• In 1524 Giovanni de Verazano, a French Explorer, recorded the first
    sighting of grapes in the Cape Fear River Valley.

  • In 1584 Sir Walter Raleighs' explorers discovered the mother vine on
    Roanoke Island.

  • Around the 17th century, a bronze Muscadine became popular called the
    "Scuppernong."  The name originated from the Algonquin Indian name
    "Ascopa" meaning Sweetbay tree.

  • In 1811 The Star Newspaper printed the first written record of grapes
    referred to as "Scuppernong".

  • In 1840, the federal census declared North Carolina the chief wine-
    producing state of the Union.

  • A Castle Hayne Vineyard Company existed in the 1870's.  Far
    surpassing all rival winemakers in the vicinity was the family of Sol
    Bear.  By 1902, the Bear employed six commercial travelers and had
    agents in New York.  A featured product was the "Bell of Carolina," which
    resembled a mild port.  In addition, blackberries and Muscadines
    provided the ingredients for several their wines.  A new winery built in
    1902 at Front and Marsteller Streets in Wilmington, capable of turning
    out 200,000 gallons a year.  The Bears' plant was one of the largest
    consumers of Muscadines in the nation, and its demands, fortified by
    those of Paul Garrett and others by 1906 practically exhausted the
    available supply of Muscadines

  • At the turn of the century, 25 wineries operated in North Carolina, making
    it one of the most productive wine states in the U.S.  The industry closed
    with the onset of Prohibition in 1920.

  • North Carolina's mother vine, a 400 year old Scuppernong vine
    measuring half an acre at one time, is a legacy of Sir Walter Raleigh's
    Colony on Roanoke Island.  Colonists first discovered the vine in the
    16th century and introduced it elsewhere, making it our nation's first
    cultivated grape.

  • Muscadine grapes, (vitis rotundifolia), often called Scuppernongs or
    Muscadines, are native to Eastern North Carolina.  There are
    approximately 20 varieties grown in North Carolina.

  • Bunch grapes, (vitis vinifera) grow in clusters in Western North Carolina.  
    These include european varieties like Chardonnay and Cabernet

  • There is now a worldwide research concensus that moderate wine
    consumption is associated with a reduced risk for coronary heart
    disease.  Numerous studies have concluded that Resveratrol, found
    highly concentrated in Muscadine grape, provides wine's protective
    benefits to the circulatory system.
Perhaps Plato was right when he called wine a gift
from the Gods.  A simple beverage, a marvelous
many ways!