It all started when…
Chuck missed one too many of his sons’ baseball games. He decided to “retire” from his corporate job and move the family back home to North Carolina to start a vineyard.
Shadow Springs was established in the spring of 2005 when four acres of Merlot and Cabernet Franc were planted on a plot of old tobacco land. Today, the vineyard spans nearly eleven acres of various red and white grapes with plenty of room for further expansion.
We opened our tasting room with the first vintage of Shadow Springs wine in the Summer of 2008. Please enjoy this ancient footage we found on Youtube of those early days:
In 2011 we purchased the old Buck Shoals Vineyard & Winery from the Crater family. This property, situated just half a mile down the road from Shadow Springs, offered us a great opportunity to expand our wine operations with both a new tasting room and a giant winery complete with one of North Carolina’s first legal liquor stills.
After some renovations, Windsor Run Cellars was born, and we had a 15,000 square foot winemaking facility ready to take on new clients. Today this building serves Divine Llama Vineyards, Brandon Hills Vineyard, Point Lookout Vineyards, Hidden Vineyards, and Fire Clay Cellars in addition to Shadow Springs and Windsor Run.
It didn’t take us too long to realize how fun it was to make our own spirits. We started off producing a small selection of fortified wines for Windsor Run, but that “small selection” kept growing and expanding - what else were we going to do with all that good liquor we were pumping out?
Then, in 2015 the North Carolina legislature passed House Bill 909, allowing craft distilleries to sell directly to customers on-site. Though this law came with many restrictions, it opened the door for small scale operations like us, and we decided to jump at the opportunity.
We built a little tasting room inside of the distillery and began work on the first WRC Distillery products: White Widow, Killer Bee, and Shadow Hawk. In addition to fulfilling our winemaker-turned-distiller Dana’s lifelong dream, the distillery also gives us a whole new customer base to engage with, and we’re excited to see how this business will evolve alongside the burgeoning NC distillery industry.
Recently, Shadow Springs celebrated its 10th anniversary - a milestone many family run vineyards never reach. We’d like to thank all of our loyal customers for their support through the years, and if you’re reading this but have never come to see us before, what are you waiting for?! We’d love to meet you.
the Johnson family