‘We’ve been blessed by being able to have it and be stewards of this place, and we want to bless the town’

Published 8:32 pm Friday, October 19, 2018

Neil and Trish Liechty are currently in the process of building a barn that will house Nutwood Plantation Winery, which is expected to open late this winter. One of the main reasons that the couple decided to start a winery on the property was to preserve the historic Nutwood Plantaition, which was built in 1833.

 “We’ve owned it now for four years, and we’ve had chances to sell it, but everybody that wanted to buy it, the first thing they wanted to do was tear the house down,” Neil said. “… This is a very unique house, and we like the history, and once they are gone, they’re gone. You can’t replace them. This will allow us to really become good stewards of maintaining and improving this place by having something like this here.”

Beyond just maintaining the property, they hope that the winery will make it easier for them to share the home with the community.

“We want to be part of the community,” Neil said. “We want this to bless. We’ve been blessed by being able to have it and be stewards of this place, and we want to bless the town. The mayor [Jim Thornton] has been my attorney for 20 years now, and I really believe in the vision for the town and the growth.”

For the Liechtys, sharing Nutwood with the community will mean making sure that the winery is a great location for the entire community to visit by making it family friendly.

“One of the things that is going to make it different from most wineries… is a lot of them discourage or say no children,” Neil said. “This is going to be for children too — family. We’ll have outdoor games.”

Games like lawn chess, horseshoes, lawn bowling and cornhole will be regular features, according to Neil, and visitors will be welcome to bring picnic baskets and make use of chair swings. They also considered some of the areas regular visitors while planning the winery.

“Every weekend you’ve got all these kids coming in less than a mile away for softball and baseball, and there is nothing really between games for them to do,” Neil said. “We are only a mile away, so we are going to make it family oriented. It is going to include an ice cream parlor, and we’ll also have a cheese room. Instead of a cigar room, we’ll have a cheese room.”

Additionally, the venue will have an outdoor screen for watching football or other viewing purposes. 

The Liechtys also hope to have regular events to benefit local causes like local clubs and charities.

“We’ve got plenty of parking. We’ve got plenty of things to do, activities for the community, and we want to be part of that,” Neil said. “Whether it is a church activity or — there are so many organizations that are looking for fundraisers. … That is the thing that we want to do.”

The winery will of course still honor the location’s history as one of the first locations in the region to grow a large number of pecan and walnut trees and the 150-year-old nut trees that still grow on the property with some of its wines.

“One of our wines is going to have a blend with our chardonnay —[Trish] is working on the formula now — and it will have a pecan flavor chardonnay,” Neil said. “It is original to the place.”

According to the Liechtys, the winery will feature a variety of wines including muscadine sweet wine, pinot noir, pinot grigio and seasonal fruit wines. They also plan to serve food from a limited menu.