Wine Industry Facts
North Carolina is home to more than 100 wineries. The number of wineries has more than quadrupled since 2001. The industry has two focuses - native muscadine grapes and European-style vinifera grapes.
- Commonly planted vinifera grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Viognier. They are planted in the Western and Piedmont regions of the state.
- Plantings of native muscadine grapes, also known as Scuppernongs, are relatively pest resistant and thrive in the hot sandy conditions of the Coastal region. Muscadines contain high levels of Resveratrol and other health-enhancing antioxidants. Some wineries even sell grape skins to nutraceutical companies.
- Scuppernong is the first grape cultivated in the United States and is the official fruit of North Carolina. The Mothervine in Manteo on Roanoke Island, North Carolina is a 400-year old Scuppernong vine and is the oldest known cultivated grapevine in the nation.
- North Carolina ranks 7th for wine production in the United States.
- More than 400 individually owned grape vineyards are spread across the state, covering 1,800 acres.
- According to a recent study, the annual economic impact of the North Carolina wine and grape industry is $813 million with 5,700 jobs created.
- The Yadkin Valley is North Carolina's first federally recognized American Viticultural Area (AVA). It is located in northwestern North Carolina, and there are nearly 30 wineries and 400 acres devoted to vineyards in the Yadkin Valley.
- Swan Creek AVA was established in 2008 in northwest North Carolina and includes five wineries.
- Haw River Valley AVA is North Carolina’s third and newest AVA, established in 2009. It is located in central North Carolina and is home to six wineries.
- Asheville is home to the Biltmore Estate Winery, which receives more than one million visitors annually and is the most visited winery in the United States.
- Medoc Vineyard in the town of Brinkleyville in Halifax County was the first commercial winery established in North Carolina and led the country's wine production in 1835.
- At the turn of the century, 25 wineries operated in North Carolina, making it one of the most productive wine states in the U.S. The industry closed with the onset of Prohibition.
- A 2007 national survey sponsored by the Travel Industry Association (TIA) in partnership with Gourmet magazine and the International Culinary Tourism Association (ICTA), cited North Carolina as one of the top five state destinations for wine and culinary tourism activities in the United States.
- Duplin Winery, the largest and oldest winery in the state, is the world’s largest producer of Muscadine wine.
added: December 17, 2008
updated: February 3, 2011
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