The seed was planted when founder Pritchard Dennis and his wife Lynda took a trip to Spain in the 1970's and discovered their passion and deep appreciation for wine. Upon their return, Pritchard began to research. Books upon books, notepads and calculators – it looked like the office of a crazy person! The idea cultivated and matured until finally in the late 1980's he decided to take the plunge into making his first batch as a hobby winemaker. Success! He had officially been bitten by the ever-contagious and notoriously addictive wine-making bug; and from there it spread to his son, Sandon. Before he knew it, he too had jumped in head first making his own personal batches and blends.
The race was on! Sandon preparing his batches and Pritchard working diligently on perfecting his. It was the ultimate father-son challenge. With two people now producing wine (and without a license to sell it) there was plenty of wine to be given away as gifts, thank you’s and simply as a “hey try this!”. Even with all the giving, there was still more, so they started donating it to their church for Communion wine. People came to church, sang their songs & participated in Communion all like usual, with the exception of this new wine being served. People were buzzing about like little yellow bees on a pollinating frenzy trying to figure out where on Earth this amazing Communion wine came from! Sarah told Tom. Tom told Alan. Then the crazy thing happened… people were showing up at their doorstep asking for more of “THAT Communion wine”.
From there, well, you could say things sort of sped up. With the future looking so bright and an un-dying passion in their hearts, Sandon and Pritchard’s next step would change their lives forever. In 1996, the father-son duo took their first steps towards professionalism by planting a mere 200 muscadine vines and applying for a winery license. What everyone thought would always be a small hobby winery then began to grow, reaching far beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. The tiny closet-sized tasting room with a doorbell wired down to Pritchard’s house was no longer enough to keep up with the amount of customers trying to pack in and try this “mighty good wine” on a daily basis.
Buildings were built, people were hired, more vines were planted, and the wine was good! Really good, in fact! More and more customers poured in to the point that it could no longer be simply a hobby, but a full time job. Sandon says “This really is a hobby that got out of hand. It’s hard work, long nights and a lot of farming, but seeing someone’s face light up upon tasting a wine that I personally created, it’s the most rewarding feeling ever and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”