North Carolina Grape Growing

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

montanarick

Senior Member
Joined
May 15, 2015
Messages
382
Reaction score
238
Location
Montana
Looking to relocate to North Carolina. Anyone growing grapes in North Carolina? If so where are you and what varietal(s) are you growing?
 

VinesnBines

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
1,293
Reaction score
1,574
You need to clarify where you are moving in NC. The climate and terrier are more varied than nearly any other state. You go from the Smokies to the Outer Banks and south to Wilmington (just north of Myrtle Beach). I'm growing in Virginia but I'm about 50 miles from Boone and 60 miles from Banner Elk Winery, so I'm in the colder mountain regions. I'm growing hybrids for zones 6. I have a few vinifera (Cab Franc, Pinot Noir, Riesling) but we have late frosts that have been killing the primary buds so no crops so far (year 3).
winemaker81 is in Raleigh and I'm sure he will be much more helpful.
 

montanarick

Senior Member
Joined
May 15, 2015
Messages
382
Reaction score
238
Location
Montana
well that's the thing - we're totally open to where we relocate. grew hybrids in Montana but looking to get into vinifera. thanks for your response. will contact winemaker81.
 

VinesnBines

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
1,293
Reaction score
1,574
From my experience, North of the Triad will be good. I know some in Ashville are growing vinifera but that may be riskier. My son is in Greensboro and has a nice growing season from March to November. He just had a freeze last week. Much further to the coast is too hot for vinifera; muscadine rules.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
7,057
Reaction score
18,077
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
This is hilarious!! @montanarick msg'd me, and in my reply I suggested talking to @VinesnBines regarding VA ...

I'm reposting my reply, in case anyone else is interested in growing grapes in NC.

The zones make a LOT of difference. I'm south of Raleigh, just inside Zone 1, so all I can grow is Muscadine and Scuppernong. That scotched my plans for grape growing, as I don't care for either. I try them periodically (there are a lot of wineries within 30 miles) but it's not my taste.

If we moved 50 miles north-west we'd be in Zone 2 and could grow hybrids and Vinifera. Most Vinifera wineries are north-west of Winston-Salem. Following is the link for a NC grape growing guide. Also, looking at NC winery locations will help you zero in on areas. Be aware that many in eastern NC purchase grapes from the western end of the state, so a winery in Duplin County that sells Merlot is NOT growing it locally.


I can't speak too much of VA, but you can use the same advice -- look at winery locations and what they sell. VA has a grape foundation, like NC and NY -- I don't have it bookmarked, but you can find it easily.

Message VinesnBines -- she and her husband have plans to open a winery in SW VA. She may be able to give you more information on VA. Once they are open, I intend to visit, although it's a 4 hour drive -- we'll probably combine it with a weekend in the mountains.
 

montanarick

Senior Member
Joined
May 15, 2015
Messages
382
Reaction score
238
Location
Montana
From my experience, North of the Triad will be good. I know some in Ashville are growing vinifera but that may be riskier. My son is in Greensboro and has a nice growing season from March to November. He just had a freeze last week. Much further to the coast is too hot for vinifera; muscadine rules.
Thanks for the input. wondering how far East that vinifera can be grown?
 

montanarick

Senior Member
Joined
May 15, 2015
Messages
382
Reaction score
238
Location
Montana
For NC, look at the document I posted the link for. There is a map so the zones that indicates what grapes grow where.

For VA, I searched for "va grape growing zones" and found this link. I suspect you have a lot of research to do!

yep - thanks again. been doing research but sure helps to talk to locals. When you said you were south of Raleigh - how far was that? any thoughts on Holly Springs area for vinifera?
 

montanarick

Senior Member
Joined
May 15, 2015
Messages
382
Reaction score
238
Location
Montana
This is hilarious!! @montanarick msg'd me, and in my reply I suggested talking to @VinesnBines regarding VA ...

