The nearly 150-acre farm was purchased by the Williams family in 1987.
"We purchased it with the plan to raise cattle," explained Preston Williams. "We put cattle on it about 10 years ago and eight years ago, we clear cut everything, and we seeded the rest of it down in the pasture. So, all of it was seeded down in pasture, and about seven years ago. And, you know, we said, 'well, we enjoy it so much, why not open it up and allow some others to come here and enjoy it?' And, so we started visiting vineyards and wineries."
Family run Warren Co. @SevenVineyards has only been open a year and is making nat’l headlines not only for creating more diversity in the industry as 1 of 28 black owned vineyards of the 11k in the U.S. but for becoming a hot spot for destination tourism. Full story at 4 #ABC11 pic.twitter.com/T2ReWQ6tDM— @AmberRupinta (ABC11 (@RupintaABC11) August 18, 2021
The visits led to a love and a new vision was planted for the Williams farm. They drew up a five-year plan which became a reality in June 2020 when Seven Springs Farm & Vineyard first opened its doors.
"We were fortunate we were able to partner with Rock of Ages Winery & Vineyard. And, ever since then we've been rolling," Williams said.
In their first year of business, the Williams partnered with other businesses for food selling jellies, pickles, and apple butter along with their wines at the vineyard. Their numbers in the first year exceeded their projections and while Williams credits many things to their success he also says the timing was one of the blessings. Their business launched months before 2020's summer of social justice movements across the nation.
"I think with Black Lives Matters in businesses, wanting to patronize minority businesses. I think the timing, the stars would just align for us to do what we've done," Williams explained. "And, it has been a blessing for people of color."
The Norlina vineyard also hosts an AirBnB as well as monthly events. Williams says customers fly or drive in from all over the country with Seven Springs Farm & Vineyard as a destination.
He is excited about the future of the vineyard and about his part in promoting diversity. According to Statista, there are about 11,000 vineyards in the United States with only 28 black-owned.
"What I would hope to do is, is to inspire, not particularly in any specific industry, but just overall," Williams said. "If you put the work in, if you put the time in, and if you committed, no matter where your heart is and what it is that you're desiring to do, I mean, successes is in your cards. The only person that's holding you back is you. Because opportunities are created. And when you have a divine intervention, you're unstoppable."
Seven Springs Farm & Vineyard is located in Norlina, North Carolina, pets and children are welcome.