The Wine Hub of Seven Lakes
05 Apr 2021
The place to gather for wine and camaraderie
By RAY LINVILLE » Photos by Brandon Williams
Nicknamed “The Cheers of Seven Lakes,” the Sandhills Winery is the neighborly locale that many wine aficionados in our area call their home away from home. From wine tastings to Trivia nights, this is the spot for a small-town friendly, raise-a-glass special time.
In 2018, Trish and Tom Elliott bought the winery from Leslie and Bob Rose, who had opened it several years earlier. The Elliotts have continued traditions that the Roses began as they have added their own vision and special events.
The Elliotts are looking forward to being able to host a wide range of activities, such as Thursday tastings, cooking and painting classes, food trucks Fridays, car cruise-ins, special presentations, and other events that have been suspended during the pandemic.
A popular gathering spot in the Sandhills, the winery began hosting the popular Trivia Tuesdays again in March at 6 p.m. Trivia consists of teams of up to six members. If you don’t have your own team, the Elliotts can match you with other guests. (Socially distancing between teams is in place.)
New customers are always coming through the door. “It’s a combination of word of mouth as well as the reputation we have for how fun it is. It’s a feel-good experience. We are very inviting,” says Trish with a laugh.
“We want our guests to feel at home. It’s a cozy atmosphere. If you come without knowing anyone, you’ll leave with a friend. Everyone is warm and welcoming, staff and customers alike.”
In addition, watch for Final Fridays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. that will begin in May and continue until September on the last “TGIF” of the month when you can enjoy wine with band music behind the shop. “Bring your chairs!” Trish recommends.
In the evenings, charcuterie boards for two to four are available to accompany the enjoyment of wine. The 14-seat wine bar is a community gathering spot, and is popular when the wine shop is open. Comfy chairs, sofas, and tables also make the shop the perfect place to visit with friends. A well-stocked beer cooler has an interesting variety so everyone can click glasses with their favored pour.
The Elliotts put everyone at ease, particularly someone who doesn’t have much wine knowledge and may be intimidated by trying to select a special wine for a friend. “We really can help with our tips for someone who is a new wine buyer. We really focus on customer service,” Trish says.
Their Wine Club program allows serious wine buyers to have the treat of “Special Wines at Special Prices.” A member, who can join at no fee, “is able to purchase a bottle a month and get a really quality wine, usually priced around $40 to $75 but pay no more than $35. We also hold socials, tastings, and other events for only Wine Club members,” she adds.
“We have a great line from value wines to premium wines. We are very competitive in price and carry many wines not available elsewhere locally. We’re very proud of our selections, some that many customers are surprised to find in our shop,” Trish says.
With over 500 wines in stock, Sandhills Winery has everything you need for a party – glassware, cooler bags, decorative bottle stoppers, gift sets, and other wine accessories. The shop is also available for private events, bridal and wedding showers, bachelorette and birthday parties, and charity fundraisers, and Trish plans to expand the opportunities for other activities.
Their gift shop is continually evolving with its own private label specialty foods. Gift baskets for any occasion can be designed to fit a specific personality and include selected wines preferred by the recipient and other gifts. Trish also stocks several North Carolina products that include candies, cheeses and snacks. These pair nicely with wines selected from the five American Viticultural Areas in North Carolina that are known for their distinctive climate, soil, and elevation. When you sip a selected wine from these regions, you’re experiencing something singularly exclusive.
Even as Trish is planning to bring back favorite events and inaugurate new ones, the winery is still offering curbside pickup and making deliveries for customers who are yet ready to shop indoors. Incidentally, case deliveries (six-bottle minimum) are free. “We do special orders all the time,” she says.
The winery’s Facebook page, where the latest specials are publicized, continues to gain in popularity. More than 1,000 people have checked in there and more than 1,600 follow it.
Watch for other new social events, such as on Saturday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m., when Trish is planning to hold wine classes to help anyone without a lot of wine knowledge to learn to enjoy wine. Advance registration will be required, and it will be limited to 30 people. Because the evening will also include heavy hors d’oeuvres, a fee of about $20 per person is planned. Come raise a glass!
Hours, recently updated, are Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 8 p.m., and 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Located at 1057 Seven Lakes Drive, it is only a quarter-mile from NC 211. Call 910-673-2949 or visit sandhillswinery.com.