The Hilton Family
Larry Hilton started growing grapes in 1969 and making wine in 1971 with the help of his wonderful wife, Evelyn. In the early 70's they decided to add berries and some fruit trees. There were a lot of trial and errors, but they learned real quick never to sacrifice quality for quantity. Producing 10 gallons of great wine for family and friends is worth a 1,000 times more than a 100 gallons of good wine that anybody can make. Over the years they have experimented with just about every grape and fruit known to man.
Through the past 20 years they have lived in Myrtle Beach South Carolina for 6 months out of the year and the other half in Roughedge, North Carolina. They have made a lot of friends both from the south and ones from the northern states. They soon discovered that not all their new friends had much of a taste for grits and muscadine wine. They then decided to broaden their crop selection, challenged themselves and attempt to grow grapes that are not typically grown in the south due to the heat and humidity.
They only have 3 acres of crop space. They have planted 1 acre only for the European wine grapes. They had successes and failures....mostly failures at first, but what a wonderful experience and a great challenge. Most friends recommended them to give up but they really had the passion to grow and produce a European wine...THANK GOD FOR PASSION!!!! Today 60% of the grapes they grow are French Hybrid grapes. Their vineyard is still small and they keep it that way so they can insure quality. They never expect or wish to produce the most wine.... BUT TO PRODUCE THE VERY BEST WINE!!!
In 2010, Larry and Evelyn decided after 41 years of making wine for family and friends they would stay in Union County year round and open their own vineyard... make a dream come true. Their commitment to produce high quality wine fit for any kings table.
On January 2012 they acquired their local, state and federal wine license. Union County is a dry county so they opened a retail store located in the city limits of Monroe, N.C. Until alcohol is permitted to be sold in the county their vineyard cannot be opened to the public. Their retail store is open 6 days a week with $5 wine tastings all day long.
All of their wines are hand poured and contain no concentrates at Hilton Vineyard. They grow (with the exception of 1 fruit and 1 grape) all their own produce, harvest, ferment, bottle and label every wine themselves. They do not grow their own mango's. A family member drives to Florida and selects each mango for wine production. Also our Pinot Grigio grapes are shipped from California. All the other grapes, berries and fruits are grown at Hilton Vineyard, in Union County.
We hope each and everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy their 25 different flavors of wines, from dry to sweet along with wine slushes.