The Beginning

La Belle Amie Vineyard is owned and operated by Vicki. The wine and gift shop was built in 1999, in part from trees removed from the building site. But the effort to build La Belle Amie Vineyard began years prior to the opening of its wine and gift shop in early 2000…….

Family wine making began with Vicki’s ancestors from the south of France and was passed down to their Uncle Gifford, who continued the tradition. Every year Uncle Gifford made wine from “the old grapevines.” “The old grapevines” still thrive today and consist of four large vine arbors–two of the vines are over 130 years old and the other two are about 110 years old. The grapes from these vines are used to make the grape preserves sold at the shop.

Uncle Gifford

Uncle Gifford was famous for his wine. Probably because he gave so much of it away to his friends and to the locals. The wooden barrel he made his wine in still exists and is displayed on the porch at the shop. Also on the porch is an antique spinning wheel used by Gifford’s parents to make cloth from cotton grown on the farm. A close examination of the spinning wheel will reveal numbers penciled in on the wheel’s spokes. It was rumored that Gifford and his cronies used the spinning wheel as a form of entertainment, perhaps in an intellectual exercise such as… roulette. We’re quite sure that while they were exercising their minds via the spinning wheel no money ever exchanged hands. Gifford, bless his soul, passed away in 1993. He was 83. Our sweet red muscadine wine, Gifford’s Red, was named for this wonderful man and is reminiscent of the wine he enjoyed making.

After Gifford died, his home and approximately 38 acres went to Berta, who was Gifford’s sister and the mother of Vicki. Berta’s inheritance from Gifford was part of the same property originally settled by their parents in the 1800’s. Both Berta and Gifford were born and raised on the farm in the early 1900’s and Berta had returned to the farm in the 1980’s to help care for Gifford as his health declined. At the time of Gifford’s passing, it was clear to Vicki that Berta could no longer live by herself. Thus was the motivation for Vicki’s move from Houston, Texas to the farm in 1993 to help care for Berta.

Let’s Start a Vineyard!

The idea for La Belle Amie Vineyard was Vicki’s. In retrospect, there are some who believe that at the time she had this idea to start a vineyard that Vicki was experiencing an extreme and extended moment of insanity. Nonetheless, after her move to the farm in 1993 she began making La Belle Amie Vineyard a reality. By 1995 she had arranged for the clearing of fields and the planting of Vineyard #1.

In the spring of 1996, vineyard #2 was trellised and planted. Then came the hurricanes.

Hurricanes

Hurricane Bertha was the first of five hurricanes to slam the vineyard over the four year period from 1996 to 1999. Bertha hit the vineyard in July 1996 and was only a category 1 hurricane. But Bertha was just a warm up for Hurricane Fran. Hurricane Fran, a category 3 hurricane, hit the vineyard in early September 1996 and devastated it. The result: replace broken support posts, repair trellis system and replant destroyed vines. However, given the massive destruction of Fran to the eastern U.S., we felt fairly fortunate.

Weatherwise, 1997 was uneventful . The vines continued to mature and the first grape harvest from Vineyard #1 occurred in September. It was a small harvest. Dividing vineyard costs by the number of bottles of wine produced, we estimated the cost to produce each bottle of wine at $2,500. Intuitively, we felt it may be just a little difficult to sell the 1997 vintage at cost. So we drank it.

The hurricanes were unkind to the vineyard the next two years. Hurricanes Bonnie and Daniel hit back to back in August and September of 1998, The result: entire harvest lost, replace broken support posts, repair trellis system and replant destroyed vines.

In September 1999 Hurricane Floyd, a category 4 hurricane, also paid the vineyard a visit. The result: entire harvest lost, replace broken support posts, repair trellis system and replant destroyed vines. We were starting to understand the adage, “If you want to make a very small fortune in the winery business, start with a very large one.”

