NORTH CAROLINA WINE MAY SURPRISE YOU
Often when you ask around about great vineyards, you’re met with Napa, Tuscany, or even Bordeaux.. What would your response be if someone said North Carolina?
Elkin Creek Vineyard can be found in the heart of the gorgeous Yadkin Valley of North Carolina. When asked about the history of wine in the area, Winemaker Louis Jeroslow said this:
“Wine has been produced in the area since the early days of European colonization in the 17th century. The history dates back to 1524 when French explorers discovered native grapevines along the coast and through the Cape Fear River Valley. Sir Walter Raleigh is credited with discovering the famed ‘Mother Vine’ on Roanoke Island and introducing it elsewhere. It is the oldest cultivated grapevine in North America at more than 400 years old. In 1835, North Carolina’s first commercial winery, ‘Medoc Vineyard’, was established in Halifax County and led the country’s wine production for several years. Wine production in North Carolina thrived in the 1800s. According to the sixth federal census in 1840, North Carolina was the leading wine producing state in the Nation. At the turn of the century it was still one of the leading wine producing states with twenty-five operating wineries. The industry halted with the onset of Prohibition, and North Carolina didn’t resume its wine industry until the early 1970’s.”
The Yadkin Valley has what many consider the best environment for growing grapes. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with its “terra rossa” or red clay-like soil similar to that of Tuscany, Italy and the warm climate very similar to that of Bordeaux, France. Additionally, North Carolina’s latitude lines up with southern tip of Sicily, Italy. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture has recognized this area as a ‘‘unique and valuable winegrowing region.’’ With a superb combination of sun, soil, and soul Yadkin Valley wineries are ideally located in the North Carolina region that is rapidly gaining a reputation for growing high-quality grapes and producing world-class award-winning wines. “North Carolina’s growing season and frost-date fall within the optimum range for cultivation of premium vinifera grapes”, except from 2003 Federal A.V.A. ruling to establish the Yadkin Valley American Viticulture Area. .
WHAT MAKES OUR AREA SO SIMILAR TO EUROPE?
North Carolina ranks 10th in the nation for both grape and wine production. Historically, the Scuppernong (sweet varietal) was the most grown grape in our state; however, since 2000 the native Scuppernong and Muscadine have been superseded by vitis vinifera, the European-style wine grape. Our state's wine industry continues to expand and gain recognition across the country. According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce “NC Wine Fast Facts”, North Carolina is one of the five most visited states for wine and culinary tourism.
People are beginning to take notice of the wines coming from our region for the simple fact that they so closely resemble the classic, and award-winning wines that come from overseas. Our temperate climate mirrors that one of the largest and most highly renowned wine regions in the world: Bordeaux, France. Bordeaux reds contain mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varietals that flourish in its mild-tempered climate that doesn’t drastically rise or drop in temperature during the growing season. The Yadkin Valley’s rolling hills provide a ‘rain shadow’ and counterbalance the summertime heat, much like the famous Italian wine region, Tuscany. Our soil, mostly composed of microscopic granite and red clay, is almost identical to the sandy, claylike soil in Italy. The sandy mixture allows for moisture to flow in and out freely without “over-watering” the grapes and holding in too much moisture, while the clay holds in essential nutrients for the grapes to grow and thrive. The terroir in North Carolina provides an ideal North American climate for growing grapes and producing high-quality wine.
WE’VE GOT THE CREDENTIALS TO BACK IT UP
The Yadkin Valley Appellation was North Carolina’s first, consisting of over 1.416 million acres- encompassing all of Surry, Wilkes, and Yadkin counties and portions of Stokes, Forsyth, Davidson, and Davie counties. It gained official AVA Classification in 2003. From its humble beginnings to now an accredited and award-winning wine-producing region, we are proud to be nationally recognized in some of the same circles as “big name” wine regions around the country. In fact, the Yadkin Valley made the cut for the 2018 edition of USA Today Reader’s Choice: 10 Best Wine Regions.
SMALL VINEYARD, BIG HEART
Elkin Creek Vineyard is proud to be part of the Yadkin Valley American Viticulture Area. After buying the property from Mark Greene seven years ago, the White and Jeroslow families have worked tirelessly to maintain the standards set at the induction of the vineyard. Each year during the fall Harvest, everyone plays a unique part in the wine making process. Whether caring for the grounds, picking grapes, supervision of fermentation, quality assurance, or customer satisfaction: everyone is crucial in the process of creating our renowned wines. Elkin Creek, like many North Carolina vineyards, is proudly family owned and operated. When you taste our wines you will experience a blend of tradition, passion and nature celebrated by the art of wine making that is captured in each handcrafted bottle.
Perhaps you’ll mistake our wine for some that you’ve tasted in areas across the globe “more famous” than ours. You could even discover something you like more. From Europe to Elkin, we hope you have learned some unique characteristics of North Carolina wine and encourage you to visit one of the more than three dozen wineries in our area, especially Elkin Creek Vineyard.
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