The Great Jen-Nis Weekend Winery Escapades

JenNis Beverage Marketing! Marketing the Craft Beverage Industry.

Our 100th North Carolina Winery. Woo Hoo! Back when I wrote our bio for WineryEscapades.Com,  I penned the following.

It’s safe to say our hobby has turned into an obsession. What started as a way to spend time together, has turned into a way of life.  Our ultimate goal is to promote fun at local wineries.

That in a nutshell is how this adventure began and remains our focus. Our escapades the past two years so far have taken us to visit local wineries in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, and even Florida. It has however, been in North Carolina where most of our weekend winery escapade fun has been found.

The winery industry in North Carolina has exploded. One hundred and eight-six wineries are listed in the 2017 North Carolina Winery Guide. Jack Nales with North Carolina Agriculture Department recently advised that the current unconfirmed count is at or near two hundred North Carolina wineries,  Thereso, this weekend we celebrated the halfway point, visiting for us North Carolina winery number one hundred!

We were honored to have friends join us to celebrate. Fellow bloggers and friends Matt and Joe, The NC Wine Guys, along with our winery adventure friends Will and Pam Rotz. We all enjoyed a tasting, which cost $8.00 and included about eight different wines.

Dobbins Creek Vineyards was a great choice for number 100. The log cabin tasting room sits atop Hemric Mountain offering spactacular views of the Swan Creek and Brushy Mountains of the Yadkin Valley  On a clear day, from the tasting room one can see the skyline of Winston-Salem some 40 plus miles away.

Inside the tasting room, quite a crowd was enjoying wine and warmth from the stone fireplace. The nostalgic vocals of Elegantly Altered set the festive mood.

This journey began a little over two years ago with our first winery visit together at Burntshirt Vineyards in Hendersonville. Burntshirt will forever be special to us as their Meritage was our wedding toast wine. There have been ninety-eight others in between and we have thoroughly enjoyed every weekend winery escapade. We encourage you to check our website and read about our winery escapades as we strive to visit each and every local winery in the South and beyond. Happy weekend wining!

Jenni & Dennis

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This past weekend was full of fun! We started Friday by trying to locate some fajita seasoning but for some unknown reason the part of the Blue Ridge Parkway we needed to get to was closed. So…. Dennis & I regrouped and decided to go to one of our favorite wineries in Morganton, Belle Nicho. Janet and Bridget are so fun. We had a bottle of the Sweet Dog Red and ended up bringing home 2 additional bottles – a bottle of Sweet Dog Red & a bottle of Catawba.

From there we went to Urban Orchard Cider Co in Asheville. They had GREAT cider as well as some tasty heavy appetizers.

Saturday morning I had to sing at a funeral so we got a little later start that we had planned, but still managed to make to see Shannon at Mercer House Estate Winery. We are working on a couple of projects that involve Shannon so we needed to go see him. We did a tasting there as it had been over a year since we did a tasting there. We brought home a bottle of the Blue Perry and the Bloody Mary (sounds strange I know but it’s really good if you like bloody mary’s!).

We left there and stopped by Hollow Creek Distillery that we just happened to see a sign for on our way to see Shannon. Meredith did our tasting and tour. We bought 3 bottles, 2 for us and one as a gift – 1 Simply Strawberry which is a brandy & 1 bottle of Salted Carmel. The gifted one was also the Simply Strawberry. We left there and went to watch the Carolina / Clemson game with some of Dennis’ buddies.

Sunday after church and lunch, we headed to Parker-Binns to a charity event they were having. The winery partnered with Warming the View for a coat drive. Talk about a small world! We walk in to hand off the coats we had brought to donate and who is there for Warming the View but Lisa Nyberg Moser! She and Dee are best friends! Dennis and I had a good time listening to Champagne Charlie and sharing a bottle of the Pea Ridge Red.

We left Parker-Binns and stopped by Russian Chapel Hills and had a nice visit with Alla, Andre and the dogs.

We recently met Terri at Cats Paw Winery in Rock Hill, S. C. We were so enthralled with the whole idea of Goat Yoga that I begged her to write a guest blog for us. I was thrilled today to find the below in my email inbox.

