A Few Things We Love About North Carolina Wineries.

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. Therefore, we celebrate 2018 North Carolina wine month with our 2nd annual post of a few things we love about #NCWine.

Still love that Burntshirt Vineyards in Hendersonville was the first winery we ever visited together. It was also where I proposed. Love sitting under their portico, enjoying the Meritage or the Sunset Sippin’.

Love that Cabo Winery stays open late and offers fun wines such as Hissy Fit (Strawberry) and the Bless Your Heart (Coconut) and Over Yonder (Chocolate Covered Cherry).

Love the million dollar views at Raffaldini and Piccione in Ronda, and Silver Fork in Morganton, and Parker-Binns in Tryon.

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Raffadini

Love the incredible improved Mountain Brook Vineyards.

Love enjoying a glass by the fire pit at Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyards.

Love Henry the Peacock at Catawba Farms Winery.

Love the White Merlot on the back patio at Brandon Hills Vineyards .

Love brick oven pizza and live music on Sunday Funday at Parker Binns.

Love that overnight accomodations are available in a treehouse at Treehouse Vineyards.

Love that Biltmore Winery is the most visited winery in the country.

Love visiting the smallest winery in the country, Calaboose Cellars in Andrews up in the Great Smokey Mountains. Located in an old jailhouse.

Love that Belle Nicho is “unpretentious.”

Love the Logo of Dog Driving a Tractor
Love that these two are both a winery and a brewery – Morgan Ridge Vineyard and Brewhouse and West Bend Winery and Brewery.

Love sipping on wine slushies at Eagle Fork Vineyards.

Love the Killer Bee spirits from the distillery at Windsor Run Cellars

Love the Four off Nine in the Tryon Foothills area – Parker Binns, OverMountain, Mountain Brook, and Russian Chapel Hills.

                       

Love the Bordeaux style at South Creek Vineyards.

Love Wally and LaLa at Silk Hope Winery

Wally Butler – Owner-Winemaker
LaLa makes the tasting fun

Love shopping for antiques at Lake James Cellars.

Love the bourbon barrel aged Cab Sauv at Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyards.

Love strolling through the vineyard to St. Anna’s Chapel at Russian Chapel Hills

Love the listening to the river while enjoying a glass on the porch at Roaring River Vineyards

Love the Outer Banks Ice Wine from Sanctuary Vineyards.

Love that the oldest vine in America, the Mother Vine on Mateo in the OBX is still producing grapes.

Love the beautiful grounds at Daveste’ Vineyards.

Love the 360 degree mountain views at Point Lookout Vineyards.

Love the “Love” Alchemy Herbal Mead from Addison Farms Vineyard.

Love that even though we have visited almost 120 North Carolina wineries there remain nearly 80 more for us still to visit, and more opening each year.

Happy weekend wining! Get out this September and celebrate North Carolina Wine Month by visiting and enjoying the nearly 200 North Carolina Wineries!

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Abiding Vine Vineyard – Laurens SC

A new vineyard and winery just recently opened in South Carolina. We are very excited to see industry growth in the state and therefore were excited for our first visit. Located on rural family property in Western Laurens county, Abiding Vine is the dream of David Barnes.

David has planted six varieties of muscadine, about 230 plants total. Three whites including Carlos, Magnolia, and Welder, along with three reds, Noble, Creek, and Regale. Plans are to plant additional vines in the near future and also offer some sweeter fruit wines.

David, an educator by trade, is truly enjoying this new venture. He loves to interact with customers and has many interesting stories to share. The small winery has inside seating and a small patio with outdoor seating. The rural setting and good wine make for a very peaceful experience for one that locals and travelers alike are sure to enjoy.

Abiding Vine and CityScape Winery in Pelzer are approximately 30 minutes apart. Siri knows the quick way taking you through some beautiful South Carolina countryside. We highly recommend a Saturday day trip visiting both of these rural craft wineries. Both small businesses are locally owned. Happy weekend wining!

Winery Escapades -Weekend 47

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.

Mercer House Estate Winery-Lexington, SC

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.

Winery Escapade – Weekend 46

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.

