Botanist and Barrel is focused on fermenting only the finest southeastern grown fruits, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches and apples, using centuries old European techniques. We also have a secret ingredient that adds depth and richness to our wines, coming from our farm.
One of our core beliefs that makes us different is that we believe "the perfect wine is the wine you like." We encourage our visitors to be playful with our wines. Feel free to blend to your palates desire. Watch the video to see more on this....
We will be North Carolina's 1st winery in Orange County and true micro-winery. Located in Cedar Grove, NC the winery and adjoining tasting room is on Cedar Grove Blueberry Farm in the old Wizard's Cauldron building, which bottled and sold sauces in the 2000’s. The farm has provided healthy fruit to locals for 30 years, which some might remember as "The Patch” and is a popular u-pick destination. You usually see families fishing at the pond, u-pickers filling buckets of fresh blueberries, or sharing lunch on a picnic table. Soon a stop into the tasting room will be a part of the visit. We also have plans to add a walking trail through the woods featuring native plants as well as adding plenty of outdoor seating.
We will always stay true to our Southern Heritage, family traditions and humble beginnings.
We promise to be lighthearted and to try new things by continuing to experiment fermenting in small batches.
Expect the unexpected.
Why we need YOUR support.
We need barrels, barrel racks, a powered barrel lifter/fork lift, kegs and kegerator, a UV system and air curtains (to keep unwanted bacteria out of the winery), furnishings for the tasting room, and to upgrade our walk in cooler to a modern-day freezer/cooler.
The real reward is giving the community an additional agritourism destination and resource. We will be a place for the community to gather and engage with each other in a rural farm setting.
More about us and our family
Botanist and Barrel is rooted in our family history of wine-making and farming, beginning in Southern France. As young children we would vacation in Pennsylvania and help our Grandfather, John Pelissier, make “Chateau Green Acres,” from foraged choke cherries or wild raspberries soaked in Vodka. Nothing was better as a digestif. When we found the already productive Cedar Grove Blueberry Farm a little north of Hillsborough on Route 86 in 2014, we knew exactly what we wanted to do....farm and ferment.
Kether was a picky eater as a child, but sweet berries were always a delight. One of her fondest memories is a family tradition of picking wild blueberries in Pennsylvania every summer; a tradition she continues with her twin boys. As her palate matured, she found her life’s passion in food and drink. During a summer baking class, she met her husband, Deric, who shares her love of food and art. Kether’s role as mother and as chef led her into gardening; growing fresh, flavorful food to feed her family. She enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, fermenting beverages like kombucha and canning and fermenting the garden's bounty. When her mother and step father purchased land with acres of established blueberries, she had a vision of creating her own winery. You will find her playing many roles, working the farm, harvesting, wine-making and living her dream.
Farming and wine-making runs in Lyndon’s blood. His grandfather taught irrigation techniques around the world for the World Bank and his great-great-grandfather farmed and produced wine in Brignoles, France. Lyndon’s love of the outdoors began while he was still in his stroller and could only grab flowers in his little hands as he was rolled by a flower bed. Through running a successful internet marketing business and a wine distribution business, Lyndon developed skills and expertise in logistics, branding, sales and financials. When he realized he could merge his skills with a passion for organic farming and adult beverages, he jumped at the opportunity to join forces with his sister and brother-in-law to purchase Cedar Grove Blueberry Farm and launch Botanist and Barrel.
Amie’s love of food and wine started early in life. She first immersed herself in wine while studying in Italy in her early 20’s. She was hooked. After graduating from college she began working in wine distribution and importation as a national sales manager. She continued traveling to France, Spain, and Italy, selecting and importing wines from Spain before reaching the age of 25. Wine also brought her and Lyndon together, as they met in a wine shop. They have been collaborating and experimenting in life and wine ever since. Amie is excited to continue learning about the art of wine-making. Her expertise in tasting and finding balance will be invaluable in creating new and exciting wines. She can’t wait to change the way people think about fruit wine and cider and bring it to thirsty folks across North Carolina. Farm, Fruit, Ferment ya’ll!
Deric grew up in rural Georgia where farming is the way of life. After studying for an art degree, he found himself in a professional kitchen and began to merge his love of art with his love of cooking. Deric met Kether in culinary school where they competed on a culinary team and won numerous medals on their way to the national “final four” competition. Upon graduation they went to Atlanta to hone their culinary skills. At Canoe Restaurant in Atlanta Deric found his passion for pastry, where he lets his creativity run wild. He’s a cool dad who loves guiding his active boys on the ins and outs of skateboarding. At present he is the pastry mastermind at Il Palio Restaurant in Chapel Hill, where he creates magnificent sweet finales for folks out for a fine dining experience. If he is not in the kitchen, you may find him at the farm, kicking back, visioning his next creation, brewing beer, enjoying the outdoors, or picking berries with his boys. More about our incredible family. Two generations back, our grandfather and two of his brothers were respectively a farmer, a botanist, and a wine expert.
Our grandfather, John Pelissier, dedicated his life to improving farming through his work with The World Bank across Africa and The Middle East. Even though he is over 90, he still comes to help at the farm, working to keep the plants happy and healthy.
Our great-uncle, Andre Pelissier, worked on the team that developed the mostly highly regarded apple in the world, The Pink Lady. Our great-uncle, Louis Pelissier, was a sommelier for the French army.
Our father, Stan Smith, taught us to be fearless experimenters with unique flavor profiles through his sometimes awful and often wonderful home-brews and blends.
Our mother, Bernadette Pelissier, is a community leader, having served as an Orange County Commissioner and an activist in the Sierra Club. Bernadette is an avid gardener and grows some of the best okra and melons on earth.
Our step-father, Vann Bennett, is a world renowned cell-biologist. He is an invaluable resource for helping to understand biological process (aka fermentation). Botanist and Barrel is an homage to our family and we hope to pass it on to our children and continue our traditions for generations to come.