’s. Enjoyed a Carolina Blonde at dinner with my Gorgeous Brunette

Saturday morning we walked on the beach, it was very windy and cold.

We made our way over to the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Enjoyed a tour of the grounds and listened to Wright Brother stories from one of the park rangers. We were both intrigued by the history of the first flight stories.

As windy as it was, we see why they chose that area to do their testing. Then we drove over to Roanoke Island to set eyes on the Mother Vine. It’s amazing!

Later in the day we went to Sanctuary Vineyards. Even though this vineyard is in a sandy / beachy environment, they are producing varietals other than just muscadine. Dennis had wanted to visit here because we knew that they had a double barrel red blend that won Best in Show at the second annual awards gala of the NC Fine Wines Society. Elton was super busy but managed to share a few jokes with all of us and told us all about the wines. We met some really fun couples and a few ladies that were celebrating their friend who is getting married soon. Look forward to another visit when we can purchase more of their wines. Put This one on your list to visit every time you find yourself nearbthe OBX area.

Sunday afternoon we went to Vineyard on the Scuppernog. The tasting room is downtown Columbia though the vineyards reside along the banks of the nearby Scuppernong River. The lovely lady that did out tasting was so gracious to us. She really took pride in telling us all about the wines, the name origins and even the art on the labels. We bought a bottle of the strawberry wine, Girls of Summer, only the bottle did not make it back to Boiling Springs! traveling back to Kill Devil Hills we stopped on Roanoke Island for a tour of the aquarium on Roanoke Island. Man those sharks!

We did some other sight seeing and visited the Bodie Island Lighthouse.

Then headed North to the small OBX town of Duck for our anniversary waterfront dinner at The Blue Point. We were thrilled to see the Outer Banks Ice wine from Sanctuary Vineyards on their wine menu. Dinner was as amazing as the views!

Monday morning we headed to Myrtle Beach. Got checked in and then went to dinner. After dinner we headed over to Carolina Vineyards Winery which is located in the Barefoot Landing shopping district. The gentleman who did our tasting, Ben, had only been there for 4 days. Still, he did a super job with our tasting and was very personable. We each got a glass and then walked around the shops for a little bit. The plus about being at the beach early in the season is that it is not overly crowded.

Our vacation came to a close with a visit to La Belle Amie. Boy did we have fun there! The ladies that were doing the tasting were tons of fun! La Belle Amie is an oasis on the Grand Strand. A working vineyard providing a beautiful place to escape the crowds of Myrtle Beach and enjoy some really refreshing wine.

Sadly our coastal winery escapade came to a close. So many other vineyards and wineries remain along coast which we have still to visit. Looking forward to our next coastal trip!

Remember to wine local and follow us on Winery Escapades.

We are thrilled with the following press of the inaugural Palmetto Wine Competition from the Index-Journal in Greenwood, South Carolina. Staff writer St. Clair Donaghy attended the day’s events and we are thrilled to see included comments from several participating winery owners and our judges. Please take a moment to read the article. We appreciate your support.

Palmetto Wine Competition Article

The event was very rewarding for Jenni and I, even though it was indeed much more work than we anticipated. Finding enough wine glasses became a challenge. We settled on renting the glasses but then had to overcome the logistics of getting the glasses from Greenwood to the small town of Abbeville. Fortunately, a childhood friend of mine lives nearby and totally saved the day, delivering and returning all 12 racks of wine glasses. Each wine had to be assigned an unique number, and the proper tasting order had to be determined.

Selecting and gaining commitments from qualified judges was probably our biggest challenge. We wanted several highly trained and educated judges paired with others who had a developed knowledge and appreciation for local crafted wine. A couple of our initial choices could not maintain their commitment for various reasons. However, we feel as though we met our objective to sit a diverse group of well qualified judges.

