Charles Myers and Kathryn Curran,
Keeper’s Cut Meadery
Meadery and Winery
Grant Award: $6,000
Charles and Kathryn have expanded their meadery and winery, for which they use honey and fruit from their farm as ingredients. They are offering sales for the first time in 2017. They have been building up to this point since 2012 when they first started their bee hives and planted fruit.
Charles and Kathryn have increased the aging capacity of their beverages with the purchase of tanks and oak barrels. The tanks give them the ability to bulk age their product and free up current tanks for fermentation. Oak aging enhances the taste of mead and enables them to showcase wines using two different aging techniques.
The farm has 20 grape vines, 400 strawberry plants, 22 blueberry bushes and 22 producing honey bee hives. Charles and Kathryn plan to soon add cherries, plums, honeyberries and chokeberries. Since their winery has a capacity of 3,200 gallons, they have the opportunity to purchase additional fruit from other regional growers to expand their offering.
A renewed interest in mead has created a demand in western North Carolina. Charles and Kathryn have been working with the McDowell County Chamber of Commerce and French Broad Vignerons to promote the new meadery.
“Our project outcome allows us to share our love of beekeeping and gardening,” Charles said. “Our meadery will complement the products from local wineries by adding new options for inclusion on the wine trail tours.” Charles expects to work full time on the farm.