Thankfully, for the past several years the hurricane gods have smiled on La Belle Amie Vineyard and the last several grape harvests have been plentiful. Whoever coined the phrase “Hope springs eternal.“ was right. In March 2001 we planted Vineyard # 3 with hopes of increasing future harvests. The planting of Vineyard #3 was not a “thumbing our nose” gesture at Mother Nature. We know better.

With a Little Help From Our Friends

The success of any venture such as this is directly dependant on the unexpected contributions of others. Those who give their time, effort and expertise in the hope La Belle Amie Vineyard will succeed despite how crazy they believe our goals and dreams to be. To us, they are the Angels Of The Vineyard. Friends such as Donnie, and Hazel, and Danny, and Bob, and Genvieve, and Marlyn, and Marge and Fred. And the so many more. Angels we can never repay in kind and who will always hold a special place in our hearts. We feel compelled to succeed so as not to disappoint them.

Sadly, the person who was the motivation for Vicki’s relocation to the family farm is no longer with us. Berta passed away January 2002 on the farm she loved and came into this world on in 1906. But the beauty of the farm and vineyard she so dearly loved lives on. She would be quite pleased to know that this beauty is enjoyed by the thousands of visitors to La Belle Amie Vineyard each year. We hope you’re one of them.

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I hope to flag him down!

And its heading for my house!!!

La Belle Amie Vineyard
Little River / North Myrtle Beach, SC
Home of Twisted Sisters Wines
CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE!
June 30, 2020: According to the SC DHEC, the number of new covid cases will increase to 45,000+ for July, and the average rate of new covid infection currently is 1 in every 6 individuals tested. La Belle Amie Vineyard will remain closed at least through August. Keep your distance, wear your mask, wash your hands. Stay super safe! Vicki, Owner.

June 17. 2020: According to the SC DHEC, the number of new daily covid cases substantially increased to 20,000 + each month, and the average rate of covid infection has doubled in the past two weeks. La Belle Amie Vineyard will remain closed at least through July. Keep your distance, wear your mask, wash your hands. Stay super safe! Vicki, Owner.
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We will be missing our yearly trip to Myrtle Beach this year due to the virus. Hopefully next year will be better. Love La Bells Amie Vineyard especially on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Miss you guy Stay safe and Healthy

So sad. We were looking forward to wine tasting. Totally understand. Stay safe!!

Our numbers are getting scary right now. But things will return to normal soon. I'm looking forward to that day!🍷

Loved going there with my parents years ago and we always enjoyed the time we spent there.

You both stay safe as well, at least you have unlimited wine to drink your way through this mess.

Thank you for your commitment to safety for our community and your employees. We look forward to seeing everyone again when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we've been enjoying your delicious wines from the comfort of our own porch and will definitely need a restock once the doors reopen! 😉

Thank you for doing the right thing! We miss seeing you at ABB 😃

Stay safe. We will come over when it is safe for you as well as us. Thanks for all you do. 🙏🙏🙏

We understand and look forward to visiting again when this crisis ends.

We understand but really miss visiting. Looking forward to the day was can visit again.

Thank you for protecting your family, staff and all of us!!

Miss you guys. Stay healthy and safe. HOpe to see you in September.

Stay safe and healthy everyone. See you next year🍷🍷

Stay safe we will be there when when the right time comes🍷

Stay safe! We’re looking forward to visiting when you reopen. We sure miss you.

Damn we've missed our weekly visits there.

Stay safe - we’ll see you again someday 👍

Yes can you ship? I had a bottle of Sugar Daddy my Mom and I bought before she passed and my husband opened it and drank it! I was planning on getting another bottle when we visit in July.

Thank you for the info

Very wise but miss ya'll 🍷💕

Thank you for doing the responsible thing as difficult as it must be. Those numbers are mind blowing.

Is there any place to buy the twisted sister wine besides the vineyard? REALLY would love to b able to still support u all!!

Stay healthy and thanks for your due diligence

Stay Safe.w We miss our little Vineyard 🍷

Such respect for you

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