Today’s Topic: September is NC Wine and Grape Month

by | Sep 9, 2014

Southern Farm Network logoAgriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

Wine Month LogoGov. Pat McCrory has proclaimed September as North Carolina Wine and Grape Month. Commissioner Troxler says it’s a good month for celebrating the state’s wine and grape industry, as wineries are popular attractions in the fall, and September and October are prime time for the muscadine grape harvest.

The state’s wine and grape industry continues to grow and is now home to more than 140 wineries and 400 commercial grape growers.

Whether it’s buying a pint of grapes at the farmers market, trying a new North Carolina wine or planning a trip to a vineyard, Commissioner Troxler encourages everyone to find a way to support the state’s wine and grape industry this month.

Farmers produce native muscadine grapes, including the famed scuppernong, which was the nation’s first cultivated wine grape. Muscadines are grown in the Coastal region of the state. The fresh-market muscadine crop is looking good this year, thanks to some dry weather at the beginning of the harvest. Drier weather concentrates the juice inside the grape and enhances the sweetness. You can find muscadines at farmers markets and roadside stands.

North Carolina farmers also grow European-style grapes, such as merlot and chardonnay. These are grown mainly in the Western and Piedmont regions of the state.

North Carolina is now home to four federally recognized American Viticultural Areas. The latest is the Upper Hiawassee Highlands AVA in the western part of the state. It joins the Haw River, Swan Creek and Yadkin Valley AVAs. These regions are important in helping consumers identify a wine’s origin.

For more information about North Carolina wine and grapes, plus special events planned throughout September, click here.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss Wine and Grape Month.

[Audio:|titles=Today’s Topic for Sept. 9]

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