First Stop – Charlotte, North Carolina

I’m back! Did you miss me? As promised, I have lots of good stuff for you from my recent trip to North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. I had been to Virginia before, but I had never seen as much of it as I did on this trip. I had never been to either North Carolina or West Virginia before this trip, but I have now, and that brings my total of states visited to about 43 out of our 50, that we call The United States of America.

All three of the states are so beautiful and so rich with history. We covered A LOT of ground too. We drove somewhere between 1500-2000 miles over the course of our trip. It was a bit too aggressive though for only a week’s stay, and not as relaxing as I would have liked it to be, but we did see an awful lot of beautiful parts of the country.

We started our trip in Charlotte, North Carolina. North Carolina is one of the 13 original colonies founded in the United States, dating back to 1587, when it was the first English settlement in the new world. Charlotte has a rich history steeped in the discovery of gold and the pride of Scots-Irish settlers. 

Find a Park | NC State Parks

Charlotte is known as the queen city. There are about 30 cities in the United States that are nicknamed “the Queen City,” named after Queen Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in Germany. At the time of Charlotte’s founding all the way back in 1768, there was a large group of people in this area called “loyalists,” who were colonists who didn’t necessarily want to separate and remained loyal to the British Crown. These transplants had settled in this area since it was the intersection of two Native American trading paths. Very quickly there were enough colonists, that they needed to build a courthouse and name the town.

In an attempt to stay in “Mad King” George III’s good graces, and keep a continuous supply of money, men, food, and more coming, the founders named the town “Charlotte Town” after his brand new wife, Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. 

We landed in Charlotte around 3:00 PM and hit the ground running; or should I say driving. After driving for about 2 hours, our first stop was the Parker-Binns Vineyard & Winery, located in the Tryon Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Mill Spring.

The Parker-Binns Vineyard & Winery was breathtaking! It is a family owned and operated winery that sits on 40 acres of land, with 12+ acres of vineyards, that is owned and operated by 4 generations of the Lillberg family – grandma and grandpa, mom, grandson, and now great- grandson too. The winery was built by grandpa in 2008, and both grandpa and grandma still live on the property today.

The grounds for the Parker-Binns Vineyard & Winery are a beautiful venue for any outdoor wedding or celebration, or even if you just want to sit back, relax and enjoy both the wines and the view.

They even had live entertainment for our listening pleasure. The singers, particularly the female singer, had great voices and were very skilled guitar, banjo and mandolin players as well.

The wooden carousel animals are grandma’s personal animals that she grew up with and decided to add to the winery for a bit of fun and character. These are on the outside patio, but you can sit anywhere you like. There is even a fire pit or two if you would prefer to sit there instead.

The inside of the winery is filled with just as much personality as the outside.

As beautiful and spunky as both the interior and exterior are, the main focus is of course on the wines and ciders. Larry is not a wine drinker, but he does like his ciders. And we all know, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my wines. We both enjoyed a glass of liquid sunshine as well as our gorgeous settings and friendly, Southern hospitality before hitting the road once again to our final destination for the day.

Parker-Binns also offers gourmet foods that are also prepared with love and fresh ingredients from the farm to go with your wines.

Parker-Binns Vineyard & Winery is located at 2275 Whiteside Road
Mill Spring, NC 28756 or you can reach them either by phone or online at (828) 894-0154, from Wed- Friday 12-6 or Sat-Sun from 12-7. But “the best way to speak with [them] is to just come by the vineyard!  Come for the wine, stay for the view. Forget about everything else!”


Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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