Last updated: September 04. 2013 4:23PM - 377 Views

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RALEIGH — Whether it’s sipping a favorite N.C. wine or enjoying grapes directly off the vine, there are plenty of ways for people to celebrate N.C. Wine and Grape Month in September.

“Many people know about North Carolina’s history of grape production, but they may not realize there is also a vibrant wine and grape industry today in North Carolina,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “With about 120 wineries and 400 commercial grape growers, we’re the 10th-largest producer of wine and grapes in the nation.”

North Carolina is home to the nation’s first cultivated wine grape, the scuppernong, which grew wild on Roanoke Island. Known as the “Mother Vine,” the plant is more than 400 years old and covers half an acre. Today, the state produces a large assortment of both muscadine and vinifera varieties of grapes.

Gov. Pat McCrory proclaimed September as North Carolina Wine and Grape Month in recognition of the industry’s estimated $1.28 billion economic impact on the state.

People can celebrate Wine and Grape Month during Grape Day at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh on Sept. 6. Free samples of N.C. grapes, wine tastings and recipes will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In addition, there are more than 20 events planned at wineries and vineyards across the state during the month. For a list of special events, as well as directions to N.C. wineries and vineyards, go to www.ncwine.org.

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