Sandhills Winery Gets New Ownership!

Leslie and Bob Rose have lived in Seven Lakes since 1994 and have owned Sandhills Winery for the past nine years.

They first opened Sandhills Winery in 2009, building a career in something they loved.

“I was inspired by my love of wine,” Leslie said.  “They always say do something you love and the money will follow.”

Last fall, Leslie decided she would retire from the Winery, and she has her husband’s full support.

She began looking for the perfect buyer and turned down three interested parties before choosing Trish and Tom Elliott.

“After half an hour with them, I knew they were people who care and would be able to carry on the Sandhills Winery traditions,” Leslie said.

The Trish and Tom have been living in Seven Lakes for two years.  They began living here full-time about a year ago after going back and forth from Texas.

Trish was a superintendent of schools in Texas and had her own gift shop.  When she retired to Seven Lakes, she fell in love with Sandhills Winery.  She loved the Winery just as much as she loved Seven Lakes.

“That’s kind of what the shop is for me: love, family, and community,” Trish said.

For the past couple months, Leslie has taken Trish under her wing, mentoring her and showing her the ropes in the shop.

“The best thing about the business is that you get to ‘drink’ for a living,” Leslie said.  “You get to learn something new every day.”

Trish has been learning about the many beverages from Leslie and the vendors who share backgrounds on the soil and the quality of the grapes.

“There’s a whole different appreciation for wine when you realize how much went into making it,” Trish said.  “So much love and passion goes into the wine.  Many of the wineries are family-owned.  It’s a labor of love. Those wines mean something.”

“The wine is made in the vineyard – not in the winery,” Leslie added. (organic practices, soils, selecting the best clusters and dropping the rest, etc.)

Leslie and Trish hope to keep Sandhills Winery as “The Cheers of Seven Lakes.”

Even though Leslie and Bob are handing over the reins of the shop, they will still be in Seven Lakes and visit the shop often to make sure it’s a seamless transition.

“Trish is great; she doesn’t meet a stranger,” Leslie said.

Trish hopes to keep Sandhills Winery running just as it always has.  The Winery will continue to host all of their regular events such as Thursday Tastings, cooking classes, painting classes, Food Truck Fridays, Tuesday Trivia, and other special events.

“I don’t want to change anything at all,” Trish said.  “I want to work somewhere that feels like home and love people.”

Trish will continue to run the Winery’s gift shop and Wine Club as well.  The gift shop opened in October and features gifts that locals can grab on-the-go.  The Wine Club allows members to have the treat of “Special Wines at Special Prices.”

Trish’s husband, Tom, will be supporting her behind the scenes, helping with bookkeeping.  Tom is a retired Lieutenant Colonel who ran a multi-million dollar company in Texas.

“I love Seven Lakes. I enjoy the people,” he said.  “I thought the Winery was a good idea.”

“I have a passion,” Trish said.  “I give 150% to what I do.”

Leslie encourages regulars to be patient with Trish and Tom as they embark on this new journey.

“Bring your ideas.  Trish is open-minded and cares deeply,” Leslie said.  “She is just a loving person and would do anything for anybody.  There’s not a doubt in my mind they’ll be successful with this.”

During her retirement, Leslie plans to do volunteer work, float on the lake, garden, spend more time with their friends, and take care of her husband, Bob, and their dogs.

The sale of Sandhills Winery took place on May 31st.  Tom and Trish became the official owners on June 1st.

Sandhills Winery will be hosting a Turning Over the Key Cocktail Party on Friday, June 1st from 5:00PM-7:00PM.  Sandhills Winery fans are welcome to join the celebration and enjoy some hors d’oeuvres and one free glass of wine.

Sandhills Winery is located at 1057 Seven Lakes Drive in Seven Lakes.  For more information, call (910) 673-2949 or email  Be sure to visit