By Terri Gustin

Winter here on Critter Creek Farm is a slower time…the goats are all bred and no planting needs to be done. The colder winter months – even in South Carolina – are usually a time for reflection and planning for the following season. I am always trying to find ways to bring the farm to people. Critter Creek has several programs that involve our chickens, and I was trying to find ideas involving the goats.  Last January, as I was searching the internet and brainstorming, I came across some small farms in Arizona and Oregon that conducted goat yoga classes. Brilliant! With all the goat babies due in the spring, what a great idea to promote the farm to people experience.

I really wanted this to be a unique and memorable event – something people would get really excited about. I went to John Burks the owner of Cat’s Paw Winery and pitched the idea of a combined event involving goat yoga followed by wine tasting at Cat’s Paw. During our research and discussions early in 2017, we discovered that no one else was offering this curious mixture of activities.

Baby goats, craftsman style wines, and yoga….who wouldn’t love it?

After my discussions with Cat’s Paw, I met Tammy Calvin, who is a certified yoga instructor with a passion for bringing yoga to people who have never tried it. She is not only an incredible instructor but also great talking and getting to know our customers.. Tammy enthusiastically agreed to work with us to bring our goat yoga & wine tasting idea to life. We were ready.

Our first goat yoga and wine tasting event was in March 2017 and sold out quickly – way faster than any of us expected. I was a nervous wreck and wanted everyone to have fun. To be honest, I also really wanted them to love my goat babies, but I had no idea how much they would be loved! Most people only have the petting zoo experience of goats attacking them just for food. At the farm, we raise both Nigerian Dwarf goats and Mini Fainting goats; with this combination, you never know what will happen!  But our goats are very friendly, and love to be held and pet. During Critter Creek Farm events, I enjoy having the opportunity to educate people on the types of goats we have, as well as their distinct personalities and traits. I have always trained my goats from birth – yes, that is possible, and it’s not unlike training a new puppy. As the summer went on, my goat training continued and evolved a bit, as we became more experienced with the interactions between the yogis and goats. Since they weigh only about 5-15 pounds, our goat babies are allowed to jump freely on folks during the yoga sessions. Once they are about 3 months old, the goats are taught not to jump until I have my training pouch on – this is their cue for proper behavior. Our goats are skilled at posing for Plank, Wheel, or whatever fancy yoga poses you wish to strike!

Don’t make the mistake of thinking the goats don’t enjoy this event as much as people do – they literally line up at the gate with excitement when they see the trailer coming ready to leave the farm to go to the winery!

Goat yoga and wine tasting is a 2 to 2.5-hour event. We start with 1 hour of yoga with the goats roaming around, laying on your mats, babies jumping on your back, and adults waiting for Warrior or Down Dog to use your body as a tunnel to walk under. After yoga, I put on my training pouch, and the goats know it’s time to pose. We get everyone in a circle on their hands and knees and have a goat walk the circle on peoples’ backs – we may have 2 or 3 goats doing this, depending on the ages. We stay as long as needed for everyone to get pictures in their favorite pose with a goat on them.

After pictures, folks go into the winery for a tasting of 5-6 wines made locally at Cat’s Paw. Each wine is truly outstanding, which makes it difficult to choose a favorite. Everyone not only takes home a Cat’s Paw logo wine glass, but also lots of lasting memories. I take pictures during the session and post them on Facebook for everyone to see. At the end of the 2017 season, we moved from the lawn to the cow pasture in a permanent fenced area. The cows love to come to the fence and check us out. After picture time, we also allow the public in to see the goats (remember that if you can’t get a ticket for goat yoga!).

Now, the 2017 season is sadly over – time for more reflection and planning.  But we will be back in March 2018!  Come spring, the goats that were babies in 2017 will all be mothers. Babies goats are expected each month from February until April, and of course our new brood will become part of the yogi crew. We’ll be at Cat’s Paw Winery every Saturday starting in March 2018. Tickets can be found at www.goatyogasc.com and be sure to check out our pictures on the Critter Creek Farm Facebook page.

