I arrived at the Grapefull Sisters Vineyard near Tabor City, NC today around noon. Off the beaten track...which is what I look for. It's actually only about 20 minutes to the beach, tho'. This vineyard is part of the Harvest Host network. For RV members that means a free place to park for 24 hours in a unique environment...primarily vineyards, but also agricultural settings...farms, etc. Harvest Hosts supports and promotes family/entrepreneurial agricultural businesses. What could be better than that?
Grapefull Sisters Vineyard is a quaint little vineyard of strictly muscadine grapes....the only truly all American grape. It is a native grape of North Carolina. The mother vine was discovered in 1524 by Giovanni de Verazzano. It was named Scuppernong from the river where it was discovered. The "Mother Vine" is our nation's oldest cultivated grapevine...now over 400 years old and still thriving on Roanoke Island. The grapes the Mother Vine has brought to us are said to offer health benefits that no other variety can claim....40% more antioxidants than any other grape. Her vines create an extraordinary green canopy that stretches 120 feet in length supported by an enormous arbor.
The Grapefull Sisters Vineyard was started by sisters on property that has been in their family for generations.
The vineyard has a small, treed campground....very quiet. Being a Monday, most campers had headed out yesterday and/or this morning, so it was especially "unpopulated"....which, by now, is what you know I look for!
There is a wine tasting every day, except Sunday, from 1pm - 6pm in their small wine bar + gift shop. I sampled all eight muscadine selections and finally narrowed it down to one to bring home....the least I could do for the free campsite. No, they aren't in the realm of *Chateauneuf du Pape* but they are light, grapey wines...about 12% alcohol and actually, for a summer, chilled wine...pretty decent.
While I was sampling I had a chance to talk to the sisters. One is an artist and had several paintings on display. Her granddaughter (12 years old), also enjoys painting and is very good! So, we had a great conversation about all aspects of painting.
They also produce many varieties of jams and jellies. I selected the Muscadine Jelly and the B.E.A.R. Jam (Blueberry, Elderberry, Apple & Raspberry). I see two great reasons for toast with my tea for breakfast! Oh - did I mention they also have Blue Bunny ice cream???? Did I buy any???? Uhhhhhh... wellllllll....YES!
So my final analysis of the Grapefull Sisters Vineyard is....... Wine + Jam + Ice Cream + Free Site = Good Spot for an afternoon/over night!
I'll be headed to a "real" boondocking site tomorrow for a couple of days....think "insect repellent" ! LOL!
Follow along with me! Right now....time for ice cream! (Heat index here is 102*!)