Outdoor

Marie McAden

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Winery offers respite after a walk in the woods

Posted 10/31/2012 9:38:00 AM

As many times as I’ve traveled along the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Highway to Table Rock State Park, I’ve managed to miss the inconspicuous sign directing visitors to Victoria Valley Vineyards.

I still wouldn’t know about the winery had it not been for the innkeeper at The Inn at Table Rock where I stayed last month during a visit to the Upstate. Despite our late evening arrival, we still had time to catch the Friday night event at the Victoria Valley Vineyards, she told us.

Vineyards? In the middle of the mountains? Since it was only minutes from the inn, my husband and I decided to check it out.

Sure enough, just past the popular Aunt Sue’s restaurant and ice cream parlor on S.C. 11 was a sign pointing up South Saluda Road to the vineyards. Reminiscent of a French chateau, the winery sits on 14 primo acres in the shadow of Table Rock and the adjacent Stool Mountain.

The Jayne family designed Victoria Valley Vineyards to feel like an old winery on the mountain slopes of Italy or France. From the terrace, visitors can gaze over a hillside of grapevines destined to become one of a wide selection of wines from syrah to merlot to chardonnay.

Along with a beautiful view, the site offered the winemakers the proper elevation and soil structure to grow and produce vinifera wines. Inside the winery are a tasting room, gift shop and terrace where lunch is offered Thursday through Sunday.

In the spring, summer and fall, the winery hosts “Friday Night Tunes on the Terrace” with guitarist and singer Jeff Gray. We arrived in time to catch the last hour of songs. A couple of glasses of wine and a slice of New York cheesecake later, I was totally relaxed and in full vacation mode.

Tastings are $5 and include your choice of six wines (excluding reserve wines). Bottles run from $7.89 for the house red and rosé to $24.95 for the 2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. For a list of the current selection, click here.

A visit to the winery would make a great stop on your fall leaf peeping tour or after a morning of hiking. You’ll get another great view of the colorful forest foliage and treat your palette to some fabulous wine.

Victoria Valley Vineyards is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Friday Night Tunes is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Want to learn more about the winery? Click here or call (877) 612-WINE.