Sol Of South Creek VineyardsBlock Number: H 9
by Ginger Todd
NEBO VINEYARD JOINS RURAL HERITAGE QUILT TRAIL
Jim and Mary Rowley, proprietors of South Creek Vineyards and Winery, are the recent hosts of the ninth quilt block on the Rural Heritage Quilt Trail. The “Sol of South Creek Vineyards”, an eight foot by eight foot block, was installed on the front of their barn Friday May 24, 2013. It is a cheery and welcoming sight to visitors as they travel the driveway through the vineyard up to their home.
In 2010 a situation arose that brought about a move from their home in Mocksville, N.C. to Nebo and resulted in a radical change in their careers. Having seen an internet ad for the property they met with owner Frank Boldon and toured the vineyards, home and barn. Soon they decided to “take a leap of faith” from Helen Keller’s quote “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing”. They purchased the 29 acres in the summer of 2010, which included a 4 acre vineyard, previously planted eight years prior.
Although the old barn was adequate for the three horses they owned (Lu-Lu, Jewel and Dakota) new fencing was required in the pasture. The farm home, over one hundred years old, needed extensive remodeling to update the living quarters and adequately adapt the spaces required for their plans to open the winery. In December after renovations were complete, including a new “tasting room”, the Rowleys moved in. Their dog Sugar adapted readily to the new surroundings with sparkling South Creek meandering through the middle of the property.
The barn and house were built in 1902 using lumber cut from trees on the property. The barn’s huge loft suggests it was most likely used for cattle, the hay cut and stored from what was originally a 400 acre tract. Through conversations with a neighbor and McDowell County census records it is believed the original owner was Jasper Newton Yelton who died in 1932 and is buried at the Harmony Grove Church cemetery.
Throughout the first summer the Rowleys worked closely with Mr. Boldon in learning the vineyard business, bottling process and the art of producing fine Bordeaux style wines. He “walked them through” their first harvest and they have since doubled the winery’s production. The farmhouse architecture leans to an Italian influence and an expansive front porch is the perfect setting for sampling the wines. There is a lounge featuring locally made crackers, cheeses and chocolates as well as a retail shop offering various wine-related articles and attire.
The winery has received several medals and awards at various festivals and competitions since the Rowley’s ownership. South Creek is especially recognized for its Cabernet Sauvignon (red) and Chardonnay (white) wines. This will be the third annual “tastings straight from the barrel” event scheduled and there are other gatherings, celebrations, tours and lots of live music occurring throughout the summer.
The block Sol of South Creek Vineyards is a modified sunburst pattern with the focus being a cluster of grapes in the center. The name Sol (sun) is symbolic of the importance of the natural sunlight getting through the vineyard canopies to produce a superior end product and yield. The colors of the quilt block include black, gold, burgundy and white which are the winery’s logo colors. Take a ride out to see this newest addition to the Rural Heritage Trail at 2240 South Creek Road, Nebo, N.C.