Nice to Meet You, Treehouse Vineyard!
The craft beer scene has been blooming in Asheville and Charlotte, but there is one more we missed out on – wineries. From the mountain to the coast, there is literally hundreds of wineries across North Carolina. Forget Napa Valley and explore the NC wine trail instead!
Bubble and I ditched our usual indoor plans (FYI, it was 89F degrees in Charlotte…so much for fall) for a date at Treehouse Vineyard. Secluded in a residential neighborhood in Monroe, the winery was unexpectedly busy. The line was actually out of the door!
Treehouse Vineyard hosts a unique story based tasting on the weekend. Our host began sharing a bit of the winery and the family history. Once upon a time, Mr. Phil and Ms. Dianne were both living with Ms. Dianne’s mom. Because Ms. Dianne’s mom was ill and required constant care, Mr. Phil built a treehouse right in their backyard for their quick date night. I mean can they be any sweeter?! The words about the treehouse got out. Friends wanted to rent out the treehouse for their date night as well. Mr. Phil decided he would build another treehouse with hotel amenities. At the time, Ms. Dianne thought he was silly, no one would want to stay in a treehouse. She was proven wrong when reservations filled up so quickly. Just last week, they completed the final touches on their third treehouse. All three are available for renting now. Based on the photos shared with us, they look awesome for a weekend getaway.
Although Mr. Phil had made wine for years as a hobby, it wasn’t until 2005 when he planted brushes of muscadine vines. Each of the wines are named after family stories. Sweet Union – a sweet white Carlos wine was named after warm people of Union County. Date Nite, of course, was named after Ms. Dianne and Mr. Phil’s date night on the treehouse.
We sampled a total of 8 different wines. Bubble and I both ranked Sunset Hills, a sweet red muscadine blend as our top favorite. I was actually surprised at the result since I usually prefer whites over red. Sunset Hills is even better when it is mixed with frozen cider. These wino-ritas are dangerously delicious!
Treehouse offers kits to make wino-ritas at home. The recipe … shhh, is 1 bottle of cider and 1/2 bottle of wine (any of them will work). Pour both into a galleon bag and freeze for3.5 hour. Volia! Enjoy the most perfect summer juice!
Another host took us behind the scene to all the machines and explained the process. This process differs from our Italian Wine tour. Apparently many wineries have switched to using a cold stabilization method to keep tartaric acid from forming after the wine has been bottled. The tartaric acid is what is used in making cream of tartar – used in lemon meringue pie. Who knew?! Our host explained the manual process of bottling and labeling. Also learned there is such thing as a cork tree and a whole industry in Brazil. Real cock is expensive to use because it requires at least 40 years of growth before it can endure any cork extraction. Who knew?!
After the tour, visitors can relax on rocking chairs. Bubble and I opted for a swinging bench. The picturesque vineyard scenery reminded us of the luscious green Tuscan hills of Italy. We quite enjoyed our short day trip to Monroe. 🙂