With a scenic setting in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Overmountain Vineyards (OMV) sits on a 70-acre farm in Tryon, North Carolina. And of course, May in the Carolinas is insanely beautiful, so on Kentucky Derby weekend, our group of about a dozen or so set off for an afternoon of fun.
In honor of the occasion, we all wore hats. The women’s hats were fabulous. The men’s….not so much, but good on them for trying.
OMV is a family-owned enterprise. Frank Lilly and his daughter Sofia focus on developing distinctive artisanal wines. “At Overmountain Vineyards, innovation is at the core of everything we do,” they say. “We create old-world-style wines with the latest in modern innovative techniques both in the vineyards as well as in the winery.”
17 acres of the property is dedicated to French vinifera, focused on Petit Manseng – an aromatic white wine that originated in southern France. OMV also grows red varieties for Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. There are also two acres of organically-grown blueberries for specialty wines.
There are two areas for tastings at OMV. One is in the cozy cottage, and another on a covered patio. Both have stunning views of the mountains. Tastings are available year-round, but given the bright, sunny, mild day – and the size of our group – we chose the outdoor setting with the magnificent panorama.
There are two types of tastings offered.
- Regular Tasting. Samples of the current release wines and a souvenir glass. $15/person
- Elevated Tasting. Samples of pre-release wines along with time with their winemakers. $35/person.
The staff could not have been more friendly and helpful. “We strive to give first-time visitors and regulars alike the best winery experience, sharing our knowledge about everything from our grapes and winemaking philosophies to the area’s rich viticultural history,” say owners Frank and Sally.
We had a lot of fun with our tasting, and as you can imagine, everyone had a different favorite.
Types of Wines
OMV currently offers a variety of wines, including Petit Manseng, Chardonnays, King’s Mountain Rose, Patriot Red, Cabernet Savignon and Verdot.
We were also treated to some specialty wines…. a blueberry port which was Kary’s favorite of the day, and Big Jax, a hard cider, which was of course my favorite in that I love anything with bubbles!
The OMV even has a 2-mile certified portion of the Overmountain Victory Historic Trail on site. Authorized by the US Congress in 1980, the trail commemorates the military campaign that led to the victory of the battle of King Mountain in 1780.
About half of our group set out for a trek on the trail, wine glasses in hand. They did not go the whole two miles but enjoyed the natural beauty all the same.
OMV is open year-round. From spring through fall they host live concert performances and local food, and in the winter guests can enjoy wine in the tasting cottage or mingle around the fire pit.