1 billion years ago — The mountain is born
The Brushy Mountains are an isolated spur of the much larger Blue Ridge Mountains, separated by the Yadkin River valley. The “Brushies,” as locals often call them, divide the waters of the Yadkin River and the Catawba River, two of central North Carolina’s largest rivers. The range is approximately 45 miles long but only four to eight miles wide.
The town now known as Jonesville was one of the largest settlements west of Raleigh. The area was initially called Allen’s Settlement, presumably for David Allen, who owned a bloomery forge (one method for processing iron ore) on the Big Elkin Creek.
Referred to as Old Dan Wagoner among the agricultural community, he was the first to tackle the mountain and build a log cabin at the pinnacle. Old Dan planted the very first apple trees, and it became known far and wide that you could always count on his trees for a bountiful harvest. Today, we credit Old Dan for figuring out centuries ago that the climate conditions favored the mountain, and late frosts seldom struck hard enough to hurt the blooms and cause fruit loss.
The Click family and associates of the Elkin Veneer Manufacturing Company took notice of the favorable mountainside land and began buying timber tracts in search of quality veneer timber.
Mrs. A. G. Click of Elkin establishes Highland Orchards on 125 acres of apples and eight acres of peaches. The average annual production for the orchard was 35,000 bushels of apples, close to 900 tons! In later years some would refer to the area as Click Mountain.
“When the earth flung out its rock-ribbed hills for the Brushy Mountain chain, this tall lone one got slung out a little farther than the rest. Who knows? The day could come when Old Dan Wagoner’s Mountain, off-flung from its Brushy Range, will claim its own identity as a thriving mountain plantation.” Quoted in the Farm Forum section of the Winston Salem Journal, 1946
“It would be easy to believe that Appleseed John, the fabled traveler who went about the country planting apple seeds many years ago, had a big hole in his sack as he trudged along the crest of the Brushy Mountains.”
News article from The Elkin Tribune featuring Highland Orchards productivity, September 1947
Farming operations come to a halt after 65 years of commercial production. An aging orchard and crop loss due to multiple years of frost damage lead to the decision.
After nearly four decades of agricultural inactivity on the mountain, Harry Crosby, conservationist, current property owner and the visionary behind Dynamis Estate Wines, purchased the land and began redevelopment operations.
The first wine grape vineyard gets planted on the mountain, with 30 acres planted from 2015-2017. The wine quality potential from our rocky site has limitless power, true to the Dynamis brand.
Highland Orchards is replanted, establishing five acres of apples and one acre of peaches, honoring the timeless legacy created on our mountain ridge.
Dynamis Estate Wines is established, and our
premium wine journey begins.
Dynamis Tasting Lodge is open to the public.