The Myrtle Beach area offers so much to do year round. As a local, one of my favorite activities when friends come to visit, is visiting the local wineries!
In Ocean Isle Beach, you can indulge in European-style wines right here in the American South at Silver Coast Winery (www.silvercoastwinery.com). Silver Coast has two locations, one at the distillery in Ocean Isle and another in Southport, where you can enjoy tastings at the Silver Coast Winery Tasting Room.
Silver Coast Winery is an active wine making facility, opened in 2002 by Maryann and Dr. “Bud” Azzato. Silver Coast wines are modeled after traditional, classic, European styles. All wines are produced in-house by Award Winning Winemaker, Dana Keeler, with regionally grown grapes.
The Ocean Isle Beach location offers daily wine tastings as well as tours of the full production facility. During your visit you can relax and have a wine tasting with one of the friendly staff, browse the gift shops and the eclectic art gallery.
The winery’s second location is Silver Coast Winery Tasting Room in beautiful, downtown Southport, NC. This location offers both wine and beer tastings as well as a gift shop and art.
Silver Coast Winery is located in a beautiful woodland setting, just minutes away from the beach, and also specializes in wedding ceremonies, receptions and rehearsal dinners from small intimate gatherings to large banquets.
La Belle Amie (the home of Twisted Sisters wine) is located in Little River on St. Joseph Road. La Belle Amie (labelleamie.com) offers wine tastings, but it also has a pretty active event calendar, including live music, listed on its website.
La Belle Amie Vineyard, an operating vineyard open to the public, is located in the Grand Strand Area (which includes the coastal regions from Georgetown to Little River) of South Carolina. The Vineyard is a popular attraction for visitors and hosts many popular festivals throughout the year. Vineyard guests are invited into the wine tasting room to sample private label wines and a variety of specialty finishing & dipping sauces, dressings, mustards & more.
Need some gift ideas? The gift shop features a nice selection of wine accessories and unique gifts. Afterwards, relax on the front porch in a rocking chair, have a glass of wine, and enjoy the peacefulness of the farm.
The entrance road leading to the tasting room and gift shop winds past vineyard #1, an old tobacco barn, and a duck pond. Families, buses and tour groups are welcome, and picnic areas are provided for visitors. The vineyard is part of a former tobacco plantation that has been owned by the Bellamy family since the 1800’s. La Belle Amie, meaning “the beautiful friend,” is the European origin of the family name.
Duplin Winery (www.duplinwinery.com), originally from Rose Hill, N.C., has expanded and now has a second location in North Myrtle Beach. Duplin is known for its award-winning Muscadine wine and, like La Belle Amie, prides itself on having a relaxed atmosphere where “flip flops are welcomed.”
Duplin Winery has a tank capacity of over 1.4 million gallons, is the largest winery in the South, and produces the bestselling wine in North Carolina. Over 100,000 visitors experience the Rose Hill winery and production facility each year.
Duplin’s roots trace back to the 1970s when Muscadine grapes were considered a “wonder crop,” and a large winery out of New York was paying $350 per ton for North Carolina’s native grapes. D.J. Fussell, Sr. and his two sons, David and Dan, decided to grow grapes. Within three years, the price fell to $150 per ton and the Fussells were looking for a way to salvage their livelihoods so they started making wine. In-laws, grandchildren, aunts, and uncles all pitched in, helping to stomp grapes and bottle wine. While larger wineries flew their sales executives across the country in corporate jets, the Fussells traveled with their wines in a converted hog trailer.
A visit to Duplin Winery is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Tours and tastings consist of a visit to the state-of-the-art wine production facility, a seat in one of the tasting rooms, and a relaxed atmosphere to browse the gift shop.
For those of you that would rather sample a beer or two you can share a Brew at New South Brewing!
Tucked away in a warehouse district in the heart of Myrtle Beach, New South Brewing (1109 Campbell St., Myrtle Beach; www.newsouthbrewing.com, the area’s first local microbrewery, opened in 1998. Today, beer enthusiasts can visit for a tour or for draft pours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, sampling the brewery’s lineup: Lager, Stout, Nut Brown Ale, IPA, Dark Star Porter, Oktoberfest, seasonal specialties and the famous White Ale. The guys who run the place are like most great brewers: bearded, kind and super knowledgeable about all things hoppy and malty. Heads up, though: South Carolina state law only allows breweries to sell four pints to a customer at one sitting, so if you want more for home, be sure to fill up your growlers.