Wine production has become big business in North Carolina, with 113 wineries and 400 commercial grape growers currently operating. Locally, Currituck County is home to some of the state’s oldest vinifera vines and two wineries — Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg and Martin Vineyards on Knotts Island.
Following on the heels of NC Governor Beverly Perdue’s designation of September as North Carolina Wine Appreciation Month, the Currituck County Board of Commissioners officially declared the same for Currituck County. The official proclamation was made at the Board’s September 4th meeting.
“September is the peak month for table grape harvest,” said Sanctuary Vineyards’ John Wright. “Consumers can find fresh muscadine grapes throughout the county, and it’s the perfect time to celebrate wine production.”
According to Wright, the vineyards and wineries of Currituck County produce over 5000 cases of wine annually on over 30 acres of land. Currituck wineries have placed highly in both regional and national competitions, including double gold and best in show honors.
“Viticulture has featured prominently in the history of North Carolina and Currituck County since the first explorers noted the bounty of vines and grapes in our coastal region,” explained Wright. “The industry of grapes and wine in North Carolina has seen challenges, such as Prohibition, and triumph, with the state ranking 10th in wine production for 2011. Currituck County reflects our state’s proud heritage in every vine.”
Vineyards and wineries play an important role in North Carolina’s tourism industry. The annual economic impact of North Carolina-produced grapes and wine is estimated at $1.28 billion, employing 7,600 workers in the state.
New wines will be released this month by both Sanctuary Vineyards and Martin Vineyards.
Numerous wine events are held throughout Currituck County each year, including wine tastings at the vineyards, wine festivals at the Whalehead Club in Corolla, Acoustic Sunset events at Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg, and the annual Currituck Food and Wine Festival at Sanctuary Vineyards, set this year for September 22.