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  Welcome to Hampton Street Vineyards web site. By way of introduction we would like to tell you a little about who we are and some of our accomplishments.

We opened in December of 1995 with the original founders Paul Pittenger, Leigh Talmadge and Bill Murphy.

 
 
 
     

Leigh Talmadge has been in the food and beverage industry since he was in High School in New Jersey. Upon moving to Columbia he began working at the Le Petit Chateau. He then moved to Sausalito California and became a chef at Richardson's on the bay, but he just couldn't stay away from South Carolina. Returning to Columbia he went back to cooking at Le Petit Chateau until the original owner sold it in 1980. Developing a palette for fine wines Leigh began working for Associated Wines and then Southern Wine & Spirits in the Myrtle Beach (Grand Strand) area where he spent fourteen years as the Branch Manager before he opened Hampton Street Vineyard.

Bill Murphy's initial foray into the restaurant business was less than glamorous, while dropping a girlfriend off at work he was asked if he could fill in for a no-show dishwasher. He did and after three years and now the sous chef, the business was sold and he lit out for Mexico where he spent the following year studying the Aztec culture and conquest by Spain. Broke and unpublished he wandered up to Reno and was accepted into an apprentice program at the newly opened MGM Grand. There he cooked omelets for showgirls and croupiers in the employee cafeteria, haute cuisine for the Shah of Iran in the prestigious Gigi's and anything else needed for the hotels seven other restaurants. He returned to Columbia and worked under Malcom Hudson digesting the historic foundations and intricacies of French cuisine. After a couple of years working the seasonal resort circuit he was named chef de cuisine of a small hotel with large aspirations before he was appointed personal Chef to Governors Riley and Campbell. But as a reporter longs to write the Great American Novel so does a chef want to open the Great American Restaurant and with that he opened a small French restaurant for five years in Camden where he was recognized by numerous national publications. After a stint at a country club to work on his newly found passion but unable to break 80 he and Leigh Talmadge along with Paul Pittenger gave birth to Hampton Street Vineyard.

Hampton Street Vineyard has developed an extensive wine list (hence the name), which is always changing to accommodate the different trends in the wine industry. The Vineyard has received the "Best of Award of Excellence" for South Carolina from the Wine Spectator Magazine for the last five years. This international award was bestowed to only three restaurants in South Carolina and less than 400 restaurants worldwide.

Some of the artists and wine dignitaries who have dined with us include Guy Buffet, Jean Trimbach, Marcel Guigal, Rodney Strong, Alex Schug, Tom Murphy, Jeff Kunde, Jed Steel, Eli Parker, Andrea Eve Pecota, Mark Jessup, David Mirassou, Hugh Davis (winemaker from Schramberry), Rob Hunter (winemaker from Sterling Vineyards) and Marcia Mondavi to name a few.

Thank you again and please ask to be included on our mailing list or go to the contact us page and sign up for e-mail notifications for our wine dinners and other special events.