Categories: wine

Mercer House Estate Winery is a true rural farmstead winery. Producing field blended artisan crafted dry to semi-sweet muscadine blends and fruit wines. Owner and winemaker, Shannon Mercer, utilizes traditional Native American and time honored techniques. An estate winery only uses those grapes which it grows itself.

The tasting room just an old farm building, made cozy by Shannon and his wife Kim. The entire operation is truly a labor of love. The floor of the tasting room is laid over real pennies, each placed by hand by Shannon.

We sat down to enjoy a tasting with Shannon. A couple of ladies had just arrived ahead of us and we were able to catch up.

Our favorites were the Neal Anne, the BluePerry, the Sagaree, and the Bloody Hell Mary, Brought a bottle of the BluePerry and the Bloody Mary home. I mean, Bloody Mary Wine, so unique! Shannon makes the tasting a fun experience as he shares his knowledge of history and wine.

The winery sits on 12 acres and cultivates grapes from five onsite vineyards. A one mile walking nature trail winds the property and is open for winery customers to enjoy. The trail circles past the five vineyards, five scenic ponds and two serene creeks, offering the perfect city get-a-way. Stop by, grab a glass of wine and enjoy the nature trail.

West of Lexington, just minutes outside the city of Columbia. The winery is rural in every sense of the word, and I mean that as a huge compliment. Get out to the country, enjoy some hand crafted artisan wine, and enjoy nature and nature’s bounty at Mercer House Estate Winery. As we always remind, use the VinoWine app for details and directions.

This past weekend was a lot of fun! Friday night we checked out a new restaurant in downtown Spartanburg called Mezcal. It was really nice and the food was great. We then checked out the new wine bar, Bond Street Wines, also in downtown Spartanburg. We met some fun people and had a very nice Merlot there.

Saturday morning started with breakfast at The Crepe Factory. So very tasty! We then headed toward the Charlotte area. Took a short detour to the antique store in Grover. Found some very nice wine glasses, a neat ice bucket and a lovely antique ring for me.From there we headed to Newton, NC to meet our friends Will & Pam at Catawba Farms Winery. The tasting room has not been open very long, only since August, but man do they have several lovely wines, the 4 of us shared a bottle of the Peach for the Stars and the Puh-leezeling – both of which came home with us! We also shared a cheese plate that consisted of pita bread, pimento cheese, a beer cheese, and hummus that was so very good!. We WILL be going back!

On the property there is a lovely bed & breakfast called the Peacock Inn at Catawba Farms. We hope to get to stay there sometime. Room rates are very reasonable.

On the 34 acres of the Farms, there are peacocks, this is Henry

bunnies,

goats,

pigs,

chickens,

one rooster,

2 cats – Sister Kitty & Lily Mouse

and one horse whose name is Major Tom

Michael (pictured with the rooster), one of the partners, was kind enough to let us meet all the animals on the property & tell us some of the history of the property and the winery.

We spent quite a while here, looking at animals and enjoying time and wine with our friends. I strongly recommend this winery to anyone who loves good wine, fun with friends and animals.

Friday evening we had the pleasure of dining in Tryon, N.C. at an old favorite. The Caro-Mi Dining Room offers family style servings of Southern comfort food in a rustic cabin along the banks of the Pacolet River. The Caro-Mi does not serve alcohol, however brown bagging is allowed with a small service fee. So don’t hesitate to bring a bottle of your favorite local wine. I could perhaps pen an entire post about the Caro-Mi, but why not just go partake in this incredible dining experience for yourself. Keep in mind though, reservations are highly recommended.

Saturday our plan was to visit a couple which we had yet to get to. First stop is one we previously planned to visit, but ran short of time. Little River Winery is a beautiful historic property which also doubles as Summer Duck Farm. Owned by John Georgius, surrounding land acquisitions have expanded the farm to nearly 1400 acres.

The Greek revival style historic home, built in the early 1870’s, sits stately above the entrance driveway and vineyards.