I'm reposting my reply, in case anyone else is interested in growing grapes in NC.
checked the NC Extension website but the zone map is a little vague to say the least. is there a more detailed zone map that at least shows counties or better yet cities/towns?
thanks again
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
7,057
Reaction score
18,077
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
checked the NC Extension website but the zone map is a little vague to say the least. is there a more detailed zone map that at least shows counties or better yet cities/towns?
Probably not. In most cases you have to cross reference a map of the info you're interested in with a map of counties. I'm familiar with the counties map because of my work, but even then, I have to look some things up.

In the map below, X is Holly Springs in Wake County. Y is Winston-Salem in Forsyth County.


grape zone map.png


NC County Map.png
 

montanarick

Senior Member
Joined
May 15, 2015
Messages
382
Reaction score
238
Location
Montana
Probably not. In most cases you have to cross reference a map of the info you're interested in with a map of counties. I'm familiar with the counties map because of my work, but even then, I have to look some things up.

In the map below, X is Holly Springs in Wake County. Y is Winston-Salem in Forsyth County.


View attachment 81126


View attachment 81127
super helpful. thanks so much
 

montanarick

Senior Member
Joined
May 15, 2015
Messages
382
Reaction score
238
Location
Montana
Probably not. In most cases you have to cross reference a map of the info you're interested in with a map of counties. I'm familiar with the counties map because of my work, but even then, I have to look some things up.

In the map below, X is Holly Springs in Wake County. Y is Winston-Salem in Forsyth County.


View attachment 81126


View attachment 81127
thought I had replied earlier but may not have gotten through. this is excellent - thanks so much - very helpful!
 

streamkeeper

Junior
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
4
I am in Todd, NC which is a little NW of Boone. Six years ago, we blindly planted 250 vines. I am pulling up the last of the Vinifera (cab Franc) this winter.
I have Chambourcin grapes four years in and doing well.
I am considering Marquette to replace the cab Franc, but I am not sure I really want to deal with two varieties. It is just a hobby for my Father and I.
 

VinesnBines

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
1,293
Reaction score
1,574
I am in Todd, NC which is a little NW of Boone. Six years ago, we blindly planted 250 vines. I am pulling up the last of the Vinifera (cab Franc) this winter.
I have Chambourcin grapes four years in and doing well.
I am considering Marquette to replace the cab Franc, but I am not sure I really want to deal with two varieties. It is just a hobby for my Father and I.
You are just South of West Jefferson; the terminus of the Virginia Creeper rail line. I’m 16 miles North of the other end of the line; Abington, Va.
What is your elevation? I expect about 800 to 900 feet more than we are (2000 to 2100 at the top of our vineyard). Late frosts have been my curse and Marquette breaks early. Do you find you have enough growing degree days to ripen Chambourcin?
 

streamkeeper

Junior
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
4
VinesnBines, my elevation is 3090.
That is good info on the Marquettes. I have a row of Somerset table grape, which break early. I am batting about %500 with them beating the late frosts. It gives me good pause to reconsider the Marquettes.
My Chambourcin, comes in late September. I'll be honest, I get nervous every year when I come here and read about everybody pulling their grapes so much earlier than that.
 

montanarick

Senior Member
Joined
May 15, 2015
Messages
382
Reaction score
238
Location
Montana
We grew Maquettes in Flathead Valley of Montana and they faired very well. Bud break was early in may and ripened in late September or early November
 

VinesnBines

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
1,293
Reaction score
1,574
Crikey, 3090; I’d fudge and say 3100!

We have the cruel weather of warm temperatures in March and April then killing frost in May; a horrible freeze on May 10, 2020 and a light frost this year on May 15. I’m hoping late and double pruning will help my Marquette.

Good news about Chambourcin. This was my first crop but raccoons harvested for me. They left a few bunches of Chambourcin that actually froze. I discovered them at Thanksgiving and was pleased that they were still tasty. I might play with letting some go past frost if I can beat the raccoons.
 

montanarick

Senior Member
Joined
May 15, 2015
Messages
382
Reaction score
238
Location
Montana
I've often found that leaving 5 or more buds helped somewhat then prune after last threat of frost has passed.
 
Top