AVA

In the Wine Light – Upper Hiwassee Highlands AVA

In the Wine Light – Upper Hiwassee Highlands AVA

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 fourth AVA in North Carolina, the Upper Hiwassee Highlands.

Hiwassee River Basin

Hiwassee River Basin

The petition for creating the Upper Hiwassee Highlands AVA originated from Eric Carlson, owner of Calaboose Cellars, on behalf of himself and members of the Vineyard and Winery Operators of the Upper Hiwassee River Basin group.

FernCrest Winery Tasting Room - Andrews, NC

FernCrest Winery Tasting Room – Andrews, NC

The Upper Hiwassee Highlands name was chosen due to the AVA’s location along the upper portions of the Hiwassee River, from the river’s headwaters in Towns County, Georgia, to the Hiwassee Dam on Hiwassee Lake in Cherokee County, North Carolina. The portion of the river that flows north of the dam, outside the proposed viticultural area, is often referred to as the “lower” river.  Highlands denotes the high, rugged, regions of the southern portion of the Appalachians and are terms used by businesses and organizations within the AVA.

 
Nottely River Valley Vineyards Tasting Room - Murphy, NC

Nottely River Valley Vineyards Tasting Room – Murphy, NC

Upper Hiwasee Highlands was the first AVA in North Carolina to be shared with another state, in this case, Georgia.  It covers portions of Cherokee and Clay counties in southwestern North Carolina and portions of Town, Union, and Fannin Counties in northern Georgia.

Nottely River Valley Vineyards - Murphy, NC

Nottely River Valley Vineyards – Murphy, NC

At the time of the petition in 2013 there were 26 commercial vineyards located throughout the proposed viticultural area, growing approximately 54 acres of French-American hybrids, American grape varieties, and Vitis vinifera.

Today the Upper Hiwassee Highlands AVA continues to produce top quality grapes and wines.  From the scenic mountain views to the quaint mountain towns and friendly people, it’s a great wine destination for North Carolina.

Quick Facts

Name:  Upper Hiwassee Highlands

Petitioner:  Eric Carlson, owner of Calaboose Cellars, on behalf of himself and members of the Vineyard and Winery Operators of the Upper Hiwassee River Basin group

Effective Date:  August 14, 2014

Square Miles:  690

Counties within boundaries:  Portions of Cherokee and Clay in North Carolina and Towns, Union, and Fannin in Georgia

Geography:  Elevation ranges from 2000 to 2400 ft which is lower than most of the surrounding area and the AVA boundary approximating the boundary of the watershed for the upper portion of the Hiwassee River

Climate:  Warmer than the surrounding regions to the north, east, and south and slightly cooler than the region to the west with 161 to 168 freeze free days 

Soil:  Deep, moderately to well drained, and moderately fertile

Source:  TTB Website

#InTheWineLight #NCWine #UpperHiwasseeHighlands

 

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Haw River Valley AVA

In the Wine Light – Haw River Valley AVA

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 third AVA in North Carolina, the Haw River Valley.

Haw River

Haw River

The petition for creating the Haw River Valley AVA originated from Patricia McRitchie on behalf of local grape growers and winemakers.  The Haw River Valley name was chosen because the Haw River.  

Grove Winery - Gibsonville, NC

Grove Winery – Gibsonville, NC

The Haw River’s name is derived from the Sissipahaw Native Americans who once lived in small villages along the river.  The boundaries of the AVA are composed of nearly all of the Haw River’s watershed.  At the time of the petition there were over 60 acres of vineyards and 6 wineries within the proposed boundaries.

Grapes growing at Grove Winery - Gibsonville, NC

Grapes growing at Grove Winery – Gibsonville, NC

Today the Haw River Valley continues to be an important wine growing region for North Carolina.  Situated between the booming Research Triangle and the Piedmont Triad, it’s easily accessible from two of North Carolina’s largest metropolitan areas.

Quick Facts

Name:  Haw River Valley

Petitioner:  Patricia McRitchie on behalf of local grape growers and winemakers

Effective Date:  April 29, 2009

Square Miles:  868

Counties within boundaries:  Portions of Guilford, Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Orange, and Rockingham

Geography:  Elevation ranges from 350 ft in the southeastern corner of the boundary to over 800 ft in the northwestern corner

Climate:  Temperatures are moderate with more precipitation as compared to the surrounding areas. The growing season and frost-free days generally run from April 1 to November 1.

Soil:  Variety of soil types that are deep and well drained;  These tend to be acidic with low fertility.

Source:  TTB Website

#InTheWineLight #NCWine #HawRiverValley

 

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In the Wine Light – Swan Creek AVA

In the Wine Light – Swan Creek AVA

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 second oldest and only AVA to overlap another AVA in North Carolina, the Swan Creek AVA.

