South African Winery Making Strides in High Point

HIGH POINT -- A vineyard 8,000 miles away is making a name for itself in the Triad. Rickety Bridge Winery is based in South Africa, but has set up distribution in High Point.

For more than 300 years, Franschhoek, South Africa, has been producing wine. Now, one of its wineries is bringing it to the Tar Heel State. In April of last year, Rickety Bridge hired Andy Woolgar to head distribution in North Carolina.

"We weren't really sure how things were going to go,” said Woolgar. ‘I know we have a great product. I know we have great wine. You're never really sure until you get it out into the market how it's going to be received."

Two employees have been running the distribution efforts from a small office in High Point.

Currently, Woolgar and one other person are responsible for getting bottles on the shelves around the state. Business has been so good in the last year that they're able to expand their operation into an old showroom in High Point.

“It’s central for us in terms of distribution, which we do all ourselves. It's important to have a central spot."

Perry Medlin with Undercurrent Restaurant says it's been hard to keep in stock. He added that having a wine distributor in the area has made it easy for them to restock.

"It's been nice to have somebody that has direct contact with the vineyard that brings in the wine makers,” said Medlin. “It's really exciting they're getting this location."

Woolgar says once renovations are completed, they'll be able to hire extra employees to help distribute across North Carolina and eventually other parts of the country. He hopes others will follow suit and set up shop in the Furniture Capital of the World.

"I hope our presence can hopefully help grow people's minds when it comes to thinking about positioning their business in High Point,” said Woolgar.

Renovations are expected to be complete by the end of the summer.