We owe a huge gratitude to our sponsors. Our host site, The historic Belmont Inn of Abbeville, South Carolina was the perfect venue for our wine competition. The hotel was built in 1903 and maintains a relaxed elegance of years gone by. We highly recommend a visit and overnight stay. We believe that you will quickly come to love the Belmont same as we do. While there, be sure to try the Boomerang Burger in Tinkers Alley, the basement pub. This burger, with a pineapple slice and topped with pimento cheese is to die for!

Our other sponsor, The VinoWine App is our favorite winery escapade tool. No matter where you find yourself, open the app and click on the map to see nearby wineries. The app includes useful information about each winery and even reviews. The app further provides a marketplace for small local craft wineries to sell their wines. If you love wine, and traveling, download The Vinowine App and start exploring local craft wineries.

We also owe a great gratitude to The South Carolina Wine and Grape Growers Association. Without these guys, we’re mostly stuck drinking mass produced grocery store wines. Get out and visit a local winery, you can thank us later…..with a bottle of wine of course.

Congratulations to all our winning wineries.

CityScape Winery – Pelzer (Greenville County)

Wellborn Winery – Travers Rest (opening July 2918)

Abiding Vine Vineyard – Laurens

Enoree River Vineyards – Newberry

Mercer House Estate Winery – Lexington

Carolina Vineyard Winery – Myrtle Beach

Deep Water Vineyard – Wadmalaw Island (Charleston)

Island Winery – Hilton Head Island

Below are a few of the pictures I’ve collected from the inaugural 2018 Palmetto Wine Competition. Lunch prepared by the Belmont Inn’s Chef Darby was enjoyed on the veranda while listening to the smooth sounds of Alex Davis.

Next year, we’re planning a regional competition to promote the regions which we visit each weekend. Let the planning begin! We are very proud of the event and hope to encourage fellow wine lovers to get out and visit a local craft winery.

PRESS RELEASE
May 03, 2018
Re: Palmetto Wine Competition at The Belmont Inn

Dennis and Jenni Turner, bloggers of WineryEscapades.Com, hosted the inaugural Palmetto Wine Competition at The Belmont Inn in historic Abbeville, South Carolina on May 1st. The competition featured forty-four wines produced and bottled by nine different South Carolina Wineries. A panel of six highly qualified judges from many different sectors of the wine industry judged the wine entries by blind tasting. The event featured lunch prepared by Chef David Darby on the veranda at The Belmont Inn while listening to the musical talent of Alex Davis.

Fifteen Bronze Medals awarded:
Curiously White Muscadine – Enoree River Vineyards, Newberry
Carlos Muscadine – Enoree River Vineyards, Newberry
Gewürztraminer – Enoree River Vineyards, Newberry
Driftwood – Deep Water Vineyard, Wadmalaw Island (Charleston)
Low Country Red – Deep Water Vineyard, Wadmalaw Island
Harvest White – Island Winery, Hilton Head Island
Joe’s Reserve – Island Winery, Hilton Head Island
Peach – Carolina Vineyard Winery, Myrtle Beach
Malbec – Carolina Vineyard Winery, Myrtle Beach
Mango – Carolina Vineyard Winery, Myrtle Beach
Red Raspberry – Carolina Vineyard Winery, Myrtle Beach
Blackberry – Carolina Vineyard Winery, Myrtle Beach
Regale Muscadine – Abiding Vine Vineyard, Laurens
Midnight Fruit – Wellborn Winery, Travelers Rest
Berry Dessert Wine – Wellborn Winery, Travelers Rest

Eleven Silver Medals awarded:
Tara White Muscadine – Wellborn Winery, Travelers Rest
Rustic Red – Wellborn Winery, Travelers Rest
BlueBerry Jalapeno – Mercer House Estate Winery, Lexington
Raspberry Honey – Island Winery, Hilton Head Island
Peach on the Beach – Island Winery, Hilton Head Island
Pinot Grigio – CityScape Winery, Pelzer
Pineapple Riesling – CityScape Winery, Pelzer
Green Apple Gewürztraminer – CityScape Winery, Pelzer
Carolina Nights – CityScape Winery, Pelzer
Blackberry Merlot – CityScape Winery, Pelzer
Coffee Delight Dessert – CityScape Winery, Pelzer

