We were just looking for a sandwich.

Table Rock State Park has a welcome center and like any other self-respecting welcome center, they have a big display of brochures for area attractions. The only attraction we were looking for was a place that served a sandwich on a Sunday.  Instead, we found what is quite possibly Highway 11’s best kept secret.

If you are a resident of the Upstate of S.C. and enjoy a tasty grape-based beverage from time to time, then I hope you are sitting down while you read this….

There is a great little winery right here in our backyard. 
Just in case you are in a state of disbelief at the moment, I can assure you that good wine is not a subject I take lightly or would ever consider joking about.

Victoria Valley Vineyards is two miles east of Table Rock State Park just off Highway 11. It looks as natural to the area as a beachfront condo would look on the moon.  Nothing else manmade in this part of the Upstate would ever be mistaken for “majestic” so you know you are in for something truly unique as you pull through the massive stone and iron gate to the vineyard. The winery itself is styled after a French chateau and looks out over terraced acres of grape vines as far as you can see. The setting is so serene that you have no choice but to sit on the patio with a glass (or bottle) of wine and take it all in. 

My wife and son and I had just finished a hike at Table Rock when we stumbled upon Victoria Valley Vineyards. As I mentioned, we were just looking for a place to grab a bite to eat and would have considered ourselves lucky to find just that at three in the afternoon on a Sunday in the mountains. Instead we enjoyed a wine tasting, sandwiches from their deli, and a bottle of wine to take home to enjoy with the steak dinner we had already planned for that evening. To top it off, we were hosted by a staff that truly seemed to enjoy sharing their little slice of the Upstate with the three of us. 

Since that Sunday we have returned to Victoria Valley Vineyards after almost all of our hikes at Table Rock State Park. How could we not when a sandwich and a glass of wine are the perfect dessert to a strenuous morning adventure? With all of our visits, and the fact that $5 buys you a taste of six different flavors of Victoria Valley’s wines, we have tried all of their offerings and have to yet to be disappointed (and for one more buck, you get to keep the glass!). Victoria Valley Vineyards offer a tasty array of wines for any budget. Prices range from $8 for some of the house wines and no more than $25 for the Reserve selection.  My favorite has been the Pulse from the Signature Collection, which is a “balanced blend of reds with an earthy tone” but I think my mind has changed every time I have been there… picking a favorite wine has never been an easy task for me and Victoria Valley Vineyards certainly does not make things any easier.

Over the course of our several visits to Victoria Valley Vineyards we have enjoyed great scenery, delicious sandwiches, a tours of the facility (offered free every hour), and most importantly – great wines made right here in the Upstate.