Weekend Escapade – Week 40

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This past weekend started on Friday when Dennis and I went to Abbeville to go to a play at the Abbeville Opera House and we stayed at the Belmont Inn. Both of these buildings are very quaint and hold a LOT of history. We love staying at the Belmont and can’t wait to return in April to see another play.

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The play we saw was Everybody Loves Opal. If you ever get the chance, go see this play! It is funny, cute and in the end has a sweet message for all ages. The cast was amazing! Maryanne Campbell played the title character and did an amazing job! Bradford Winter was played by D. C. Moody. We had seen both of them in Arsenic and Old Lace over a year ago. I have to wonder if D C likes playing the bad boy. JSydney Wells played Gloria Gurlock,, Dave DiGeronimo played Solomon Bozo, the Doctor was played by Bruce Johnston and Office Joe Jankie by Taylor McNair. The entire cast was amazing! We also got to chat with most of the cast at Tinkers Alley Bar which is the bar/restaurant at the Belmont. I so appreciate them letting me invade their group for a little bit!

The remainder of the winter season consists of the following plays and I hope I get to see some of the actors from Everybody Loves Opal in JB (the one Dennis have decided to attend in April).

Coney Island Christmas Dec 1,2,8,9,15 & 16

Vanya, Sonia, Masha & Spike Feb 2,3,9 &10 (We’ve seen this show at another venue & it’s great!)

The Wind in the Willows Mar 9, 10, 11, 16 & 17

J.B Apr 6, 7, 8, 13 & 14

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We got up Saturday morning, had breakfast at the hotel and then rambled around downtown Abbeville for a bit. We found a fun little moonshine distillery called Red Barn Likker, and can’t wait to go back & get some of the apple spice mixer and his 70 proof moonshine.

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We left there and headed for GA. Our first stop was CeNitaVineyard. Very quaint winery with a great story. The winery used to be a dairy farm. They have a lovely red barn in the back for events. There was a wedding Saturday. They were taking pictures while we were there. Beautiful scenery for a wedding. They had literally just finished harvesting the Chambourcin grapes that morning and we got to sample some of the fresh juice. That was a real treat. All the wines were very nice, but the Buckie Estate Wine and the Rouge Estate Wine were my favorites.

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We left there and headed to Yonah Mountain Vineyards. The venue is lovely and again, there was a wedding going on in their event space. Other than wedding attendees, the winery was very busy on Saturday. They have 17 acres of vine that consist of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Petit Manseng, Cab Sav, Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.

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From there we headed to The Cottage Vineyard. Nathan, the son of the owner did our tasting. This 7’ tall man made my 6’3” husband look short! The bear cub on their logo was an actual bear that was on the property at one time. Again, they had several really nice wines, but Dennis & I decided on a bottle of the Baby Doll Legs Rose. We also enjoyed the Southern Sass which is a peach wine and is named for one of the employees that has worked at the winery from the beginning. We sat outside and met some extremely nice people.

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Sunday we stayed close to home and went to see Andre at Russian Chapel Hills and enjoyed a bottle of his very nice Mosaic. It was a tad rainy but the porch is covered and wide enough that we got to sit outside and play with the dogs (as usual!).

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NOTE: above blog was actually written by Jenni Turner, only posted by Dennis.

Mountain Brook Vineyards – Tryon, NC

Enjoying a bottle of Rosè while watching numerous hummingbirds floating around multiple feeders. That was a recent afternoon at Mountain Brook Vineyards in Tryon. The octagon shaped tasting room sits at the top of the foothill and offers excellent views of the Vineyards and surrounding mountains.

The original tasting room was back down the gravel entrance road and a good bit smaller. With steady growth, owners Dennis and Miriam Lanahan made the wise decision to relocate the tasting room into the larger former residence on the highest point of the beautiful mountain foothill property. Several hummingbird feeders hang upon the surrounding porch offering sweet nectar to these magnificent creatures. We must have seen ten plus hummingbirds one afternoon.  Horses are also stabled just beside the winery and always enjoy a little attention from the visiting wine lovers.

