PELZER, S.C. (WSPA) – In southern Greenville County, the Fork Shoals community is a hidden gem filled with various rural activities for families, couples, or a solo trip.
City Scape Winery co-owners Debra and Josh Jones said their vineyard isn’t a stuffy, adult only type of establishment for wine snobs.
“Our dress code is…wear clothes! It’s really important to wear clothes,”Debra Jones joked.
“It doesn’t matter if: they just went on a hike, or if they have two kids with them or if they just had a baby, or if they have two dogs with them, or they’re out on a date. We kinda have a different set up for each person and we want to cater to everybody’s needs,” Josh Jones explained.
You’re invited to come and learn how to enjoy wine and the relaxing atmosphere. The Jones added that people also end up enjoying some of the various other vineyard features like Pinot the Pig.
Pinot is City Scape’s mascot, the mini pig has learned how to do it all Debra Jones explained.
“He does tricks. He sits. He spins. He’s just a lot of fun,” Debra Jones said.
Additionally, there are options to schedule online vineyard and winery tours, attend a weekend wine tasting, and see other farm animals which are all set up for safety and fun the whole family can enjoy.
“We’re really set up well for this, because we have 12 acres here. So, we can spread tables all over the place,” Josh Jones explained.
Directly across from some of the vines sits a shaded patio with tables spaced 6 feet apart, and 4 chairs per table. However, Debra said, some groups of six can be accommodated on the patio with chairs and cushions along the patio’s edge.
Additionally, weekend wine tastings are held on the patio, and in the field, where tables are spaced 10 feet apart and all the servers are 6 feet apart. Visitors can bring chairs to create their own tasting area in the field.
Customers are are also asked to wear a mask in the winery.
City Scape has some new sanitation measures, that end up being a win for wine tasters.
“We actually decided to include the wine glass in the tasting. So, each person that comes out here and does a wine tasting actually gets to take home their City Scape wine glass,” Josh Jones said. “That way our servers aren’t having to deal with 200 used wine glasses at the end of the day.”
The Jones have also continued another ongoing sanitation effort, the Bottle Recycling Initiative. Customers who’ve purchased a City Scape wine are encouraged, after they’ve enjoyed the wine, to rinse out the bottle and bring it back to the vineyard. The bottles will be deep cleaned and then refilled with wine to be sold again and the customer gets a dollar off their next purchase.
“We saved almost 20,000 bottles from landfills last year,” Josh Jones said.
City Scape offers both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to wet your whistle, but at some point you might get a little hungry, and just down the way is a local community hub.
The Yum Yum Snack Shop, for the last eight years, has given visitors first hand knowledge, from owner Carol Gilley, on some of her homemade food must-tries.
“I would go with a Hello Dolly, a lemon square. People tend to love our made from scratch brownies. They’re kinda crunchy, kinda chewy, lots of chocolate,” Gilley said.
In addition to feeding the body, you can feed your mind with some local Fork Shoals history that’s hung up or displayed prominently around the business from community members.
“They have brought in their spindles, and whatever else that have used when they were working in the mills, and they love to see that a piece of history has been revived again,”Gilley.
She added that masks are mandatory at the Yum Yum Snack Shop, and social distancing is arranged through indoor seating. There’s also a drive thru window, as well as, outdoor seating available.
Also outside is a Secret Garden where visitors can set off on a scavenger hunt. Plus, on a good day, you might be able to catch a game of hopscotch.
“Have a little something good to eat, something good to drink. But also to have a lot of community spirit,” Gilley said.
The Yum Yum Snack Shop has become a community hang out over the years, Gilley explained. Before the pandemic, local musicians would come in on Mondays and have a jam session. However, Gilley said, Monday’s music is on pause, but the shop has stepped in to help the community in others ways, for example hosting blood drives.
For more educational value, Gilley suggested visitors head to the Recycled Reader or Happy Cow Creamery. Both have educational aspects in terms of materials like books and the creamery offers tours. She added that both locations also have live animals that visitors can interact with.
But, if you just want to take a break from it all, Gilley and the Jones family agreed, Ceder Falls Park is the place to go.
Cedar Falls has waterfalls, walking trails and a historic site that are all free and open to the public.