It has been since August since I went for a good ol’ wine tasting here in the South. With luck, hopefully I will be throwing them back in Napa Valley in a few weeks with Melanie for her 21st birthday (finger’s crossed).
I follow LivingSocial.com in the Charlotte area, and they were offering wine tastings and tours at this little vineyard out in Monroe called Treehouse Vineyards. Tim and I were finally able to hash out some time to go over for a visit and I was quite pleased.
The Treehouse Vineyards officially opened in 2010, though the actual land and vines have been around for decades. The owner of the winery is Phil Nordan, but the real founders were his parents who planted the first muscadine vines before Phil was even born. But more on that later. 🙂 As we drove up, I was honestly wondering where the heck this place was? The location is shockingly within, or at least feels like it’s in, city limits. I was pleasantly surprised, however, when the Date Night treehouse popped into view and we knew that we were exactly where we needed to be. The grounds are astounding!
In addition to the Date Night Treehouse, which can be rented out on an hourly basis, there is the Papa’s Dream cabin-style treehouse that is available for overnight rental. Best believe when we come back to visit, we will be renting that place out. The “legs” as Tim calls them on the wines were fantastic. The better the legs, the higher the alcohol content. We stayed on for a tasting and a glass of wine and we were loopy. Oh yes, but again, more on that later. If you are interested in renting out the cabins, follow this link for the Date Night and this link for the Papa’s Dream.
Quick story on the reasons behind the Treehouses. The Date Night treehouse was founded when Phil’s parents needed a place to get away for a few hours for “date night.” Since his mom’s health was declining, it was difficult to go too far. So a treehouse was built just for her. Of course, when the house was built, she asked “Where’s the bathroom?” So they built Papa’s Dream that includes a bathroom. There are plans for more treehouses and even an event center for weddings and larger parties. I would love to see this in the future.
For a Thursday afternoon, the winery was pretty packed in. Tim and I decided that we would walk the grounds a little while we waited for the tour and tasting to begin. During the weekends, the patio and deck are used to accomodate the overflow of people who come from near and far to sample the wines.
Plenty of space to party, but only during the weekdays. What I love about this winery is that they are dedicated to their craft. And most importantly, keeping their customers happy. They do no t currently shut down the winery for events on the weekends.
Tim and I hung out by the firepit for a while. We have decided that this is the best way to firepit…create an actual pit. The man is already planning out our dream back yard. 🙂
The Treehouse Winery is dog friendly. From what I saw, there are three puppies on the premises. This is Luke. Luke was a very sweet boy and Tim didn’t waste any time making friends.
Luke had two other companions, Dallas, who I couldn’t get a picture of and this little sweet heart and I got along swell.
We relaxed for a spell in the rocking chairs around the firepit before heading back inside. The coupon we had allowed us a free glass of wine along with the tasting and tour. I got the Riesling and Tim got the Merlot.
On the way back inside, however, my inner child kicked in and I HAD to try the rope swing. Good times were had by all. And Tim (cough) I want one of these along with the firepit in our dream yard.
We took our glasses of wine back outside and waited for the tour to begin. This awesome cornhole set caught my eye. We didn’t quite have enough time to play but I am taking advantage of this next time.
Phil the owner came out himself and gave us the grand tour! The actual vines for the vineyard were planted back in 2004. What you see here is the little rolling “basket” they used to collect the muscadine grapes for the wine. The process is very extensive and complicated and honestly I was too busy catching a buzz to completely pay attention (well done glass of Riesling) but I did catch one HUGE difference that Treehouse vineyards is very proud of and I don’t blame them: they don’t add water to their wine. Hence the insta-buzz and delicious taste of the wine we were sipping on.
We were allowed to really see the entire process and the evolution of the winery itself. They showed us the “old school” way and the more efficient way they are making wines now, including a way to age the wine to its very best instantly. This will save a few years of waiting to open the bottle. Huzzah!
After the tour it was time for the tastings. I was already very happy from the Riesling and Tim absolutely loved the Merlot. The juices used were brought in from other vineyards in North Carolina, but the wines themselves were just wonderful. They were not too sweet, and even the Riesling had a little bit of a kick.
Our lovely wine consultant was Lesslie (if I spelled it wrong please let me know). She guided us through 11 (the average wine tasting is 5) different wines and mixes. Each wine had a story. I will not delve too much into them, because it is all apart of the experience and there is no way I am going to spoil this experience. My favorite out of all the muscadines was the Sunset Hills.
We ended up purchasing a bottle of Bailey’s Blend. We both agreed that this was one of our favorites. It will be awesome sipping this on a spring or summer night. The best thing that goes with any wine? One bottle or two.
I absolutely loved their souvenir glasses, as well. Yes, we got to take them home! They are now resting in my wine rack.
The gift shop in the winery was also very nice. I picked up a few home decorating ideas, including this one for the bar area in my den. Stuff Christmas lights into decorated wine bottles and watch them glow!
And these napkins were awesome as well. Tim took a particular liking to the hand painted wine glasses with the faces of The Beatles, Elvis, Lucille Ball, and several other celebrities. If anyone wants to know what to get him for his birthday, shop here!
We are definitely coming back in the nest few months. On the weekends they have live music and there is a grape stomping festival in September (don’t worry, they don’t use the juice from that festival in their wines). I just received another offer for wine tasting and a BOTTLE of wine, so of course I jumped on that. Thank you Living Social. Like I said, these wines were not watered down so we are definitely, upon next visit going to hang out in one of the Treehouses for the night. Have a nice quiet getaway.
This winery is phenomenal and by far the closest to the Rock Hill/Charlotte area out of all the NC wineries I have visited. We had a great time, and I cannot wait to go back when the weather gets nice and warm.