This grand adventure started in 2007 when Tauny took a wine tasting tour in Bordeaux. It was there she fell in love with the idea of owning our own vineyard, making authentic wines unique to the terroir of the vineyard. In the spring of 2010 on a flight back home from the Caribbean, while reading an article about the growing U.S. wine industry in the in-flight magazine, Jim came up with the greatest of ideas (of course I am writing this and so it was a greatest idea) - "we need to start our own vineyard!" We had been talking about our options for either a career change or early retirement, and this got us thinking about how we could transition away from working for a large company and instead be our own boss. Together we had taken a few trips to wine country in France and Spain, and we really appreciated the small boutique wineries where the owners were involved in every aspect of their wines – from the vineyard to the winery to the tasting room.
After researching the wine industry in a few states (and quite a bit of tasting the local products!) we landed in the Yadkin Valley in North Carolina for a long weekend, and fell in love with the area. Shortly after that visit, we were in touch with a realtor that led to our purchase of our first 40-acres of farmland in Yadkin County in October 2010.
Previously the farm had been used to grow tobacco, but in the late 1980s the change was made to growing corn and soy beans. The property included an old farmhouse and barn, each about 130 years old, and a number of smaller outbuildings around the property. Unfortunately, the old farmhouse was in such bad shape that it had to be torn down, but the barn and two of the outbuildings have been saved, and we continue to use them to support our farming activities today. We were able to salvage some things from the old farmhouse that we have incorporated into the new tasting room building. Some of the oak floorboards were used in the construction of our unique curved tasting bar, and you will see the vintage lightning rods from the roof in the tasting house.
Since neither one of us had previous experience in the farming or wine industry, we began an immersion self-study program for as much information as we could find. We met with people who had their own experiences of starting vineyards/wineries, and Tauny enrolled in the viticulture and enology program at the local community college. Armed with this knowledge base, we jumped into the fire. In 2013 we decided that it was time to just do it and so we planted our first vines. It hasn’t been easy, but we never thought it would be. It has been as rewarding as we knew it would be.
Throughout this journey, we have been reminded time and again that the tapestry of our lives connect our past to our present and into our future. The experiences we have had in our past shape us not only today, but for years to come. Family and friends walk with us for a while on our paths and help us to find the joy in life. Through it all, we live our authentic lives. And now, we do our best to raise authentic wines that we hope you’ll enjoy as you live out your own authentic life.