Some of the wines offered which we most enjoyed included a German Riesling, and the silver medal wining Big Johns Red, a bold medium bodied blend with the Crawdad Creek label. Two different Cabernet blends, the silver medal winning Synergy which is 100% estate grown and the Infusion blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Island Breeze, a pineapple wine is also bottled under the Crawdad Creek label. We brought a bottle of the Riesling and the Big John’s Red home to add to our collection.

We left the winery and decided to stop at Town Creek Indian Mound state historic site. The site was incredibly interesting, informative, and fun.

We headed back towards Ablemerle and our final stop of the day, Stony Mountain Vineyards.

The winery sits atop Stony Mountain, part of the Uwharrie Mountain range. The winery offers incredible views from their tasting room and a small deck. The view looks out over the vineyard and valley below and upon a neighboring mountain. We were able to watch deer playing and grazing just below the vineyard. You can see the deer in the below pictures.

Winemaker Ken Furr owns the winery with his wife Marie whom we were fortunate to speak with. Daughter Laura poured our tasting, and we also met son Devron. Devron explained that their Chardonnay is extra crisp, so they like to describe it as more of a ChardonnHEY! European reds and whites are offered, and the winery is making some good fruit wines. The view is awesome and we look forward to getting back one day and taking a tour of the entire property. We enjoyed a bottle of Strawberry at the winery, and brought a bottle of the Songbird Blush home with us.

Sunday our super talented friend Alex Davis was playing at Owls Eye Vineyard. We are saddened that the winery is closing at the end of this month, yet we just couldn’t past the opportunity to see Alex perform. As his website states, Alex certainly isn’t your average piano bar man. Alex is a fellow alum of the University of South Carolina, and one the nicest individuals we know. He plays at wineries up and down the East Coast and certainly has began to build a following. We are thrilled to announce that Alex has agreed to write a guest blog for us. Look for it soon, and check out his Website for upcoming shows and to listen to his original music.

Another weekend Escapade comes to close. One note I want to pass on, as of this weekend Jenni and I have visited a total of 95 North Carolina wineries. We’re looking for recommendations as to which one should be number 100. Hoping to make a big deal out that special visit. Happy Weekend Wining!

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Saturday Jenni and I headed toward the North Carolina Yadkin Valley AVA to revisit a couple of wineries which we had previously really enjoyed.

First stop the alluring French inspired Roaring River Vineyards in Traphill. The winery offer a diverse selection of wine, plus beer on tap. Chez Josephine’s, the onsite bistro offers small sandwich and charcuterie plates. We enjoyed a bottle of the Traminette on the porch patio while relaxing to the soothing sound of the rapids of the Roaring River.

The winery offers several cabins available for overnight accommodations plus an event venue. The cabins offer a real rustic elegance.

The scenery along the river is simply spectacular. We were fortunate to be given a tour by owner Tom Silvey.

The blog on their website is a very interesting read. Detailing owners Tom and Josephine Silvey’s planning and development of the vineyard and winery. Time to get going so we procured a bottle of the Traminette and the Viognier to take home with with us.

We headed back toward Yadkinville to visit Brandon Hills Vineyard. This winery first established in 2005, closed up for awhile. Purchased by Larry Müller, the tasting room was completely remodeled and the winery is back open for business. Brandon Hills has an excellent White Merlot which we were more than excited to try again. Larry is great fun to visit with and we expect him to enjoy much future success. The view from the porch overlooking the vineyard is fabulous.

We couldn’t resist bringing a bottle of the White Merlot home, and also the gold medal winning Amoretto Amore.

Sunday we drove over to see our friends Charles and Anne at Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyards just outside of Shelby. They were hosting a 75th birthday party for a young lady and thereby quite busy. We got a glass of wine and relaxed in the back barn where we made some nice new friends.

Just couldn’t leave without picking up another bottle of the CD Baker 2016 Cab Sauv Aged in Bourbon Barrels. Read our blog review about this bold wine.
With that another weekend escapade comes to a close. Happy Weekend Wining!

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Thought it’d be cool to share some of our favorite pictures in one blog post. 

Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyards – Shelby NC

Brandon Hills Vineyards -Yadkinville, NC

Roaring River Vineyards – Traphill, NC


Wine under full moon over the OBX  –   Photo by Alan Rogers


Goat Yoga – Cats Paw Winery – Rock Hill, SC

Sisters – Russian Chapel Hills Winery – Green Creek, NC


Callaboose Cellars – Andrews, NC

Sunday at Parker-Binns Vineyards 


Sundown at Parker-Binns Vineyards 


Relaxing by the lake shore –      Old Home Place Vineyards near Lexington, NC


Wally with harvest at Silk Hope Winery 

Zimmerman Vineyards 


Flight of Cider at Windy Hill Orchard and Cidery 


CityScape Winery in Pelzer, SC


CeNita Vineyards in Georgia 


Owls Eye Vineyards in Shelby, NC


Relaxing out back at Callaboose Cellars 

Hummingbird at MountainBrook Vineyards 


Cabo Winery downtown Concord, NC


Firepit at Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyards 


Sunset Sippin at Burntshirt Vineyards 


Wine Slushies at Eagle Fork Vineyards 


View of 3 States- North Carolina, Georgia, & Tennessee from Nottely River Valley Vineyards 


Old farm truck st Junius Lindsay Vineyard


Old mill at Elkin Creek Vineyards 


View of mountains at Fontaine Vineyards 


Will continue to update as we explore more wineries. Have one to add. Send to us at WineryEscapades@gmail.com

Happy Weekend Wining!

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As native South Carolinian’s, we set out here to provide a reference for each operating destination vineyard and winery in the state. Our research has uncovered 18 operating wineries and 2 cideries and 2 Meaderies.

Majority of South Carolina offers a challenge to grow the common European vinifera varieties, yet some offerings can be found. Many unique offerings of muscadine, native, French-American hybrids, and some excellent fruit wines, meads, and hard ciders are certainly produced.

We encourage as you travel into and through South Carolina, stop and enjoy some of the excellent wines and destination vineyards in the Palmetto state. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. If you’re local, you will find your local winery a great place to spend a relaxing day with family and/or friends.

First we’ll take a look at the operating wineries with estate vineyards.

1. CityScape Winery – Pelzer (Greenville County)

A small rural boutique winery south of Greenville, operating since 2007 ish. The current owners bought the winery just five years ago. Growing Carlos, Noble, Spanish Black, and Blanc du Bois on site. Josh and Deb, owners and winemakers, also import grapes from other prominent wine regions. The wineries mascot, is the adorable Pinot the Pig. You can often find him tethered outside the tasting room sporting his super hero costume.

Location: 589 Dunklin Bridge Rd.

Recommendation: Müller Two-Goats (Müller-Thurgau)

2. Victoria Valley Vineyards – Cleveland

Mountain vineyard and winery styled after a French chateau, offering a bistro with enchanting views of the mountains overlooking their vineyards. Growing several varieties of vinifera wines, which can be enjoyed with lunch from their gorgeous open air terrace.

Location: 1360 S. Saluda Rd.

Recommendation: White Merlot

3. Enoree River Winery – Newberry

Open 11 years now and still going strong, this vineyard and winery sits just off Interstate 26 about 30 miles Northwest of Columbia. Growing Carlos and Noble, plus Herbemont and Lenoir on site, offers several handcrafted blends and fruit wines along with several seasonal wines available. The winery offers a spacious tasting room and a beautiful deck overlooking the vineyards, perfect for relaxing with a bottle of good wine.

Location: 1650 Dusty Rd.

Recommendation: Curiously White

4. Mercer House Estate Winery – Lexington

The Winery at Mercer House is a rural craft estate winery. Many muscadine and blends are offered, along with a few very unique wines. Try the very unique Blueberry Jalapeño wine.

Location: 397 Walter Rawl Rd.

Recommendation: Apple Pie

5. Deep Water Vineyard -Wadmalar Island

Charleston area’s only Vineyard and Winery, originally Irvin – House Vineyard. Nestled among the live oaks just outside of Charleston.

Location: 6775 Bears Bluff Rd.

