Wineries & Vineyards
North Carolina's Wine Story
They say every wine has a story. Wait till you hear ours.
Not long after Sir Walter Raleigh landed in what would become North Carolina, the grape vine was first introduced and cultivated in the New World. In fact, by the dawn of the 20th Century, the Old North State was the leading wine-producing region in the nation.
It seemed nothing could stop us.
But we hadn't counted on an act of Congress. 1919. Prohibition. Suddenly, products from distilleries in undisclosed locations in the Piedmont hills and dales were rather more lucrative than those from the gnarled grape orchards of yore. When we spoke of fruit, it was shriveled in white lightning. When we packaged, it was in Mason jars rather than Chardonnay bottles.
Other pursuits followed. Often at high speeds. The sudden professional interest of G-Men and revenuers gave rise to moonlit, midnight chases across the humble countryside, engendering a motorized pastime that became a sport that became NASCAR.
But other things permeated our viticulture, too. Our wines evoke not just oaken barrels, but local flavors and connections, whether of barbecue or mountain trout or tailgate parties. And our vineyards summon samplings not of wine alone, but wine with festivals, with arts and crafts, with our own music and local culture. And always, with the state's natural beauty as a backdrop.
Our land is rich and many-textured. The vines are wide in variety. And the people who grow them are as interesting and diverse as the state itself and, led by pioneers, farming families and glorious chance-takers, North Carolina has returned to its original roots.
This is a wine tasting like no other. You're invited.
added: January 2, 2009
updated: January 3, 2009