Nine Gold Medals awarded:
¬Woodsy White – Wellborn Winery, Travelers Rest
Magnolia Muscadine – Abiding Vine Vineyard, Laurens
Cranberry – Carolina Vineyard Winery, Myrtle Beach
Blackberry – Enoree River Vineyards, Newberry
Müller Two-Goats – CityScape Winery, Pelzer
Reserve Cabernet Sauvingnon – CityScape Winery, Pelzer
Dark Chocolate Red – CityScape Winery, Pelzer
Caramel Delight (Dessert) – CityScape Winery, Pelzer

High Tide – Deep Water Vineyard, Wadmalaw Island

Three Double Golds were awarded:
Raspberry White Zin – CityScape Winery, Pelzer
Pomegranate Pinot Nior – CityScape Winery, Pelzer
Southern Passion – Island Winery, Hilton Head Island

Our Best in Show Signature Winner:
Raspberry White Zin – CityScape Winery, Pelzer

An awards ceremony will be held at a later date to present Signature Best in Show trophy to CityScape Winery in Pelzer, S.C. We remain very grateful to our sponsors, The South Carolina Wine and Grape Growers Association, The VinoWine App, and The Belmont Inn. A trophy presentation for the Best in Show Signature Winner is scheduled for May 26th, 2 p.m. at CityScape Winery in Pelzer, S.C.

One of our more daunting task for the 2018 Palmetto Wine Competition was assembling a panel of judges who were both highly qualified and also with a developed appreciation for local crafted wine. We’re beyond thrilled with this years team.

David Murphy

David serves as one of our Head Judges. He is a member of the French Broad Vignerons, a group that promotes the wine industry in Western North Carolina. David brings twenty-four hours of education for wine judges under the guidance of  AWS certified judges. He also has experience judging several regional wine competitions.

Ryan McCullough

Ryan will serve as our second head judge. He is a level two certified Sommelier and currently working toward advanced level three certification. Ryan has worked for The Sommelier Company in California and as a Wine Educator for The Fresh Market in Western North Carolina. He brings experience as a wine judge from the Miami Beach Wine and Food Festival.

Jeff House

Jeff is the proprietor of Bond Street Wines in Charlotte, North Carolina and Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is one of the most knowledgeable individuals we’ve ever met when it comes to understanding wine and specific wine regions. We visit Jeff often to expand our knowledge and appreciation of different wine regions.

AnneMarie Humm

AnneMarie is the current Chapter Chair of the Emerald City Chapter of the AWS in Greenwood, South Carolina. She is also the South Carolina Regional Vice President of the American Wine Society (AWS). The AWS is a consumer organization that appreciates, celebrates, and shares knowledge about wine.

Jennifer Aycock

Jennifer is an educator and wine blogger based just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. She and her husband Bob, are the brains and personalities behind the blog WineCarolinas. She has participated in several regional conferences aimed at promoting local wines. Jennifer brings a wealth of knowledge about our local wine region.

Bob Aycock

Bob is the other half of the WineCarolinas blogging team. Bob and wife Jennifer, tirelessly promote and soak in knowledge of the local Carolina wine region. Bob brings an astute perspective and well developed appreciation for local crafted wines.

Judging is by blind tasting and wines will be scored utilizing the American Wine Society twenty point scale. Our judges will implement the five S technique, see, swirl, smell, sip, and spit. Each wine is judged on it’s own merit, not against other wines in the competition. Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals will be awarded for eleven categories.

Accept our invitation to join us May 1st at 1:30pm at The Belmont Inn in historic Abbeville, South Carolina as we announce our award winning wines. Following we will have a meet and greet with our judges and a few of the winemakers. Look for our articles after the competition as we detail the results and promote our award winning South Carolina produced wines.