Recommendation: Magnolia

6. Wellborn Winery – Travelers Rest

This Winery in the Woods is growing French-American Hybrid varietals and sourcing other fruit from local South Carolina Farms. A Small tasting room is complimented with a beautiful scenic outdoor patio and seating spread about the yard. A small AirBnB house overlooking the vineyards is available for overnight accommodations.

Location: 254 Mush Creek Road

Recommendation: Rustic Red

7. Hyman Vineyards – Florence

Not a destination winery, a working vineyard which doesn’t support a tasting room. Their wines are sold at local farmers markets.

Location: Pee Dee Farmers Market, Florence

Recommendation: Southern Sunrise

8. Lazy Bear Winery – Easley

International award winning small winery focusing on fruit and berry wines produced from estate grown and local farm sourced fruit. Lazy Bear is also producing several award winning meads.

Location: 644 Hester Store Rd.

Recommendation: Peach Berry Medley or Plum

9. Cartersville Country Winery – Timmonsville

Working Vineyard and Winery and wedding venue located just off the intersection of Interstate 26 and Interstate 95 near Florence. Growing muscadine with twenty acres under vine and also producing real fruit wines. Overnight accommodations and full camper hookups available. No joke, winemaker is named Carlos Noble.

Location: 571 Lamar Hwy.

10. Bowman Vineyards -Round O

Family owned Muscadine vineyard and winery since 2004. Open only each Saturday Bowman wines can also be purchased at their farm store in Augusta Hwy just outside of Walterboro.

Note: La Belle Amie Vineyard and Winery – Little River

Technically not a winery though a working vineyard, tasting room, and gift shop serving the Grand Strand area. The vineyard is popular among the millions of visitors each year to the Myrtle Beach and surrounding Grand Strand area.

Location: 1120 St. Joseph Rd.

Recommendation: Cabana Boy “Just Peachy”

The wineries listed below are operating without support of their own vineyard. Each is unique in it’s own way and provide a destination to relax and enjoy some good wine.

11. Cats Paw Winery – Rock Hill

Small craft winery nestled on farm land just Southeast of Charlotte.


Location: 1567 Fayrene Rd., Rock Hill

Recommendation: Strawberry Sensation

12. Old Rock Quarry Winery -Enoree

Small rural craft winery in Spartanburg county located just off Interstate 26. Offering a diverse selection of semi-dry and sweet fruit infused wines. Described to be reminiscent of visiting your neighbors, whom just happen to make good homemade wine.

Location: 629 Old Rock Quarry Rd., Enoree

Recommendation: Snap Apple Sassy

The following three are urban wineries in the Myrtle Beach Grand Strand area. All three are in high tourist shopping venues.

13. Carolina Vineyards Winery – Myrtle Beach

Location: Barefoot Landing, N. Myrtle

Recommendation: Bare-Foot Blush

14. Boardwalk Winery – Myrtle Beach

Location: Broadway at the Beach

Recommendation: Wine Slushie

Coastal Carolina Winery operates tasting rooms in Myrtle Beach and Pawley’s Island, however the wine is produced in North Carolina.

One urban winery can be found on Hilton Head Island.

15. Island Winery – Hilton Head

Location: 12A Cardinal Rd.

Recommendation: Southern Passion

One urban winery can be found in Greenville.

16. Elevation 966 Winery

Urban winery about one mile from downtown near the downtown airport. Really nice outdoor patio for enjoying a nice weather day.

Location: 301 Airport Rd.

Recommendation: Delight

South Carolina‘s Newest Winery

17. South Bend Winery – Greenwood

Nestled on 6 acres of old farm land on the South side of Greenwood. The tasting is a remodeled old farm house. The winery has plenty of of outdoor space and a nice fire pit out back.

A few others of mention.

18. Silver Dew Winery is found on Dafuskie Island near Hilton Head. A very historic and significant winery in South Carolina history.

You may also find of interest…,

Duplin Winery operates a tasting room in North Myrtle Beach, however Duplin is a North Carolina based Vineyard and Winery.

Cideries.

