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Turning Coal into Wine:
Seco's Old Company Store


[image ALT: A low 2‑story wooden building with a pickup truck in front of it. It is a view of the old South Eastern Coal Company store, now the Highland Winery in Seco, Kentucky (central eastern United States).]

[image ALT: zzz. It is a view of the old South Eastern Coal Company store, now the Highland Winery in Seco, Kentucky (central eastern United States).]

So far, this looks very much like what it once was: the company store of a coal mining operation. In the 1990s, however, the building at 293 Seco Drive was bought and carefully restored to become the home of the family-owned Highland Winery. Letcher County is "dry", mind you — that is, the sale and public consumption of alcohol is against the law — and the vintners had to jump thru an incredible set of hoops to start the business; but the world is a better place because of it: they make good wine.

Or at least that's my own take on it all; but in the area itself, opinion is sharply divided: this thread gives an idea of the battle lines and the reasons for them.


[image ALT: zzz. It is a view of the old South Eastern Coal Company store, now a winery, in Seco, Kentucky (central eastern United States).]

The rocking chairs are not just for decoration: the Highland Winery is also home to a bed-and‑breakfast; not their fault that I happened to come by in chilly November.


[image ALT: zzz. It is a view of the old South Eastern Coal Company store, now a winery, in Seco, Kentucky (central eastern United States).]

For the raw material of this page, see my diary, Nov. 25, 2005. For the Highland wine label, though, you'll have to travel to Kentucky; state laws still do not allow the commercial export of wine!


[image ALT: A bottle of wine, produced by the Highland Winery in Seco, Kentucky (central eastern United States).]

Chicago, New Year's Day 2006:
celebrating with Highland Cabernet.


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Page updated: 30 Nov 09