Frank Lilly to speak on Polks grape growing heritage Nov. 17

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, November 11, 2010

On November 17, in the Community Room of the Polk County Library in Columbus, Frank Lilly, winemaker and owner of Overmountain Vineyards, will share his experiences growing grapes in Polk County. Lilly will be addressing his remarks to Tryon Garden Club members and the public is welcome to attend.

When William Gillette stepped off the train in Tryon in the early 1900s he did so in order to buy some local grapes. Many varieties of grapes were grown in Polk County, some for wine and some for the table. Lilly has been growing grapes for the last eight years.&bsp; He is part of the movement to restore an industry which once flourished here.

For the last five years Lilly and his wife Lita have been selling grapes grown on their vineyard to The Biltmore Estate winery. Lilly also provides general consultation on vineyard management, laboratory analysis and wine making.

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Lilly holds a B.A. degree from East Carolina University. Recently he completed a certificate program at Surry Community College with focus on enology and viticulture. Lilly served as an officer in the U.S. Army and has been a resident of Polk County since 1996.

Membership in the Tryon Garden Club, the owner/operator of Pearsons Falls, is open. For information about membership in the Tryon Garden Club contact Lee Cudlip at 828-859-0309.