South Creek Vineyards & Winery
South Creek Vineyards & Winery
2240 South Creek Road
Nebo, North Carolina
Contact: Mary Rowley
In 2010, a love of North Carolina and the surrounding countryside started what would be a radical change of careers for us. It was spring, and a new corporate job was going to require a move out of state. Not wanting to leave beautiful North Carolina caused us to consider other career options and prompted an Internet business search within the state.
That's how and where this story starts....because there it was in that Internet ad; a picture of a vineyard for sale but no address indicated. A call to the listing agent and we learned the property was in Nebo, close to Lake James. Too far to commute from our Mocksville residence to run a business...should we go see it anyway? We decided to just take a look, never imagining at that time where that look was about to take us.
On the 74 mile drive to visit the vineyard, we tried to talk about our upcoming vacation to the beach, but the anticipation of looking at a business quickly took over the conversation. Were we really serious, was this realistic? Or were we just about to waste the owners time? We arrived at the vineyard and although we could not have known it at the time, we were about to take the first step in our new lives.
We met with the owner at that time, Frank Boldon, and toured the property. Frank had started the vines 8 years prior, and his love for the vineyard showed in every row of the vineyards. The property was picturesque, with a pasture and the creek (South Creek) running down the middle of it. The 100 year old home where the tasting room was located captured our attention (and our hearts.) The architecture of the home lent itself to Italian influence but was still a farmhouse and clearly large enough to live in. That it would need renovation was evident, but renovating old homes was something we had plenty of experience with. And we love to turn what others may discard into a jewel. The property had acreage & a barn, perfect for our horses. It seemed the land and home was ideal. But what about the most important factor - THE WINE??... Lets just say that when we tasted the excellent South Creek Bordeaux style wines for the first time, we smiled, and considered the possibilities.
The rest of that week was spent in long conversations, weighing the pros and cons. The news was consistently negative in every fact we needed to consider. Would we be able to sell our current home in this market? Could the economy get worse, not better? Were we crazy to buy a business in the middle of an economic storm? Yes, we were crazy.
Deciding to take a leap of faith, we invested our future in the North Carolina wine community and purchased South Creek Vineyards & Winery in the summer of 2010.
September came and so did our first harvest. We picked, pressed, and fermented. We purchased additional wine barrels, doubling the Bordeaux Style wine production aging in the winery. We learned the bottling process (along with some help from good friends and family.) Using the consistent wine-making methods taught to him by Frank (the previous owner and wine-maker), Jim kept watch over the vines and the wines.
As the new owners, we commuted from Mocksville to Nebo everyday, running the winery while renovating the 100 year old farmhouse. A new tasting room and retail shop was completed, as well as the new fencing in the pasture for our 3 horses, Lu-Lu, Jewel and Dakota. Living quarters were updated, and in December of 2010, we and our dog Sugar, and the 3 mares moved into our new home. And just in time too, as miracle of miracles, our house in Mocksville sold in December of 2010.
We now work and live at the vineyard appreciating the path that led us here, but looking back with amazement and wonder. How in the world did we do that?? We hope you will find the path to our vineyard a little easier than our trip and wish you would visit us soon!!
We would like to end this tale by thanking Frank Boldon, the past owner of South Creek for his understanding, knowledge, insight and vision. Because without him (& God), this venture would have never been possible.
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