Raffaldini Vineyards - Ronda, NC

Raffaldini Vineyards – Ronda, NC

The petition for creating the Swan Creek AVA originated from Raffaldini Vineyards on behalf of the original Vineyards of the Swan Creek trade association.  The Swan Creek name was chosen because the community in the center of the AVA is known as Swan Creek.  Also, East and West Swan Creeks run north from the Brushy Mountains and form Swan Creek which empties into the Yadkin River three miles west of Jonesville.

Merlot growing at Shadow Springs Vineyard - Hamptonville, NC

Merlot growing at Shadow Springs Vineyard – Hamptonville, NC

After the Civil War, farming become a primary focus of the area which continues today.  At the time of the petition in 2006, there were three wineries and 75 acres of vineyard within the proposed AVA’s boundaries.

Budbreak at Laurel Gray Vineyards - Hamptonville, NC

Budbreak at Laurel Gray Vineyards – Hamptonville, NC

Today, the Swan Creek AVA is home many more acres of vineyards with seven tasting rooms.  More tasting rooms, vineyards, and wineries will be opening within the next few years.  Currently, the Swan Creek AVA has the most dense concentration of vineyards and wineries in North Carolina.

View of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Piccione Vineyards - Ronda, NC

View of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Piccione Vineyards – Ronda, NC

Quick Facts

Name:  Swan Creek

Petitioner:  Raffaldini Vineyards on behalf of the original Vineyards of Swan Creek Association

Effective Date:  May 27, 2008

Acres:  96,000

Counties within boundaries:  Portions of Wilkes, Yadkin, and Iredell

Overlap with Yadkin Valley:  The northern 60% of the Swan Creek AVA is also a part of the Yadkin Valley AVA.  The lower 40% is outside of the boundaries of the Yadkin Valley.

Geography:  Elevation ranges from 1000 ft to 2000 ft within the AVA boundaries with the Brushy Mountain being a prominent feature

Climate:  Temperatures and precipitation are slightly cooler and less wet than the rest of the Yadkin Valley partly due to the Brushy Mountains

Soil:  Primarily saprolite, a soft, clay-rich soil derived from weathered felsic (acidic) metamorphic rocks of the Inner Piedmont Belt such as granites, schists, and gneisses

Source:  TTB Website

#InTheWineLight #NCWine #SwanCreek

 

 

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In the Wine Light – Yadkin Valley AVA

In the Wine Light – Yadkin Valley AVA

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 oldest and largest AVA in North Carolina, the Yadkin Valley.

Shelton Vineyards in Dobson, NC

The petition for creating the Yadkin Valley AVA originated from Patricia McRitchie on behalf of Shelton Vineyards.  The Yadkin Valley name was chosen because the area had been known as the Yadkin Valley since pre-colonial days with the Yadkin River being a prominent feature of the area.

Vineyard #1 at Westbend Vineyards – The first Vinifera planting in the Yadkin Valley

At the end of the 20th Century, the once thriving tobacco growing region was turning to a new crop, wine grapes.  At the time of the petition there were over 30 growers within the original boundaries of the AVA and 3 bonded wineries.

Cabernet Sauvignon growing at Hanover Park – The second winery in the Yadkin Valley

A petition by Alliston Stubbs of Cedar Ridge Vineyards in Reeds, NC asked to include additional land in Davie and Davidson Counties in the new AVA.  This petition was accepted. Other petitions to expand the area of the AVA were denied.

Yadkin Valley AVA

Boundaries of the Yadkin Valley AVA

Today the Yadkin Valley is home to some of the most premier wineries in North Carolina.  New vineyards are being planted and new wineries are coming online.  The region and AVA are fast becoming a wine tourism destination.

Quick Facts

Name:  Yadkin Valley

Petitioner:  Patricia McRitchie on behalf of Shelton Vineyards

Effective Date:  February 7, 2003

Acres:  1,416,000

Counties within boundaries:  Wilkes, Surry, Yadkin, and portions of Stokes, Forsyth, Davie, and Davidson

Geography:  Elevation ranges from 3800 ft in Northwest Wilkes County to 694 in Northwest Davie County. Latitude is between 36°00′ and 36°30′ N.

Climate:  Temperatures and precipitation are moderate as compared to the surrounding areas. The growing season and frost-dates fall within the optimum range for cultivation of premium vinifera grapes.

Soil:  Soils are mostly clay with clay or fine Loamy subsoils with good drainage.  The tend to be acidic with low fertility.

Source:  Federal Register

#InTheWineLight #NCWine #YadkinValley

 

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