The winery is open Most Thursday’s, and every Friday and Saturday. On Thursday evenings the winery host either trivia night or girls night out, check out their website for details.  The winery will often host musical talent on Friday and Saturday. Seven plus acres under vine and only North Carolina grown grapes are used in the formulation of their wines. Wines offered include a Chardonnay,  Pinot Grigio, Petite Verdot, Merlot, Cab Sauv, Magus which is a Bordeaux style red blend, and a true European style semi-dry Rosè.

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You’ll almost always find Dennis and Miriam in the tasting room. They are both very welcoming and always willing to spend a little time chatting. Dennis offers a charming dry sense of humor. I recently asked him about how he got started. Long story short, once at an extended family gathering he was offered a taste of some homemade wine. His interest piqued, he would spend his free time working and learning at a couple different wineries in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Once he decided the time was right, he and Miriam retired to the North Carolina foothills purchasing the property that is now Mountain Brook. The name derived from the beautiful mountain brook which flows along the foot of the vineyard and can be seen as you ascend up the gravel entrance road. Mountain Brook Vineyard offers a very relaxing atmosphere, beautiful views of nature, and really good wine.

Happy Weekend Wining!

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Weekend Escapade -Week 39 2017

Thursday night Jenni and I decided to go to  Mountain Brook Vineyards in Tryon for trivia night. Oops! Turns out trivia night is Thursday the following week. We found the winery closed. Luckily for us, we found Owners Dennis and Miriam still at the tasting room shipping wine to out of state customers. After a laugh, We were allowed to purchase a bottle of thier Rosè. We sat and chatted with Dennis and Miriam as we enjoyed our wine. I’ll soon have a new blog post up with a full review of Mountain Brook. It was just wonderful to  talk local wineries with them.

Check out these views


Yes, there are horses on site and Jenni can’t leave without showing the horses some love.


Friday night Jenni and I enjoyed a bottle of Barn Owl Red from Owls Eye Vineyard in Shelby, N.C.  while relaxing at home on our patio. The weather was perfect for sitting outside. Fall has arrived.

Saturday we headed to Germanton Vineyard and Winery , up above Winston-Salem.  Named after the community in which it is located, owners David and Judy Simpson opened way back in 1981. Both David and Judy are cancer survivors by the way. The winery shares a building with their art gallery. David joked that even beyond the fine works of art in the gallery, he and Judy are serious junk collectors.

They have a small organic vineyard on their property just behind the winery, and buy all local grapes and fruit to supplement. Many of their wines have won medals at competitions not only in North Carolina, but also in New York and California. My favorite was the Suana Red which recently won bronze in the Fingers Lakes wine competition. There are many fine works of art to peruse, many with North Carolina themes and several are available for offers. In the gallery are fine art paintings, sculptures, and photographs from some eighty plus different artist. We each had a glass and enjoyed browsing the gallery.  The first picture below is a priceless drawing by the owners granddaughter.


Upon leaving, we consulted the Vino Wine app and decided we’d venture further North to Autumn Creek Vineyards.

Autumn Creek Vineyards, located on incredibly beautiful property with thirteen total acres of vines. Planted in the Vineyards are eight varieties, Merlot, Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Cab Franc, Chambourchin, Petit Manseng, and Riesling. The tasting room, pavilion, and cabins all have a modern rustic look. The tasting room is surrounded by a beautiful deck overlooking the lake and surrounding Vineyards.


Autumn Creek offers a large rustic pavilion,  and a gazebo by the lake perfect for weddings or other events. Rustic cabins nestled in the vineyards are available for overnight stays. A bottle of their wine is included with each nights stay.


As our Sundays are normally reserved for visiting our local favorites, we drove up to Parker-Binns Vineyards. We love Roberto, Karen, and Dee at Parker-Binns. Our joke is, a bottle of wine, dinner, and entertainment for about $20. Each Sunday, the winery has a local musician playing and bakes pizza in their outdoor brick oven. The pizzas are not sold, just cut in small slices and brought around for everyone to share. Just for information, the pizza is really, really good. We ran into some friends, and met a few new ones, all sat around and discussed wine, real estate, and whatever other subjects came up. The people are just fantastic, the environment just relaxing, the views fantastic, music good,  the pizza superb, and the wine is the star of the show.  Sundays at Parker-Binns make for a really fun afternoon.


These pictures taken as we were leaving were just a perfect way to close out our weekend.

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