Wednesday June 30, 2010 | NC Wine Industry

June 29, 2010 at 9:41 am | Posted in Coming Up | 7 Comments

When it comes to domestic wine production we often think of Northern California or the rugged coastal region of Oregon, but North Carolina was once the nation’s largest wine producer and its working it’s way back as a major player. North Carolina is now the country’s 7th largest wine making region and the Yadkin Valley has received the state’s first federal designation as an American Viticultural Area. We’ll meet two vineyard owners from Yadkin Valley as well as long time wine writer and educator, Catherine Rabb.
Catherine Rabb
– Associate Professor, Johnson & Wales
Amy Helton – President, NC Wine Growers Assoc. & Co-Owner, Hanover Park Vineyard
Michael Helton – Board Member, NC Wine and Grape Council, Co-Owner, Hanover Park Vineyard

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  1. The viticulture region of NC – the Yadkin River Valley from about Salisbury and areas to the west and north, from about Winston-Salem to Boone along route 421 – is a very beautiful region. I’m sure it was much more beautiful before the landscape was scarred by mass industrialism and over-development, and also before the Yadkin River was polluted and dammed up by Alcoa and other major industrial operations.

    Still there are only a limited number of places on Earth where good wine grapes can be grown, and we are fortunate enough to have one of those areas in NC. However, you must have some pretty hardy and heat resistant varieties to grow around here since we are on the same latitude as North Africa, the very southern part of Spain, southern Greek islands, and so on.

  2. I was born and raised in Charlotte and I never heard of wine being grown in the state except for home grown scuppernong. My theory is that we now have wine growing because of climate change. It’s hotter, people, and getting more so.l

    • If anything, wine grapes grow better in cooler climates–heat is one of the things NC grape growers struggle with. We have been growing wine grapes for centuries in NC. Until prohibition, we were the largest wine-producing state in the nation. True, scuppernong/muscadine grapes grow well in the east, but it’s too cold to grow them in the west. The western part of the state is very well suited for growing vinifera and hybrids–merlot, chardonnay, cabernet–because it is so much cooler. Some of the oldest NC wineries are making vinifera wines, in the west, because of the cooler climate. Charlotte has about 10 wineries within a 45 minute drive and even more if you’re willing to drive an hour. One of these has been making wine since the early 1900’s–and not scuppernong. Check it out at!

  3. Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard and Dennis Vineyard will be at the Atherton Market at Atherton Mill on Tuesday, July 13th to introduce Charlotteans to their wines. Our mission and purpose is to showcase all things local and regional, and would love to host other NC Vineyards at Atherton Market on July 13th or at any of our other Tuesday and Saturday market events! We are also in search of a regular wine vendor who has an affinity for regional and sustainable wines.

    • Please email me! We carry only NC wines and represent about 7 NC wineries; we’re adding 2-3 a month. We would love to help you promote NC wines! YUM!

  4. Mike, Pearl isn’t a cocker spaniel LOL. She’s a Cavslier King Charkes Spaniel I believe

    For a beginner, i would recommend a day trip or weekend to the Yadkin Valley and try a lot of different wineries and wine styles. Get a map fro pm he NC Wine Growers web site and just enjoy.

    • That’s a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel–sorry for typos

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