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North Carolina

The state on the southern Atlantic coast with the capital Raleigh was already settled by English colonists at the beginning of the 17th century and is one of the 13 founding states of the USA. It is from here that the historic variety Catawba originated, with which John Adlum (1759-1836) and Nicholas Longworth (1783-1863) wrote American wine history in the first third of the 19th century. The equally important Scuppernong variety also originates from here. In 2001, it was even officially declared the state fruit of North Carolina and thus declared a landmark of the state. Around the year 1680, many Huguenots expelled from France settled here and in the neighbouring state of South Carolina, bringing with them their knowledge of viticulture. Hybrids and varieties of the American species Vitis labrusca and Vitis rotundifolia are cultivated in large quantities. But increasingly, European varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Viognier and Zinfandel are also being cultivated.

It was not until 2003 that Yadkin Valley was classified as the first AVA area, followed by Swan Creek as the second. The main focus of viticulture is around Winston-Salem, which is also a tobacco growing centre. In total there are about 25 production operations. The "Biltmore Estate Wine" near the town of Asheville (where the writer Thomas Wolfe was born) is the largest in America with about 3,500 hectares of vineyards. The Biltmore House, built by George Washington Vanderbilt (1862-1914) and opened in 1895, is also located here. It is a grandiose castle with 250 rooms designed in the French Renaissance style. The estate is the most visited winery in America with 600,000 visitors annually (Mondavi has about 100,000 visitors). Other well-known wine producers are Black Wolf Vineyards, Germanton Vineyard & Winery, Hanover Park Vineyard, Ray Len Vineyards, Rag Apple Lassie Vineyards, Shelton Vineyards and Westbend Vineyards.

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