Winemaking expertise arrived in Arkansas with the first European settlers, German, Swiss and Italian immigrants. They quickly realized that the Boston Mountains to the north protected much of the growing area from winter cold, and the moderate elevation of the hills put them above the frost line. These are ideal conditions for growing grapes. Prohibition hit this area hard, but the wine industry’s saving grace was that growers grafted table grapes onto the roots, instead of ripping out vineyards, leaving them prepared for the coming wine revolution. Although today over half of the Arkansas counties remain dry, the state has three AVAs (one shared with Missouri) which are moving forward to develop their wine industry. There are six dedicated wineries that are experimenting with varieties such as Cynthiana, Vidal Blanc and Seyval Blanc, as well as continuing to work with the Cabernet, Merlot, and Chardonnay staples.
In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.
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All hail the King! But a king doth not a gentleman make. A temperamental prince in youth, you’re