Carolina Heritage Vineyards
Welcome to the Carolina Heritage Vineyard and Winery. Organically raised and handpicked, our varieties of muscadines and hybrid and American grapes produce naturally delicious wines for your table. We use no animal by-products or grains in the production of our wines resulting in wines which are “Vegan friendly” and Gluton-free.
Located in the heart of Elkin, North Carolina.
- NC's first organic vineyard and winery!
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Average Bottle Price
Founders Clyde and Pat Colwell share a passion for farming and the environment, having both grown up in rural areas of the country. Clyde spent his childhood in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State surrounded by beautiful vineyards, and his wife Pat was raised in Northern Wisconsin in dairy and potato country. After successful careers in other fields, both decided to pursue a long-held dream of owning their own farm.
From childhood Clyde had had a desire to establish a vineyard and winery and Pat had long been focused on the importance a clean environment to life. Combining their knowledge and passions, the husband-and-wife team completed degrees in Viticulture and Enology from Surry Community College, established the first USDA-Certified Organic vineyard and winery in North Carolina on Highway 268 in Surry County and began to make their own wines. After 9 years, their grapes and blueberries are flourishing and so are their dreams of establishing an environmentally-friendly wine establishment!
Practices & Techniques
Muscadines are native to the Southeastern United States and have been cultured for more than 400 years. Native Americans preserved muscadines as dried fruit long before the Europeans inhabited this continent. Throughout its history, the muscadine has grown to have strong personal associations for many native North Carolinians with all bronze-colored muscadines sometimes referred to fondly as “scuppernongs.” The muscadine distinct fruity or “musky” aroma and sweet, light taste, make the muscadine very popular with native Southerners to us for making wine, pies and jellies.
Muscadine grapes are well adapted to the climate of eastern North Carolina, and have a high degree of resistance to pests and diseases. The primary challenge in the Yadkin Valley with growing muscadine winegrapes is their lack of tolerance of temperatures below 9 degrees F – which occur every so many years.
White Muscadine Grapes:
Carlos – Carlos is the most popular bronze (or “white”) muscadine winegrape grown in North Carolina. It was the first grape planted in Carolina Heritage Vineyard along the driveway leading to the winery and sends its unique robust aroma into the side doors of the tasting room as it nears harvest-readiness in the fall. Carlos makes a wonderfully smooth varietal sipping wine, easy to drink alone or with light appetizers.
Doreen – Doreen is a complementary white blending grape to Carlos. With slightly larger berries than Carlos, it is ready for harvest very late in the season (October 22 in 2009!) presenting winemakers with an interesting set of challenges in terms of fermentation and blending options.
Red Muscadine Grape:
Noble – Noble is one of the most popular black (or “red”) muscadine winegrapes grown in North Carolina. It was planted second in Carolina Heritage Vineyard and, along with the Doreen, grows in rows pointing into Highway 268. Like the Carlos, Noble has a very unique and strong aroma which it uses to tell everyone traveling along the highway when it is ready to harvest. It is also the favorite of all wildlife – especially possums, who like to hang from the trellis wires and help themselves to only the ripest berries in each cluster (unless the harvest for wine beats them to them!) Like Carlos, Noble grapes make excellent wine for sipping by itself or to serve with light appetizers.
Red Native American Grape:
Cynthiana – Cynthiana is a native grape originally discovered in Virginia, where it is referred to as Norton, after Dr Norton who first discovered it. The same grape is called Cynthiana in Missouri and we chose to use Cynthiana as we felt it was a softer name for a grape which makes an excellent red wine with plenty of tannins – excellent with cheeses and red meats!
Red Hybrid Grapes:
Chambourcin — Chambourcin is a French hybrid introduced in 1963 as a wine grape with a high tolerance for many grape diseases. It is a late-ripening grape that produces highly-rated red wine at its full maturation with beautiful color and aroma. Chambourcin wine is often referred to as “the red wine for people who don’t normally prefer red wines” as it is somewhat milder in its mouth feel than many red strong tannin wines. Chambourcin wine is excellent with red meats and cheeses.
Geneva Red – GR7 is an American hybrid introduced by Cornell Research Station in New York State under the name of “Rubiana.” Challenges to the use of that name led Cornell to return to the use of GR7 and to rename it as “Geneva Red.” This grape was planted primarily as a blending grape for the Cynthiana, but can be used to make a very nice wine by itself.
White American Hybrid Grape:
Triaminette – Traminette is an American hybrid from the German Gewurtztraminer grape, from which it inherited its excellent fruity aroma and peppery taste. Traminette wine is excellent by itself or served with seafood and poultry.