For wine lovers and connoisseurs, North Carolina is one of the best places to be. Due to its diverse landscape, varied climate and nurturing soil, this US state provides exceptional environment for grapes and wine production.
Flashback of the vintages of North Carolina
Since the beginning of the European colonization in the 17th century, people here started wine production. The “Scuppernong”, a variety of grape that produces sweet wine, was first grown by the local wine producers in North Carolina. Due to its greenish or bronze color and large size, it was first termed as “the big white grape”. It is also the state fruit.
Medoc Vineyard, founded in 1835 by Sidney Weller, was the first commercial winery in North Carolina. With 12 acres of white and black muscadines, Modoc Vineyard was able to produce 60 gallons of wine in 1853. Before the American civil war wine production was prospering in the state with more than 20 wineries.
Ban on wine production–1920 to 1933 winston cigarettes website
The Prohibition Period, a nation ban on sale, production and transportation of alcohol enacted from 1920 to 1933, greatly hampered wine production in the United States including North Carolina. During this period, muscadines were used only as fresh fruit and juice. The number of wineries kept reducing and by 1958 the number reached zero in the state.
Revival of wines in the US
In 1972, to promote wine production in North Carolina, the state legislature reduced winery license fee from $1000 to $100. The tax on state wine was also reduced from 60 cents per gallon to 5 cents per gallon. This action implemented by the state led to the inception of many reputed wineries such as Westbend Vineyards, Deerfield Vineyards Wine Cellars, Duplin Winery, Biltmore Estate Wine Company and Germanton Vineyard & Winery.
By 2011, North Carolina had more than 100 wineries and over 400 vineyards producing over 5000 gallons of wine.
Winston-Salem–Gateway to Yadkin Valley, the 1st AVA in NC
At present, North Carolina ranks tenth in grape and wine productions in the United States and is one of the five most visited state destinations for wine tourism.
The best of North Carolina grapes can be found in Yadkin Valley wine region. Yadkin Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area) is recognized as a unique grape growing region in the United States. The wines made from grapes of this region are marked with “Yadkin Valley” on the label.
Yadkin Valley wine region is located 40 miles away from Winston-Salem. Also known as the gateway to Yadkin Valley, Winston-Salem has highest concentration of wineries in the state that allows you to visit numerous wineries in a single day. This city is home to more than 30 famous wineries such as Westbend Vineyards, Native Vines Winery, Flint Hill Vineyards and many more.
Wine Festivals in Winston-Salem
Winston-Salem is also the host of two of the largest wine festivals in North Carolina. “The North Carolina Wine Festival”, largest wine festival in the state, is held on Memorial Day weekend.
“Salute! The North Carolina Wine Celebration” is another wine festival which is held on first weekend in June.
Taste the best of Winston-Salem
Winston-Salem will provide you the break to visit the best wineries in the United States where you can learn the antiquities of wines; observe how it is produced and have a chance to taste the wines you like the most. You can also purchase the best wines produced by those wineries or take a tour of large and magnificent vineyards.
Or be part of the hand-picked or mechanical harvest which is generally done in between February and April.
Wine tour in Winston-Salem will definitely be one of the memorable tours in your life. To enjoy the beauty of the most admired vineyards and wineries in the United States, you can take a walk or cycle through them. The most effective way to visit the wineries and vineyards is to hire a car or a driver. You can taste more wines without worrying about your ride back home.