Mountain Winery Celebrates 20 Years

Western North Carolina

Tom Burgiss had no idea that his favorite hobby would become a second career.  His Thistle Meadow Winery in Laurel Springs has been a favorite of locals and visitors alike for 20 years.

The red brick-colored winery in Laurel Springs, about a 20-minute drive from Glendale Springs, West Jefferson, and Sparta, sits on the Alleghany County farm where it got its start.

Retired pharmacist Tom Burgiss opened the winery after getting so many requests from friends and family to buy his homemade wines. Winemaker Don Mabe had just retired from the Laurel Springs Fire Department when his pal, Tom, asked him if he wanted to help make wine, and the rest is history.

Thistle Meadow has about 20 varieties of wine to try, all made in small batches from grapes grown all over the world. Many of the wines are award winners, including Horse Stomp Red and Italian Stud. I also recommend their Sleepy Hollow mulled wine. It’s perfect around the firepit. 

General Manager Brant Burgiss, yes, that’s Tom’s son, has made wines from all kinds of fruit and vegetables, including jalapeno (for cooking) and pumpkin. Tom’s also the guy to help you if you want to try making wine at home. 

It’s a friendly, family-run business, occasionally offering live music and food trucks on site.

The wine tasting room also includes a souvenir shop with unusual wine-related gifts. 

North Carolina now has more than 200 wineries from the mountains to the coast. Thistle Meadow is definitely one to add to your list.

You can see stories like this and follow all the adventures of Milemarker 50 on Instagram at @milemarker_50 – Allison Andrews