North Carolina Gov. Announces the State’s 100th Winery
As North Carolina celebrates its 100th winery, the North Carolina wine boom continues, boosting tax revenues and enticing visitors.
RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue announced today that North Carolina is now home to 100 wineries. The 100th winery in North Carolina to raise a glass is Cauble Creek Vineyard in Salisbury. “Our wine industry is made up of small business owners, entrepreneurs and farmers. Most importantly it creates jobs in our state,” said Gov. Perdue. “Our wineries and vineyards provide a compelling reason to visit our state and they are a significant economic engine.”North Carolina ranks seventh in wine production and 10th in grape production nationally. Research funded by the North Carolina Wine & Grape Council reports the wine and grape industry in this state accounts for more than 5,700 jobs with total economic impact as much as $813 million. North Carolina also ranks among the top five states in the country as a destination for culinary tourism according to a 2007 Travel Industry Association (now known as U.S. Travel Association) survey. A Tale of Two GrapesThe industry here shares two types of grapes: the sweet native muscadines (such as carlos, noble, magnolia, etc.) and the European-style vinifera grapes (such as chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, etc.) The 100th winery focuses exclusively on the sweet muscadine grape and also sells jams, jellies and neutraceuticals made from muscadines.
A Growing IndustryThe number of wineries in the state has grown dramatically over the last 30 years. In 1972, Westbend Vineyards was the first winery to plant European vinifera grapes in the Yadkin Valley.In 2005, the state boasted around 50 wineries making both European vinifera and muscadine wines; in five years, that number has tipped to 100. More wineries have already filed with the Council this week. About Cauble Creek, the 100th WineryWilliam Yost, owner of Cauble Creek Vineyards, left a job in industrial sales to start his new venture. He grew up on a farm and decided to plant muscadine grapes, although his father worried that the grape business was less stable than the small greens crop around which the family had built their agribusiness. “When you’re raised on a farm and your heart and soul go in it your whole life, you become part of the dirt,” Yost says. “With the winery start up, my main goals were to support the tourism, heritage and sustainability basics, so I wanted to plant something that would do well on this land in order to make a quality grape product with the opportunity for product line extensions.”Yost’s first encounter with wine making was in 2000, when one of his great uncles, John Cauble, passed down the responsibility of making the communion wine for the St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Salisbury. Yost’s wife, Anita, and son Alex, supported his nights in the basement, experimenting and researching. Yost also completed classes in Surry County Community College’s Viticulture and Enology Technology program. Today, winemaker Mark Friszolowski at Childress Vineyards in Lexington makes the wine from Yost’s nine acres of vineyards. www.caublecreekvineyards.comJustin Furr, Executive Director of the North Carolina Wine & Grape Council, says the North Carolina industry is filled with stories of family farms and risk. “It costs $10,000 an acre just to plant wine grapes—that doesn’t include fertilizer or pruning or upkeep after they are in the soil,” Furr says. “The people who thrive in this industry are innovate farmers and entrepreneurs.”The Road to 100: Notable N.C. Wine Facts· North Carolina was the top producing wine state in the country before Prohibition· Every part of the state has wineries; almost every North Carolinian lives within 100 miles of a winery.· With one million visitors annually, Biltmore in Asheville, N.C. is the most visited winery in the nation.· Westbend Vineyards in Lewisville, N.C. was the first to bottle European vinifera grapes in the Yadkin Valley in 1972.· Duplin Winery opened in Rose Hill, N.C. in 1976. Today, they are the largest volume producer of wine in the state and the largest muscadine winery in the world.· Scuppernong, a type of muscadine grape, is the first grape cultivated in the United States and is the official fruit of North Carolina.· The Mothervine in Manteo on Roanoke Island, N.C. is a 400-year-old scuppernong vine; it’s the oldest known cultivated grapevine in the nation.
For more information on visiting North Carolina wineries, buying North Carolina wine or enjoying seasonal events at wineries across the state, go to VisitNCWine.com.
About the North Carolina Wine & Grape Council
The North Carolina Wine & Grape Council facilitates the development of North Carolina’s grape and wine industries by enhancing product quality for consumers, and encouraging economic viability and opportunity for growers and processors through education, marketing and research. All wineries recognized and promoted by the Council have tasting rooms open to the public. Find downloadable maps, events and more at VisitNCWine.com or call 1-877-3NC-WINE begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-877-3NC-WINE end_of_the_skype_highlighting