When tourists seek the Napa Valley, well, everyone knows that a wine tour will likely be part of the picture. Asheville North Carolina Bed and Breakfasts guests explore wine too. While only 2% of visitors to our state participate in a winery tour or tasting according to the Division of Tourism’s visitor profile, it seems to me there is a great deal of guest interest in this topic.
Our state has an interesting wine history dating all the way back to Sir Walter Raleigh. 1835, Medoc Vineyard stands as North Carlina’s first commercial winery. It was a national leader in the our nations muscadine wine production for several years. Wine production thrived in North Carolina in the 1800’s culminating in being a recognized leader in wine producing states with 25 operational wineries at the turn of the century.
Prohibition, stopped this progress in its tracks hitting the industry hard with North Carolina being the first state to enact statewide prohibition of alcoholic beverages. Also serving the distinction of being the first state in the union to enact prohibition by direct vote of the electorate thus delaying any further initiative in this
area until the early 1970’s. In 1972, the state legislation in their efforts to re-start this initiative, passed a preferential state excise tax specifically designed to foster this endeavor again.
Further inducements included the reduction in the fees levied on wineries in the form of license fees dropped from $1,000 to a far more beneficial $100.00. Just as the creators of these legislative efforts had hoped wineries began opening throughout North Carolina.
However, all these incentives were lost in 1985 and by 1986 six wineries remained in the state. Enter: North Carolina Wine and Grape Council with a mission statement to encourage “economic viability and opportunity for growers and processors through education, marketing and research.”
At this writing, the state of North Carolina due to the variant geography of the region, climate and soil grows every kind of grape inclusive of vinifera, French-American hybrids, labruscas and muscadines. It pursues 2 main thrusts: Native Muscadine Grapes and European Vinifera grapes.
All you lovers of the grape, stay tuned for the next Blog on wine in which I will explore some of the vineyards in the state and their particular sub- specialties. We have an awesome opportunity here At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn for an escorted day tour of North Carolina Wineries and Vineyards.
Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast