Crest of the Blue Ridge Henderson County AVA

In the Wine Light – Crest of the Blue Ridge Henderson County AVA

The Crest of the Blue Ridge Henderson County is North Carolina's sixth AVA located in most of Henderson County.
AVAs for North Carolina

American Viticultural Areas in North Carolina

In the Wine Light we continue our series on American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in North Carolina.  Our focus in this post is the sixth AVA in North Carolina, the Crest of the Blue Ridge Henderson County.  This is the newest AVA in the state located in most of Henderson County, NC including the town of Hendersonville.

Crest of the Blue Ridge Henderson County AVA

Crest of the Blue Ridge Henderson County AVA – Elevation Map

The petition for creating the Crest of the Blue Ridge Henderson County AVA originated from Mark Williams, the executive director of Agribusiness Henderson County, and Barbara Walker, the county extension support specialist for North Carolina Cooperative Extension, on behalf of local vineyards and winery operators.  This AVA straddles the Eastern Continental Divide in Henderson County.  The larger area is known as the Crest of the Blue Ridge, so to make it clear the location of the AVA, “Henderson County” was added to the name.

Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards - Hendersonville, NC

Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards – Hendersonville, NC

The Crest of the Blue Ridge Henderson County AVA is distinguished from the surrounding areas and other AVAs due to topography and climate.  At the time of the petition to establish the AVA, there were 14 vineyards and 2 wineries.  As of this writing, there are four additional tasting rooms open in the AVA.

Burntshirt Vineyards - Hendersonville, NC

Burntshirt Vineyards – Hendersonville, NC

Per the petition, the crest separates two physiographic provinces, the Blue Ridge Escarpment, which covers the southern and eastern portions of the AVA, and the Blue Ridge Plateau, which covers the northern and western portions of the AVA. The Blue Ridge Escarpment rises steeply, so that this region of the  AVA has an average elevation more than 950 feet higher than the region immediately south, and more than 1,200 feet higher than the region immediately east.

Stone Ashe Vineyards - Hendersonville, NC

Stone Ashe Vineyards – Hendersonville, NC

The growing season averages between 200 and 220 days within the AVA.  This is shorter than the growing season to the south and east of the AVA but slightly longer than the growing season to the north and west of the AVA.  Annual precipitation is lower than regions to the south, east, and west of the AVA but higher than the region north of the AVA.

Vineyard and Blue Ridge at Marked Tree Vineyard - Flat Rock, NC

Vineyard and Blue Ridge Mountains at Marked Tree Vineyard – Flat Rock, NC

The Hendersonville area is a wonderful tourist destination that’s often less busy than Asheville.  The AVA is producing some outstanding wines including wonderful Rieslings, Chardonnays, Cabernet Francs, and Cabernet Sauvignons.  Be sure to go visit and see for yourself.

Quick Facts

Name:  Crest of the Blue Ridge Henderson County

Petitioner:  Mark Williams, the executive director of Agribusiness Henderson County, and Barbara Walker, the county extension support specialist for North Carolina Cooperative Extension, on behalf of local vineyards and winery operators

Effective Date:  August 19, 2019

Square Miles:  215

Counties within boundaries:  Most of Henderson County, NC

Geography:  Elevation ranges from 1394 ft to over 4396 ft with mean elevation of 2362 ft

Climate:  The mean annual temperature is 55.5 degrees with a growing season that averages 200 – 220 days.

Source:  TTB Website

#InTheWineLight #NCWine #CrestOfTheBlueRidgeHendersonCountyAVA

 

Posted by Joe Brock

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