Downtown Fort Mill SC Urban Cellar Illumination Wines Open

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Enlightenment Wines has only been open for a week in Fort Mill, but already the new spot feels like home. This is the purpose of the place.

The building at 201 Springs St., just steps from the intersection of Tom Hall Street and Main Street, has a long history of residential and commercial uses. More recently, it was filled with offices. Linda Shadday and her daughter, Amanda Tellier, have transformed the approximately 2,000 square foot space into a wine tasting venue.

The hardwood floors have been retained. A new bar area welcomes customers near the entrance. Various lounges for a book club, birthday party, or other social gatherings for up to about 20 people fill the downstairs area.

The Shadday and Tellier team owns and operates Illumination Wines. In a scullery, Breanna Tuggle runs the separate but partnered business Brie boardswhich serves cheeses and meats.

“We do pasture tables at events,” Tuggle said. “We do charcuterie boards, delivery, pick-up too, here. And then we are also the deli kitchen of the house.

Both businesses aim to create a comfortable atmosphere for customers who want to come in and try something different in the city center.

“You’re walking towards your neighbor’s house,” Tuggle said. “You’re home. You feel relaxed. That’s one of the biggest selling points we’ve heard.

After a few soft opening events, Illumination held its grand opening on Memorial Day weekend.

“The whole front yard was packed with people,” Shadday said. “It was great.”

Shadday lives in Chester, Tellier in Tega Cay. Their family came from North Carolina before. The new wine stain is several years in the making.

“It’s kind of one of our favorite pastimes as a mother-daughter bond,” Tellier said. “We would go to wineries together and do wine tastings. One day we were drinking wine in a winery not too far from here and we thought, we could do something like this.

The couple originally envisioned a destination winery in Chester County. Then they heard about an urban vineyard concept in Davidson, North Carolina that they thought they could replicate.

“We said, you know, this is what we have to do,” Shadday said.

The couple searched for a site for over a year. Shadday was turning around in Fort Mill one day when she saw a rental sign at the Springs Street location.

“We are very happy to have her in this home because she has so much character, flair and uniqueness,” Shadday said. “It’s eclectic.”

Illumination offers domestic and international wines, most labels of which are not available in retail stores. There are wine elixirs, or wine-based cocktails. There are unique drinks like a pineapple upside-down muscatel. There are flights of wine in test tube form.

“Wine is both a science and an art,” Tellier said, “so we try to combine the two in a tasting experience.”

The site has a fermentation room and will eventually produce its own artisanal wines in small batches.

“It will be phase two,” Tellier said. “It will take a few months.”

Because few grape varieties grow in South Carolina, Shadday said, most wineries in the state have to import grapes from elsewhere. Illumination already has partnerships to get its grapes. Wine will be made in a back room away from guest lounges and meeting spaces.

“We’re going to bottle there, label and ferment,” Shadday said.

Sunday brunch boards, baked brie and other foods will be available through Tuggle’s venture, which started as an online home business more than a year ago. Tuggle grew the business and needed a commercial kitchen, which was a perfect match for what Illumination had with their new location.

“Who doesn’t like wine and cheese, right?” said Tuggle. “Other than that, Linda and Amanda have been fantastic business partners over the past year, almost a year and a half since we’ve known each other.”

The lighting also stands to gain from the increasing foot traffic in the town centre, where a host of new restaurants have opened in recent years, making it a bustling main street most nights. Illumination has already received group calls from other businesses on Main.

“We just want more businesses to bring a lot of people to the area, to the park, to shop, eat and drink,” Shadday said. “It’s good for everyone.”

Illumination is open from noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

This story was originally published June 1, 2022 11:54 a.m.

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John Marks graduated from Furman University in 2004 and joined the Herald in 2005. He covers community growth, municipalities, transportation and education primarily in York and Lancaster counties. The Fort Mill native has won dozens of South Carolina Press Association awards and several President McClatchy Awards for news coverage in Fort Mill and Lake Wylie.
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Shirley M. Pinder