Tucked away in the heart of the Yadkin Valley wine country, with a pristine landscape and a tranquil atmosphere, is Aquilla Creek Cottage. The cottage was once part of the I.C. Shore Distillery before being moved and turned into a tobacco packing house. When Rufus and Courtney Brickey got their hands on the property, they knew they had to do something with the shed instead of tearing it down.
Work on the cottage began in the mid-2000s, with Rufus Brickey investing his time into the building with the help of his nephew, and other members of his family, and the community. Rufus had to invest plenty of time into the cottage, as he had to re-do the top and the bottom floors to get them up to code, as well as various other fixes to get the cottage to the condition it is in now.
“Once I got into it, the foundation had a lot of corrosion so I had to jack it up and replace the wooden seals that were under there. I had to tear out all the floors, and lower the first floor while taking the second floor up,” said Rufus Brickey. “I would have been better just tearing it down, but I really wanted to keep the historical value of the building since it was part of the distillery.”
When the renovations were complete, the cottage officially opened for business in 2007. For the past nine and a half years, the Brickeys have seen a number of visitors from all around the country and even Canada. The cottage is open year-round to guests and they can stay however long they would like.
“We’re booked probably three out of every four weekends a month. Sometimes we’ll be booked the whole month,” said Courtney Brickey. “Most of the people who come are returning visitors. We’ve had a couple who come from Asheville that come down at least three times a year.”
The cottage is just minutes from several wineries, bike trails and other activities. The cottage also includes great amenities for guests to enjoy during their stay. Various comforts include Champagne massage tub, king-sized bed, queen sofa sleeper, two bathrooms, fully-equipped kitchen, deck with BBQ grill, and a 40-inch flat-screen TV. For those interested, there is also a massage therapist available.
“I just like the wood work, plus (Rufus) kept the historical factor and I’m very sentimental about my family history so that meant a lot,” said Courtney Brickey.
While the cottage has always been a main focus, Rufus Brickey decided to start a wine shuttle to take visitors to the vineyards around the area in 2007. Rufus’ shuttle serves 45 wineries and offers private and group wine tours. They also offer shuttle services from most hotels and area residents. To reserve a spot on the shuttle, call 336-971-3472. For more information, visit yadkinwineshuttle.com.
“We opened the cottage, and people who came started asking about wine tours that they wanted to take them to the wineries. I started the wine shuttle company and I’ve been doing that since 2007,” said Rufus. “I really enjoy the shuttle because you get to meet a lot of different people, from a lot of different areas.”
The cottage can accommodate up to two couples, and a welcome beverage is chilled and waiting for the guests arrival. To make a reservation at the cottage, visit aquillacreekcottage.com/reservations, or call 866-219-0546.
“The people are my favorite part, just meeting the different people and getting to do the wine tours is fun,” said Rufus. “I’m just glad people came to the cottage once it was finished.”
Kristian Russell can be reached at 336-258-4052 or on Twitter @YadkinElkSports.