Unwine-d at a Local Lowcountry Vineyard
Kiawah River is in the heart of the sea islands and is embraced by oak trees and marsh grass. Not only does the Lowcountry make for a great backdrop and an inviting environment, it also serves as the perfect home for muscadine grapes. As the only native grape to the United States, these sweet grapes thrive in warmer and sandier areas, which makes them the perfect fruit to grow in Charleston, South Carolina.
Just a little ways down the road from Kiawah River is Deep Water Vineyard. Situated on the sleepy sea island of Wadmalaw, Deep Water is the only vineyard in the Charleston area, and its specialty is the Carolina-grown muscadine grape. Wine drinkers typically associate muscadines with thick, syrupy wine. People may even associate these grapes with jams, jellies, and preserves — but that’s where Deep Water stands out. The Deep Water team takes these thick-skinned fruits and blends them together to ferment a dry, sweet wine instead of a wine with overtones of sugar. The result is an array of dry wines unique to the South.
The Lowcountry Red is a fruity and full-flavored wine, while High Tide is more robust and light-bodied. Low Tide and the Magnolia are both white wines made from scuppernong grapes, a type of muscadine grape. Low Tide is a semi-dry smooth wine, while the Magnolia is sweet. Each year, Deep Water develops a unique kind of wine called the Deep Water Blend, designed to showcase the different tastes of muscadine grapes that grew on their vines that season; guests will need to take a trip to the vineyard to investigate this blend!
In addition to wine made from locally-grown grapes, Deep Water brings in grapes from a California grower. These grapes are shipped to Wadmalaw and then vinted and bottled on the property. The Driftwood wine possesses a smoky flavor from toasted barrel chips and has a smooth and buttery finish. The Chardonnay is the vineyard’s straight unoaked chardonnay. With enhanced acidity, its flavor is less full or fruity than the flavor of the muscadine wines, making it less sweet and more like a traditional chardonnay. The Sea Island Red blends muscadine grapes with cabernet sauvignon for a wine that is both sweet and dry. The Cabernet Sauvignon is dry throughout and usually favored by those who prefer bold reds. And with Firefly Distillery on the property, the vineyard also appeals to those who prefer liquor over wine!
Guests of Deep Water Vineyard are also invited to explore more than just alcoholic beverages on the property. The beautiful vines growing throughout the vineyard are perfect for a stroll, as are the many trails throughout the surrounding woods. On the weekend, the vineyard hosts Wine Down Saturdays with live music and wine and cocktail tastings. Families are invited to picnic on the lawn, and dogs are always welcome, even in the tasting rooms.
Living the sea islands life starts at Kiawah River and easily continues on Wadmalaw Island at Deep Water Vineyard.