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!

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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.

Press Release: Palmetto Signature Six

The Palmetto Wine Competition announces the 2018 Palmetto Signature Six.

October brings harvest in South Carolina vineyards and we celebrate South Carolina grown fruit by presenting our inaugural selection of home grown award winning wines, the Palmetto Signature Six.

Six award winning wines produced entirely from South Carolina grown fruit. This year’s award winning group includes three whites and three reds produced from vineyards spanning from the Low-country to the Upstate.

Presenting The White Wines

Woodsy White – Wellborn Winery – Travelers Rest

An unique blend of Syval Blanc and Traminette create this award winning off-dry white. Two French-American Hybrid varietals grown in Wellborn’s modest vineyard rooted in Northern Greenville County.

Vineyard Owners – Tony Beninati & Debbie Sikora
Winemaker – Tony Beninati

Curiously White – Enoree River Vineyards – Newberry

A blend of different white Muscadine varieties. A vineyard planted of Carlos Muscadine  at this Newberry winery, curiously yielded several vines with grape of unknown varieties. Fruit from these specific vines are blended to create this limited production award winning semi-sweet white wine.

Vineyard Owners – Richard & Laura LaBarre
Winemaker – Laura LaBarre

Magnolia – Abiding Vine Vineyards – Laurens

Produced entirely from the single Magnolia Muscadine varietal. The young vines at Abiding Vine Vineyard have thrived in the rich country soil producing this light and crisp award winning white wine.

Vineyard Owner – David Barnes
Winemaker – David Barnes

Taking Notice Of The Red Wines

Carolina Nights – CityScape Winery – Pelzer

Southern Greenville County grown Noble Muscadine and locally grown South Carolina blackberries beautifully blend to produce this award winning semi-sweet medium bodied easy drinking red wine.

Vineyard Owners – Josh and Deb Jones
Winemaker – Josh Jones

Blueberry Jalapeño – Mercer House Estate Winery – Lexington

Complex award winning blueberry wine with just the right amount of extra ummppp! This unique blend produces a bold complex flavorful red wine.

Vineyard Owners – Shannon and Kim Mercer
Winemaker – Shannon Mercer

High Tide – Deep Water Vineyards – Charleston

A light bodied wine produced from grapes of the single Noble Muscadine varietal harvested from Deep Water’s mature vines rooted on Wadmalaw Island. This award winning wine exhibits a robust nose and deep bold flavors.

Vineyard Owners – Jesse and Andrea Friewald
Winemaker – Jesse Friewald

Final Thoughts and Press for the inaugural Palmetto Wine Competition

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.

Official Results: 2018 Palmetto Wine Competition

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.

Giving Thanks – Palmetto Wine Competition

We want express our thanks to the following for their support of the Palmetto Wine Competition at The Belmont Inn in historic Abbeville, South Carolina. First our Sponsors, The Vinowine App, the South Carolina Wine and Grape Growers Association, and the Historic Belmont Inn. We owe a huge thank you to Renee and Chef Darby at the Belmont Inn. We also need to thank Brook Bristow for providing us with some much appreciated guidance. St Claire Burns Donaghy who gave us our first mainstream publicity.

We are also thrilled that Alex Davis has set aside time from his busy schedule to share his unbelievable musical talent. Last but certainly not least, a huge thank you to our judges whom we will continue to introduce over the next couple of days. Jenni and I would love for all our friends to join us at Noon May 1st for lunch and at 2pm for the awards ceremony at The Belmont Inn as we announce this years award winning South Carolina wines and celebrate our local wineries!

Judges – Palmetto Wine Competition: Bob and Jen Aycock

Allow us to continue introducing our judges for the Palmetto Wine Competition at The Belmont Inn upcoming May 1st, in historic Abbeville, South Carolina. Bob and Jennifer Aycock are fellow bloggers based in Matthews, North Carolina, just outside of Charlotte. Together, the brains and personality behind the blog WineCarolinas.

We first met Bob and Jennifer at Childress Vineyards, while attending the North Carolina Wine Month kickoff event. As fellow bloggers, they are highly focused in on the local wine industry. The two recently attended the North Carolina Wine Bloggers Conference. Featured blog post on their site feature chef inspired wine and food pairings featuring local wine which the two have carefully selected.

Bob holds a BA from UNCW, and works professionally as a social media project manager and wine blogger. He recently shared, “I enjoy a fresh Rosé as much as I like a crisp Riesling or soft Merlot. I’m a native North Carolinian who loves the charm of small towns and their distinct history. I like celebrating and exploring all that the Carolinas have to offer with my wife and our four children. Jen and I have taken our appreciation of wine and decided to completely embrace it, setting out to explore the rich variety of wines of the Carolinas. It’s great learning about the people who make the wine, the love that goes into it, and what makes it all so unique. I believe supporting local businesses and industries is important.”

Jennifer has a BA in English, and works professionally as an educator and as a wine blogger. She explained to us, “right now my wine preferences are reds, Petit Verdot, Mourvèdre, and Cabernet Sauvignon.”

