Brews week isn’t brews week without the addition of my favorite brew: wine! Does that count as a brew? What the heck. We’re doing it anyway! In a city well known for its micro-breweries and specialty beers, it’s easy for wine to drift into the back of your mind unless you’re thinking about Biltmore’s well-advertised vintages, but the appearance of family owned and operated vineyards is an idea that’s cropping up (pardon the pun) in recent years. The first of which, and possibly one of the best by this writer’s estimation, is the delicious stock found at Burnt Shirt Vineyard in Hendersonville, North Carolina, about fifteen minutes east of Asheville.

With a unique name like Burnt Shirt, it’s no surprise that the origin of the colorful title has an interesting story behind it. When settlers first came to this stretch of the Appalachian mountains they would burn the fields to prepare them for planting. Being superstitious is a mountain past time so someone thought, “Hm, you know what this fire needs? My shirt. That ought to be good luck, right?” So the tradition of burning a shirt to prepare for good harvest was born.

Formally a grape-growing operation, the vineyards would become one of the premier wineries in the region, winning recognition year after year from various wine connoisseurs and the appreciation of locals alike. The Oates’ family dedication to keeping the authenticity and dedication to craft comes from an 80 year history of quality that saturates everything that goes on at Burnt Shirt and they continue to add onto the operation without compromising quality.

With tours and tasting available daily, I couldn’t resist saddling up my Kia and heading out to Sugarloaf to try it out myself. You can pop in whenever they are open but if you call a day ahead of time, you can get them to pack you a lunch to enjoy on the sprawling grounds. Trust me, you’re going to want to stick around for it so book yourself a meal ahead of time. Compared to some of the other tastings I’ve been to, Burnt Shirt’s tastings are relatively inexpensive ranging from 7 to 10 dollars depending on whether you want 1 or 2 flights of wine on your tasting. Spring for both because it’s absolutely worth ten dollars. Plus, you get a souvenir glass and it’s one that you’ll actually want to drink out of more than once.

Though I’m more of a sweet wine drinker, both the dry and the sweet flights were very pleasing and would satisfy almost any wine enthusiast. Add the good taste to the ambience of a converted farm house and pleasurable company, you’ve got a recipe for a really great time. All the staff were very friendly and provided both interesting conversation and in-depth knowledge of the offerings in the tasting room.

I’ll definitely be back for the wine alone but that’s not all Burnt Shirt offers. A unique offering has to be the music in the vineyards selection where you can grab yourself a bottle and listen to some great live music from local musicians all summer long. Check their websites for performance dates but they seem to be scheduled once a week throughout the summer months. In addition, you can make this a family event since the sprawling acreage also offers many walking trails and lush gardens to explore.

It’s definitely the best way to start off a brews week of your own if you’re in the region. Grab a glass and prepare to tickle your taste buds as you enjoy this unique mountain vineyard.

 

Burnt Shirt Vineyards

www.BurntShirtVineyards.com

2695 Sugarloaf Road
Hendersonville, North Carolina 28792

Burnt Shirt

2695 Sugarloaf Road
Hendersonville, North Carolina 28792