Windy Hill Apple Orchard and Cidery in York is alway busy during the fall Apple harvest season.

Fat Ass Heifer Cidery operates in Campobello, opening each Saturday for tastings. You know you want the t-shirt!

Location: 10125 New Cut Road.

Ships Wheel Hard Cider operates tasting room in North Charleston. Ciders are currently produced in New York, though plans are for new ciders to be produced in this location.

Location: 1033 E. Montague Ave.

Meaderies.

Wandering Bard Meadery just recently opened a taproom in the Greenville’s Hampton Station .

Bee Town Mead and Cider is located in Bluffton near Hilton Head Island.

SOON TO OPEN

Eagle Mountain Vineyards  Vineyard and boutique winery in the foothills of the Upstate slated to open in Fall of 2020. 

As always, use the VinoWine app for details and directions.

Updated 11/08/2020

Thinking we’d view some Fall foliage, Saturday we headed toward Andrews  and Murphy, N.C.  This area is part of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands American Viticultural Area. This AVA of the Southern Appalachian Mountains straddles the North Carolina and North Georgia Mountains around the North Carolina – Georgia state line. It is one of the nations newest American Viticultural Area. We have visited several in this area on previous trips, though still a few in North Carolina to partake.

Our first stop was Callaboose Cellars. The winery is located in a 100 year old stone building which was once used as a jailhouse. There remain bars on the front door and side windows. It’s the smallest Winery in the country according to their website. Offering only a few wines, tastings are offered at no charge. Their nearby Vineyard supports over four acres under vine. There is a small porch and a big yard with beautiful mountain views. We took a bottle of the Revinoors Red home with us. This one is extremely unique. Can’t wait to get back this way and spend a little more time just hanging out and enjoying the views.

 
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In quest of visiting a few more in the AVA, we then made our way downtown Andrews to visit Ferncrest Winery. Ferncrest has a small off site vineyard which lies on the crest of a hill and thereby harnesses the power of the sun. This is a true urban winery, perfect for a quick drop in when exploring the town of Andrews and surrounding mountains. We brought a bottle of the Silver medal winning Autumn Rosé home with us, it’s a semi-sweet made from the Cynthiana grape.

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We then headed toward Murphy with the intention to visit Valley River ineyards.  Except we found this winery closed. After checking their website, I see they are closed for the season and will reopen in March. I did find this cute plant growing in a wine glass on top of a barrel.

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Quick to regroup, we headed towards downtown to Cherokee Cellars. This one is another true urban winery. Glad we made it as the owners informed us they are closing up for good as of end of October.  We did find several wines we enjoyed and took four bottles home with us. They are pretty much selling everything, so the have a few wine barrels on sale for $150 each. These make great tables.

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Sunday we headed up to Overmountain Vineyards in Tryon.  We wanted to try the 2016 vintage of Camelia. Camelia is a very light white blend of Chardonnay and Petit Manseng. It’s really crisp with a depth of floral aroma.  We enjoyed a bottle on the patio. It was so nice to speak with so many others enjoying a beautiful Fall day. Sophia was really busy but even so took a few minutes to speak with us. The winery Great Danes, Maximus and Shamus, are always up for some attention.

I made my way down toward the winery, and snapped a few pictures. Fortunate for me, owner and winemaker Frank Lilly approached and we were able to speak for a few minutes. Frank studied wine making in the Sonoma Valley, and he and Sophia are trying to emulate a Sonoma-Like experience at Overmountain Vineyards. From the looks of the crowd, and the taste of the wine, I’d say they are doing a darn good job.
Upon leaving, we decided to stop by and see our friend Andrey at Russian Chapel Hill Winery as we know the winery is open until 6pm.  We’ve visited and written about RCHW many times, yet it is always nice to visit. The winery just offers a relaxing spot to have a good glass of wine and reflect on the past weekend. We met this pair of sisters who were just enjoying an outing and we enjoyed talking with them about wine and travel and fun. Oh by the way, check out the gelato which is offered at the winery.
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gelato
Another Weekend escapade comes to close. Happy weekend wining!