“We’ve been driving past this Lu Mil road sign for years.” I whimsically said to my wife. “We are ahead of schedule so let’s take an hour and discover what Lu Mil Vineyard is all about”.
We were traveling southeast on Highway 87 and were in the heart of Bladen County, North Carolina.
I was curious about Lu Mil Vineyard because it’s located in the small North Carolina Town of Dublin (Less than 300 population).
My wife answered, “Okay with me”, and took a left turn onto Fourth Street and then in less than a half mile took a right turn on Suggs-Taylor Road. A quarter mile later the vineyard came into view. I confess that our expectations of our intended visit were not very high.
Observing the Grapevines outside the side window I speculated, “I may be wrong but all the vines here appear to be Muscadine.”
I was accurate. That’s precisely what they were and we should have known. Muscadine grapes love the high humidity and sandy soil of the southeastern United States. It is native to the area and commercial production is almost exclusively in the southeast.
According to the North Carolina Muscadine Grape Association, Inc. (NCMGA), “The grape and wine industry in North Carolina is flourishing! Muscadine wine now represents a significant proportion of wine sales in the state. The industry now includes over 1,000 acres of muscadine grapes, with the prospect of more acreage being added each year as formerly used tobacco land converts to vineyards.”
Lu Mil, established several years ago, is not a new and upcoming vineyard. The vineyard evolved from the family farm of the late Lucille and Miller Taylor. Click here for a complete Lu Mil history.
As we drove into the large graveled-hardened parking lot we noticed a very large building with several large front doors. As we approached we notice an ample size wrap-a-round deck with charming decorated tables and chairs ideal for an afternoon of lounging. The entire building was nostalgically attractive and captivating. We could hardly wait to go inside.
In the tasting room were two middle-aged ladies warmly welcoming their guest. In short order we warmed up to them and their family friendly manners as we meandered from one antique to another.
In the center of the room was a sample-table of their jellies, jams, and salsas. We tested everything on the table, taste after every delectable taste!
Of course there was a wide selection of wine that could be sampled. They offered three tastes for free and then a low priced glass of wine of your choice. The glass is a special Lu Mil engraved souvenir wineglass that can be taken home.
Lu Mil is more than just a vineyard. According to their brochure they offer a gift shop, fishing ponds, walking trails, garden tours, Picnic & outside stage areas, Camp sites, Antique museum, working windmill, U-pick grapes (in season), Locally grown award winning muscadine wines, all natural jams, jellies, ciders, etc., Famous Muscadine Cider Slushier banquet, Meeting & wedding facilities.
They also feature a delicatessen featuring Boar’s Head meats and cheeses along with fresh baked breads.
The amount of time we had allotted for our visit had expired and as we were reluctantly leaving through the exit door with our souvenir bottle of Sir Walter Raleigh Muscadine wine and jar of blackberry jam, the hostesses call out to us that their biggest event of the year was coming up.
What’s that?” my wife asked in an intrigued tone.
“Our ‘Festival of Lights’ is scheduled commencing Saturday, November 27th to run on Thursday through Sunday nights and every night the week of Christmas. A country buffet will be served in The Barrel Room every night of the light show,” the friendly lady announced.
We arrived expecting very little but found so very much.
“We’ll be coming back often.” I said as we were stepping from the porch and into the parking area.
The Global Position