We started our weekend with a Friday night visit to Spartoberfest celebration in Spartanburg, S.C. I enjoyed a beer and Jenni a glass of white wine. Saturday we first stopped at Windy Hill Orchard and Cidery in York, S.C. This place was hopping. Singer/guitarist Chris Holder was performing. Families were enjoying picnics. Children were playing in the Orchard. Apple cider donuts were being freshly made. Best of all, The barkeeps were serving hard cider.
Windy Hill Orchard, licensed as a Cidery since 1996, has expanded their selection and production to keep up with a growing demand. We both enjoyed the Gala Peach, though the Hopping Johnny was my favorite. Jenni also enjoyed the Spicy Peach, a seasonal, and the Rusty Gold, an apple cinnamon blend. I mentioned the donuts, these were so good, freshly made on site. The cider bar is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so check their website.
We left and headed towards Lincolnton
. The town was hosting its annual Apple festival. We proposed this an excellent reason to venture back to Southern Charm Winery
. We really enjoy their Peach wine, aptly named Southern Charm. Jenni and I each enjoyed a glass of the Southern Charm Peach as we perused the gift selection. Just couldn’t leave without taking a bottle home. Fiddler’s Vineyard
and Woodmill Winery
also had booths set up for the festival. We browsed the craft vendors up and down Main Street until the heat just got too overwhelming.
Several months earlier we had purchased a Groupon
for a distillery tour in Charlotte. Click the Groupon link and search for Doc Porters Distillery
. I had earlier in the week made us a 5:30 appointment for the guided tour, so we headed towards Charlotte. Andrew Porter, owner/ founder, conducted our tour. He explained the distilling process and shared with us the different grains used in each spirit. The Distillery is making a Vodka, a Gin, and a Bourbon, with a Rye about ready to release. We enjoyed all, my favorite being the Gin which was very floral and smooth. They are also in a collaboration with Sospreso Coffee Roasters of Waxhaw, offering bourbon roasted coffee beans. Gourmet coffee beans roasted in their used bourbon barrels. This is an excellent way for a quick evening outing and is certainly interesting to learn more about the distilling process. Of course tasting the distilled spirits isn’t bad either. We give Doc Potters a strong recommendation. Check out their website.
As Jenni and I left, we realized we weren’t but 40 or so minutes from Monroe. We knew that Hilton Vineyards
in Monroe was open late and we had yet to visit this winery. Glad we made this decision, and glad we visited at night. A DJ was spinning tunes and the natives were dancing in the streets. Thomas, one of the owners, graciously poured our tasting. He explained that his father had always grown his own grapes and fruits and used what he grew to home crafted wine. After spending several years living on the coast, his father decided to retire back home to Union County, and make a living by making wine. The vineyard was planted in what was then a dry county, so the winery was opened in neighboring Monroe allowing the sell of their wines. The winery is open until 11pm on Friday and Saturday, and has the feel of a local wine bar. They are growing the larger majority of grapes and fruits used in their wines and all wine sold is made on site. The Malbec was really good, though it is dryer than some others of the region. We also liked the Chardonel Peach and the Apple Riesling. The Mango is their best seller and it is certainly flavorful. We also tasted the “ice wine,” and this one is somewhat unique, just got to try for yourself. I appreciate Hilton staying open late, wish we had planned to spend the night. It would have been nice to sit outside and listen to the music while sipping on a glass of wine. Next time right?
Sunday afternoon we headed over to CityScape Winery in Pelzer, South Carolina, in lower Greenville County. CityScape is long one our favorites and I’ll try to write an updated review soon. Our friends and owners, Josh and Deb Jones, weren’t there, but the staff took good care of us. We sat under the portico outside and enjoyed a bottle of Müller Two-Goats (Müller Thurgau). We also had a taste of their new release of Chocolate Red and it did not disappoint. They posted on Facebook Saturday that their wines are now sold in two local Fresh Markets. Congratulation are in order for this huge accomplishment. We know Josh, Deb, and their staff work extremely hard to make this small winery a big success. Jenni and I certainly missed seeing both and of course Pinot the Pig, but are thrilled to see them grow and look forward to seeing them all next time.
Happy Weekend Wining!
Click Here to Return to WineryEscapades.Com