Wine Carolinas, which recently celebrated it’s one-year anniversary is their passion. Although Jennifer adds, “my love of wine started as an easy way to reconnect with my husband and enjoy some adult time away from our four, awesome kids, it has blossomed into a deep passion of local wine. I thrive on learning all that I can about the industry, the grapes, the people, and the incredible stories that are poured into each glass. In the past year, I’ve visited many wineries, explored wine festivals, and attended key events with the local wine industry (NC Wine Month Kickoff Event, NC Wine Bloggers Summit). I’m excited to share with others all that South Carolina is creating in the world of wine.”

We are beyond thrilled to have both serving as judges in the inaugural Palmetto Wine Competition. Bob and Jennifer bring a wealth of knowledge about the local and regional craft wine industry and we look forward to learning from their judging notes.

Magnolia – Abiding Vine Vineyard

Tonight’s wine is the Magnolia from Abiding Vine Vineyard in Laurens, South Carolina. Abiding Vine grows six different varieties of muscadine. This small rural vineyard and winery is well worth a visit. Abiding Vine Vineyard is one of our participants in the upcoming Palmetto Wine Competition at The historic Belmont Inn in historic Abbeville, South Carolina.

Winery Escapade – Weekends 2 and 3 of 2018

We got sort of a late start Saturday (1/13) due to some errands we had to take care of before we could go. We met some dear friends, Pam & Will, at Misty Creek Vineyard in Mocksville, NC. We were greeted by Bear and Merl (Barry said someone else named him for them, it’s Merl as in Merlot) when we arrived, as well as the owner, Barry, his lovely wife and his mother. Since it had been a while since we had been there and Pam & Will had not been there, Dennis & I did the tasting with them. They have several lovely wines. Our favorite is still the 2008 Chambourcin. The 4 of us split a bottle of the Syrah and also the Traminette. We brought a bottle of the Misty Rose, Syrah and the Chambourcin home. We enjoyed a hour or so hanging out in front of the fire with Pam & Will and also have nice conversations with Barry. We left there and headed to dinner at Port City Club in Cornelius. Man was the food good! We look forward to going back in the spring so we can enjoy the outside seating by the lake.

Merl
Will & Bear

Sunday (1/14) we went to Lake James Cellars. For Dennis & I this place is the best of both worlds! It’s a winery but is also and antique store. So you can do a tasting, figure out what your favorite wine was and then browse in the antique store with your glass of wine. We brought a bottle of the Fonta Flora Cranberry Blush home.

After leaving Lake James, we headed to Wood Mill Winery. This winery is primarily muscadine, but they also have some fruit wines. They have semi-dry, semi-sweet and sweet variations of the majority of their wines. This winery is a beautiful location for events. They have a lovely outside space (which we did not get to enjoy as it was WAY to COLD!) and their inside space is also great and has terrific views. We brought a couple of bottle home from here as well. We got a chance to speak with the owner/wine maker Larry. The young lady who handled our tasting was also very sweet and quite knowledgeable.

This past Saturday (1/20) we met some fellow bloggers and friends at Cats Paw Winery in Rock Hill. Dennis and I have been here a few times before and it’s always such fun. You have a complimentary never ending bowl of popcorn to enjoy with your tasting and afterwards as well as bottled water. For Bob & Jennifer (Wine Carolinas) it was their first trip. We had a nice visit with them as we sipped wine and chatted. Dennis and I shared a bottle of the Strawberry Sensation and brought a bottle of the Purr-Fectly Peach and his latest port home. We said good-bye to our friends and debated about what to do next. We ended up going further into Rock Hill and having dinner at The White Horse Restaurant. This has been one of my favorite restaurants since my time living in Rock Hill. As we were sitting down, I heard someone call my name…. it was so friends who still live there! It was so great to see Rebecca & Darryl. After dinner we headed on home as it was getting late.

Sunday after church and lunch we decided to ride up to Parker-Binns Vineyard. As always Dee waited on us and was her terrific self! Karen and Roberto are on a much deserved vacation! The vineyard was in the excellent care of Kelly, their daughter, Dee and the wine maker Justin. They are currently out of the Rose that Dennis & I usually share so we had a bottle of the Petit Manseng and met some really great couples. The weather was perfect as well. While sitting outside enjoying pizza, wine and live music, we also got to meet their winemaker – Justin Taylor. Justin told us that they are soon to be bottling some wine. Some that will be new to us and some that are old favorites (yes some Rose is coming!). We learned that Justin studied at Surry and previously worked at Burnshirt Vineyards (also a favorite!).

We finished our wine and decided to make one more stop at Russian Chapel Hills Winery to see Andre. It was close to closing time but we were able to enjoy a glass each of his Malbec on the covered porch. The view was spectacular!

 

Press Release – Palmetto Wine Competition

PRESS RELEASE
January 04, 2018

RE: Palmetto Wine Competition at The Belmont

Dennis and Jenni Turner, bloggers at WineryEscapades.Com, will host the inaugural Palmetto Wine Competition at the Belmont Inn in historic Abbeville, South Carolina. The event is scheduled for May 1st, 2018 with additional details forthcoming.  The inaugural competition will feature wines produced from South Carolina Winery Association members.  Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals will be awarded by a panel of highly qualified judges ranging from many different sectors of the wine industry. Additional information may be obtained by contacting Dennis and Jenni Turner at Wineryescapades@gmail.com.