Remembering Our Visit To The Upper Hiwassee Highlands AVA

This is a repost of a blog Jenni wrote about a year ago and some notes I had added to her post. As we quickly approach our return to Highlands, thought it’d be a good time to revisit.

Saturday we took off to Hayesville, NC to Eagle Fork Vineyards.It was well worth the drive! We enjoyed several of the wines and brought a bottle of their Classic Chambourchin home. We also enjoyed a glass each of their wine slushy in their gazaboo. It is one of the very few slushies I can have as it does not have any fruit juice in it. Most of the vines are not on the property where the tasting room is. In fact back in May, Dennis & I had attempted to go to this same winery when we were in Highlands and the vinowine app had the old address of the tasting room. They moved the tasting room to it’s current location about 2 years ago. Laura, who poured our tasting, was super sweet and very accommodating to us. We enjoyed several of their wines but had to make a choice as to what to take home.

We left there and headed to Nottely River Valley Vineyards. To say we had a good time there would be a serious understatement! The owners, Steve and Karen were very sweet and a lot of fun! We meet some wonderful people who allowed us to share in their birthday party. There were also 6 late 20 something ladies who were also a delight to talk too. Dennis and I shared a bottle of their Strawberry Wine and brought home a bottle of their Peach. I included the picture of the wanted grape stompers sign just because I thought it was funny!

Sunday we stayed close to home and went back to Burntshirt Vineyard. This winery will always be special to us for a couple of reasons. One it is the first winery/vineyard Dennis & I went to together and it is also where he proposed. They have several wines that we enjoy, but on Sunday, we enjoyed a bottle of their Sunset Sippin. The atmosphere is so nice and they have live music on Sundays. And we met a new “friend” Sunday.

We left there and headed towards home and stopped by Russian Chapel Hills that is in the Green Creek area of NC. Andrey and his wife are so sweet! The 3 dogs are always there to greet us when we get there! They are so sweet and just love the attention they get from us. Their names are Leila, Bernard and Skif (that’s the order of the pictures below).

We each had a glass of his blush. Usually we get either the Chamourchin or the Mosaic, but since we had had a white earlier in the day we went with the Rosé. The vines are loaded with grapes ready for harvest.

This is a fun small little winery that a lot of people don’t know about. There’s a part of me that wants to keep it that way as we enjoy the tranquility there, but a much larger part of me wants to see them thrive. So I am telling all of you if you are in that area or just want to short drive, head that way.

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Notes from Dennis Below:

Thought I’d jump right in on Jenni’s blog post and post a few of my own thoughts and pics.  Eagle Fork was nice. We sat under the gazebo and just chilled on the hanging swing as we sipped on our wine slushies.

We tasted Chambourchin grapes freshly picked form right off the vine. These are full of juice and ready for harvest.

Snapped this picture of the front sign as we were leaving.

Nottely River Valley Vineyards was indeed really tranquil. The view from their tasting room is of three states, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. We had so much fun making friends as we enjoyed a bottle of Strawberry Wine under their covered patio.

On the way back Saturday evening we stopped and played along the banks of the Natahala River.

As Jenni mentioned, Burntshirt is one of our favorites, they were very busy this Sunday. The weather was nice for sitting outside and a really good cover band was playing.

Stopping at Russian Chapel Hills on our way home is somewhat of a tradition for us. Looking at the grapes on the vines at Russian, leads me to believe it’s going to be a good year for wine in the region.

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