By Pamela Brownstein
If you think touring wineries and wine tastings are reserved only for Napa Valley, think again. September Oaks Vineyards makes its own wines and provides a complete winery experience — all in our own backyard.
The Lunch Bunch traveled to Ridgeland to see what September Oaks — described as The Winery of the South — has to offer.
The view once you turn into the entrance of the winery is dramatic — the road is lined with giant live oaks — and the beauty of the property is revealed as you pass fields; flowering azaleas; fledgling vineyards; and a quaint cottage, until you come to the end of the road, and the center of the activity, the Tasting Room.
We were welcomed with a homemade lunch of egg salad and chicken salad sandwiches, fruit salad, pasta salad, and a brownie for dessert, all prepared by our knowledgeable hostess and wine consultant, Annette. It was a gorgeous Friday afternoon as we ate on a picnic table outside on the terraced patio and marveled at the scenery. (Although they don’t usually offer meals during wine tastings, if you call ahead, they will gladly customize your visit depending on the needs of your group.)
Annette described the types of grapes that are grown, as well as the history of the property, then we joined her inside
for our proper wine tasting.
The owner of September Oaks, Grady Woods, makes all his own wines from local and regional grapes. An architect by trade, he also designed the Tasting Room, which was originally a barn. The high ceiling and repurposed wood give the large room an updated rustic feel.
We lined up along the wide bar with our tasting sheets as Annette revealed the intricacies of each bottle. We swirled and sipped, and were given cheese and chocolate to see how the taste of the certain wine changes when paired with food.
It was informative and fun, and afterward we got to tour the big warehouse in the back to see where the wine is
The beauty of the grounds, the friendliness of the staff, and of course, the opportunity to sample delicious local wines, make a visit to this winery an experience you won’t soon forget.
September Oaks Vineyards is located at 893 Grays Highway, Ridgeland, SC, 29936. Call 843-726-9463 or visit www.septemberoaks.com to find out wine tasting hours, to join the wine club or to book your next special event.