Florence County winery adjusting to changes nearly a year after major fire

Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 5:59 PM EST
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FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - It’s been nearly a year since a major fire engulfed half of Cartersville Country Winery in Florence and owners say they’re still dealing with the damage left behind.

Things haven’t been easy with staff adjusting to new changes and business slowing down. Despite those setbacks, they’ve never stopped working.

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“Things happen. I mean, it hurts, but you can’t let it get you down,” said Carlos Norton, a co-owner of the winery. “We went to Florence, got us a computer, and we never slowed down. We never stopped.”

Norton said the fire caused around $200,000 in damage. In addition to the entire building and tasting room being lost, the winery also saw cars, wine bottles and label makers destroyed in the blaze.

“At the time, I wasn’t thinking about what was burning. I was thinking about saving what I could,” said Norton.

Since then, however, Norton said they’ve built two new tasting rooms to help keep up with demand. They’ve also built a new temporary storage building at the site of the fire.

But there is still work to be done.

“We couldn’t sit down and breathe,” said Norton. “Now we are so far behind just trying to get wine bottled and re-fill the bottling room. I mean, everything. You keep praying to God and keep on moving.”

Norton mentioned that they hoped to transform the storage building into their new winery tasting room in the future.