By Justin Furr, Wine Marketing Manager, NC Dept of Agriculture & Consumer Services
The sound of corks popping and glasses clinking can be heard across the state as local wineries and grape growers celebrate Wine Appreciation Month in September.
“North Carolina’s more than 400 commercial grape growers and more than 100 wineries represent an important part of our state’s diverse agribusinesses community,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “In fact, it’s estimated that the wine and grape industry generates more than $1.28 billion and creates 7,600 jobs in the state.”
NC ranks 10th in the nation for wine and grape production. The state has a long history of wine production, and was the leading wine-producing state prior to Prohibition. NC also is home to the nation’s first cultivated wine grape, the scuppernong.
NC Governor Bev Perdue recently proclaimed September as Wine Appreciation Month in recognition of the industry’s economic impact on the state.
Wineries, vineyards and grape growers across the state will host several special events in honor of Wine Appreciation Month, including the Taste Carolina Wine Festival in Colfax NC on September 15, 2012, and the NC Muscadine Harvest Festival in Kenansville NC on September 29, 2012.
For more information about the wine and grape industry in the state, or to plan a trip to a local winery, go to www.ncwine.org.