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North Carolina Wine Region

With a Booming Wine Industry

With the state’s viticultural history dating back to the 17th century, it is ranking tenth in the wine grape production in the U.S.

North Carolina, which is a U.S. state on the eastern coast of the country, is well-known for its tobacco farming.

But now, the tobacco farming is seeing its decline here. So, what can we see in those lands where this farming was taking place? Well, our wine grapes have already started to take the place of the tobacco in this U.S. state.

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As the title suggests, North Carolina’s wine industry is booming and at present, the state is having almost 160 wineries.

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Remember to read the Wine Tasting guide…

Facts about North Carolina Wine Industry

The state is found to be connected to vine cultivation right from the 17th century itself.

It was at the time of European colonization that the wine grapes were first introduced in this state.

When we flip the pages of the history of North Carolina’s wine industry, we can find that the winegrowers of this state have the pride of cultivating the first native wine grape of America called Scuppernong.

This is a 400-year old grape variety and is believed to be the oldest wine grape variety in the globe. Overall, the state’s wine industry is focusing on two major classes of grapes, which are native Muscadine grapes and European Vinifera grapes.

At present, North Carolina is found to be having over 400 vineyards spreading across the state. The total vineyard area of the state is found to be almost 1,800 acres.

Climate and Geography of North Carolina

North Carolina is lying between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean and is found to be covering almost 140,000 square kilometres of coastal plains, as well as the rolling hills.

It is in these hills that we can find most of the state’s premium vineyards.

On the other hand, the areas that are closer to the eastern coast are found to be suitable for the cultivation of Muscadine grapes. When it comes to climate, I would say it’s having the right climate for the cultivation of vines.

The climatic conditions here are found to be diverse and transitional. The conditions are ideal for the cultivation of wine grapes with the surrounding mountains providing protection from the harsher climatic conditions.

On the other hand, the rolling hills are found to be providing a variety of mesoclimates, which are offering the vineyards with a longer growing season. The soils of the vineyards are found to be rich in mineral contents.

American Viticultural Areas of North Carolina

Find below the details of federally-recognized American Viticultural Areas of North Carolina:

Yadkin Valley
This is the first recognized AVA of North Carolina and is located in the northwestern part of the state. This AVA is found to be covering almost 400 acres of vineyards and is home to 40 wineries at present.

Swan Creek
This is a sub-region of Yadkin Valley AVA, which was established in the year 2008. This AVA is found to be having just five wineries at present.

Haw River Valley
This third AVA of the state was established in the year 2009 and is located in the central part of North Carolina. This AVA is found to be home to six wineries at present.

Upper Hiwassee Highlands
This is the fourth AVA of North Carolina and was established in the year 2014. This, which is located in the southwestern parts of North Carolina, is covering two counties and six wineries in total.

Wine Grapes in North Carolina

Apart from Scuppernong, the state is cultivating the grape varieties like:

  • Muscadine
  • Carlos
  • Chardonnay
  • Noble
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Chambourcin
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Seyval Blanc

Although these are the most recognized grape varieties in North Carolina, the wine grape cultivation doesn’t stop with these varieties alone. There are several other varieties being cultivated within the state.

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Author

Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam

Winewriter

I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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