WADMALAW ISLAND, SC - When it comes to finding great ways to spend your Southern weekend, sometimes all it takes is a glass of wine under an old oak tree. And what better way to get that wine than fresh from the source?
That is exactly what The Southern Weekend, our new series covering food, fun and travel throughout the South, found at Irvin-House Vineyards.
One of the Lowcountry's best kept secrets, the vineyard can be found tucked back near the end of Bears Bluff Road on Wadmalaw Island.
Owner Jim Irvin says he and his wife Ann were looking at starting something new when they came across a flyer for the property back in 2000. Shortly after their wedding in June of that same year, they purchased the property and got to work on bringing the winery to life.
"We went on our honeymoon and came back here, put in 3,700 posts and seven and a half miles of wire," Jim said. "By February of 2001 we were finished and planted 2,500 muscadine grape vines."
Jim says they weren't quite sure in the beginning exactly what they were doing or how the business would work out. They obviously figured things out, because nearly 15 years later the business continues to thrive.
"It went way beyond my wildest dreams. We make about 3,500, 4,000 cases a year and sell it all and have fun doing it," he said.
The main reason they decided to start up a vineyard, according to Jim, was because it gave he and his wife a way to share the South with others.
"We love for people to come out here and relax, have a good time. We love seeing smiles on people's faces. It's just incredible."
The vineyard, which is also home to Firefly Distillery, is open Tuesday through Saturday for wine tastings and tours. For more information, click here.
Can you think of a hidden gem in the Lowcountry that more people need to know about? Drop a comment and tell us about it!