North Carolina
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With a grape-growing history of several hundred years, North Carolina developed America’s first cultivated wine grape, the aromatic Scuppernong, which produces sweet juice. The state’s wine industry now emphasizes the Vitis vinifera, French-American hybrid and labrusca varieties. North Carolina has three very distinct physical regions. In the mountainous northwest, the climate is cool to warm, depending on elevation, which ranges from 1,000-6,000 feet. Soils are rocky and sedimentary in origin. While the higher elevations of the peaks aren’t suitable for grape growing, they form wind barriers which help regulate temperature and moisture. Eastward is the Piedmont region, full of rolling hills and valleys. The temperature here is warm to hot, with an extended growing season. Piedmont soils, as in other areas of the state, are mainly sedimentary rock dating back hundreds of millions of years. The third region, the hot, mostly flat coastal plain, has sandy soils with some clay and very little rock. In North Carolina, "Muscadine-grows-mainly-on-the-plain", but it is impossible to grow vinifera grapes in these parts.

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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.  [>] continue


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Correspondent

Barbara Ensrud
is the Regional Correspondent for North Carolina.

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Featured Wines

RayLen Vineyards 2005 Carolinius Classic red varietals selected in this harmonious blend include Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petite Verdot.
buy wine $14.00


RayLen Vineyards 2005 Shiraz A Carolina Shiraz exhibiting rich aromas and flavors of fresh fruit, leading to soft tannins that accentuate a lingering finish.
buy wine $12.00

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