Overmountain Vineyards expands winery and tasting room

Published 11:05 pm Thursday, June 4, 2015


Overmountain Vineyards is a boutique winery nestled in the Tryon Foothills of Polk County. Since opening the tasting room in 2010, it has become a sought out tourist destination, being one of five wineries in the Polk County area, which has a rich viticultural history dating back to the late 1800s.


Overmountain Vineyards and Winery opened in 2010, but has been commercially growing grapes for 16 years. For 10 of those years, Overmountain Vineyards was a contracted commercial grape grower for the Biltmore Estate Winery and Rockhouse Vineyards.


The 70 acre family owned farm grows 16 acres of French Vinifera and focuses primarily on Petit Manseng, an elegant aromatic white varietal originally from southwest France. Overmountain Vineyards also grows Bordeaux red varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot.


Aside from the French grapes that are grown on the estate, Overmountain Vineyards also cultivates two acres of blueberries that will eventually be made into a blueberry port-style wine. Estate grown fruit constitutes the majority of the wines produced. However, Overmountain Vineyards also sources grapes from the historic Rockhouse Vineyards as well as Tryon Vineyards in Polk County, N.C.


The winery as seen today, was originally designed to be a horse barn, but was quickly converted into a state of the art winery. It increased in size last May from a modest 2,200 square feet to 4,400 square feet with the addition of a barrel room and an expansion of the crush pad. This expansion has allowed Overmountain Vineyards to keep up with the increasing demand for high quality local wines. Overmountain Vineyards grew from 500 cases in 2013 to over 1,000 cases in 2014, and plans to expand to 3,500 cases over the next four years.


In 2014, while Overmountain Vineyards expanded in production and size, they simultaneously made major investments in wine production equipment. Overmountain Vineyards is one of the few wineries in North Carolina that is using Bucher Vaslin’s state of the art wine grape processing line, which includes a grape elevator, crusher/destemmer, a 16 foot grape berry sorting table, and a 16 hectoliter press.


Last month, Overmountain Vineyards installed a 10-ton chiller to expand white wine production and allow for the introduction of sparkling wines. They also expanded their patio and tasting room area to better accommodate and better serve guests and private parties. Many thanks to local building contractor, Matt Lynch, for making the 2014 and 2015 expansions possible.


The hilltop tasting room sits at 1,200 feet elevation and is open year round. The quaint cottage overlooks the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and provides an unprecedented wine tasting experience. Last spring, Overmountain Vineyards took the plunge and extended business hours from just weekends to Wednesdays through Sundays. This summer, Overmountain Vineyards will stay open Mondays and Tuesdays during eventing season for their next-door neighbors, Tryon International Equestrian Center.


At Overmountain Vineyards innovation is at the core of everything. Frank Lilly, winemaker and his daughter Sofia, assistant winemaker, focus on developing artisanal wines that are hand crafted and distinctive. Overmountain Vineyards creates old world style wines with the latest modern innovative techniques both in the vineyards and in the winery.


We invite you to come, see, and taste the difference while enjoying a truly distinctive wine experience at Overmountain Vineyards!
– Submitted by Mindy Wiener