Michael, Amy and Pearl
Michael & Amy Helton
A month-long honeymoon in the south of France in 1996 changed the lives of these former art teachers. Michael and Amy Helton returned home with a love of old world wine and the countryside, and by December, Hanover Park Vineyard in the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina began. Two artists and teachers took a chance, worked very hard, and turned an old farm into a thriving vineyard.
They began planting vineyards in the spring of 1997 and 1998. The farmhouse, built in 1897, was transformed into the tasting room and winery in 1999 for the first harvest producing 375 cases with the tasting room opening July of 2000.
Michael's education in Viticulture and Enology has been independent and self-directed. As a former educator and researcher, he understood how to learn from universities, seminars, interviews, and websites involved with wine and grapes. In the summer of 2002, they returned to the south of France with appointments with winemakers in order to further understand the older French methods and blends.
Retiring from teaching in 2004 has provided Amy a new career filled with adventures and new experiences running the tasting room, planning all events, as well as developing a marketing and branding program.
Throughout this rite of passage, our mentor, advisor, and good friend Ed Schwab of Autumn Hill Vineyards in Virginia has helped us to stay focused.
Recently Pearl has joined us at Hanover Park as our official greeter. She is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and is a wonderful part of who we are.