NC Wine Country Tour: Grapefull Sisters Vineyard

Country Inn and Winery are Near Myrtle Beach Attractions

Blending Old South with new ideas, two sisters have transformed their family tobacco farm into a wine and wedding destination just minutes from North Carolina beaches.

When sisters Amy Suggs and Sheila Suggs Little inherited the family tobacco farm a few years ago, they were at a loss as to what to with it. Neither sister was interested in operating it as a tobacco farm, so the question was what could they do with 45 acres in southeastern North Carolina?

Wild Grapes and Muscadine Wine

A clue to the answer came in the form of wild grapevines they found growing near the creek at the back of the property. Family lore held that the vines had been planted by the sisters’ Great Uncle Pinkney nearly 100 years ago. Inspired by the vines and the history of the area, the sisters decided to grow more grapes and make wine.

One of the newest of the coastal North Carolina wineries, Grapefull Sisters Vineyard opened its doors in July 2006 with six different wines and a steady stream of visitors. The wines are all Muscadine (red) and Scuppernong (white) made from locally grown grapes and with names like Sister’s Folly, Waccamaw Red, and Southern Charm that reflect the local culture. Wine tastings are offered for all wines.

For those who can’t or prefer not to drink wine, but who want to enjoy the health benefits of the Muscadine grape, they offer Uncle Pink’s Alcohol-Free wine. They even have Muscadine supplements made from the pulp, stems, and skins of the grape and are happy to supply interested visitors with fliers on the health benefits of Muscadines.

Country Inn Among the Vines

In addition to the winery and gift shop, the sisters have added a three-bedroom bed and breakfast they call Inn d’Vine which serves as accommodation for romantic weekends, girlfriend getaways and as dressing rooms and honeymoon cottage for weddings. The quiet country setting just a few miles from North Myrtle Beach makes Grapefull Sisters Vineyard a popular wedding location.

The winery, gift shop, and inn are housed in a modern version of the old tobacco barn that once stood on the site. When the original building had to be torn down, some of the old bricks that had been made by the sister’s Grandfather Gardner and his brother Lacey were salvaged and used in the new building.

The sisters were adamant that the new structure should reflect the rural heritage of the farm-community landscape. It has a wide, wraparound upper-level porch where visitors can sip a glass of wine and watch the glorious sunsets.

Grapefull Sisters Winery

Grapefull Sisters Vineyard produces ten different wines, including alcohol-free wine. The gift shop features jams, jellies, soaps, and other products made locally and display the works of local artists and crafters.

Sheila feels they have been given a precious gift, one that has allowed them to hold on to their heritage as well as create a legacy for the next generation. “We get to drink wine in a barn in the country,” she laughs. “I think Grandaddy and Uncle Lacy would both approve.”

Grapefull Sisters Vineyard, 4903 Ramsey Ford Road, Tabor City NC (910) 653-2944

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