North Carolina Wine Facts Plus…
There’s a dropdown menu on our website under “Meet Kimberly” which contains a page called NC Wine Facts. It’s one of the most popular pages so I thought I would write a blog and include some updated info along with a few personal tidbits! If you’re like me, you love reading anything about wine and vineyards!
So here we go:
- Biltmore Winery, located in Asheville, is the most visited estate winery in the US – I’ve been there several times over the years and their private barrel room events are educational and very fun, sometimes they even involve chocolate:).
- North Carolina currently ranks eleventh for wine production in the US. In 1880, we were on the top ten list for wine producing states!
- Duplin Winery is the oldest winery in the state and the largest producer of Muscadine wine – I coordinated a wedding there…in January no less!
- There is a full vineyard on campus at Surry Community College, and they offer a degree in Viticulture and Enology – my husband and I actually took a class one Saturday 14 years ago called “The Grape & Wine Industry: Is it for me? …and on the way home, my husband said that he didn’t think farming was in my genes…ha! I think he was right:)
- There were 25 wineries in North Carolina before prohibition and of course, they were forced to close or move to other states like California:( – check out The Original Virginia Dare Winery story – quick read & very interesting!
- The official fruit of North Carolina is the Scuppernong grape – have to admit, it’s not my favorite:(…
- North Carolina’s first commercial winery was founded in 1835 – actually ties into the Virginia Dare story above…
- We have the oldest living grapevine in the nation as well – discovered in 1584 on Roanoke Island – need to check this out soon!
- I started researching the NC industry in 2004 when I was at Meredith College. I personally contacted every single vineyard in 2005 (there were 46 at the time and another four were opening soon), and I asked them all sorts of fun questions. I had a good response rate and learned a lot. I didn’t realize then how fast the industry would grow but knew I wanted to be a part of it. I’m not sure why I feel the need to promote the industry except maybe that I’m a little selfish and want good wine nearby:)
- I was a member of the NC Winegrower’s Association for one year…again, not a farmer! It definitely opened my eyes to everything the owners go through to make wine and increased my appreciation for wine in general.
- In 2006, I volunteered to serve wine for Horizon Cellars (now closed) at the Festival of the Vino in Chapel Hill, and I also volunteered at the Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival in Cary last year. Round Peak Vineyards and Autumn Creek Vineyards were nice enough to let me pour for a couple of hours and have some fun!
- Since then, I’ve had many experiences with a number of the vineyards all over the state – some good, some not so good, but still feel we should be on the short list for wine – I mean at least the top ten in the US:).
- This past February, I was able to attend the NC Fine Wines Competition which I loved!! Everything that the NC Fine Wines Society is doing to challenge our local wine makers, get some publicity and enhance the industry is absolutely wonderful! In case you missed it, below is the list of 2018 winners.
Some additional NC vineyard info:
North Carolina is growing a wide variety of grapes, some of which I’ve listed below, and there’s probably a few that will surprise you.
Cabernet Sauvignon | Montepulciano| Chardonnay| Viognier| Muscadine | Petit Verdot | Sangiovese | Syrah | Vermentino | Pinot Gris
Chambourcin | Norton | Traminette | Vidal Blanc | Malbec | Cabernet Franc | Merlot | Reisling
A few vineyards are experimenting with other varietals too – I love this because it’s exciting and also gives me a reason to keep going back!
If you didn’t already know, we have 180+ wineries and 525+ vineyards in our state plus five AVA’s – American Viticultural Areas – listed below along with the year they were established.
- Yadkin Valley (2002)
- Swan Creek (2008)
- Haw River Valley (2009)
- Upper Hiwassee Highland which we share with northern Georgia (2014)
- Appalachian High Country which we share with Tennessee and Virginia (2016)
As many of you know, our specialty is planning vineyard weddings and other wine events! What we love most is helping clients find the best vineyard(s) for their wedding and/or other events. Now that we have over 180 wineries, there are a lot of choices in North Carolina but only a quarter or so actually have the capacity and infrastructure needed to host a successful event. It’s best to call us as this is where our relationships and research come in. If you’re thinking of a vineyard wedding now or want to have another type of vineyard event, contact us and let’s chat about all the options!
intimate vineyard events, impeccably planned🍷