Glass from 100th winery joins collection
By Shavonne Potts
Gov. Bev Perdue has a collection of wine glasses from across North Carolina. Now she will add one from Cauble Creek Vineyard, which she recognized Thursday as the 100th winery in the state.
The governor joined winemakers and growers, local dignitaries and representatives from several state wine publications in Rowan County. Cauble Creek owners William “Biff” Yost, his wife Anita and their son Alex basked in the event.
“It’s very exciting,” Anita said.
At first the family didn’t quite understand the impact or the honor of being named 100th winery in the state.
“This is a big day for an emerging industry in North Carolina. It’s something people didn’t think about 50 years ago,” Perdue told those gathered.
North Carolina ranks in the top five state destinations for wine and culinary tourism in the United States.
“Who could’ve thought,” Perdue said.
Many North Carolina farmers are rethinking how they use their land and have chosen to plant and harvest grapes.
Perdue reflected on those still unemployed, but praised businesses like Cauble Creek Vineyard for bringing jobs to the community.
“We are hoping to be able to promote Salisbury and Rowan County,” Anita Yost said.
The family is happy they’re able to offer a place for people to enjoy, she said.
The winery and vineyard, which sits on 35 acres of family farmland, started with planting vines in 2005. The farm is located off N.C. 150 on Cauble Farm Road.
Around Christmas, the Yosts found out they were the 100th winery in the state. North Carolina ranks seventh for wine production in the nation and is 10th in grape production.
The vineyard focuses on muscadine grapes and sweet wines and also has a variety of products for sale in their tasting room including scuppernong cider, 100 percent grape juice, muscadine vinaigrette, muscadine butter, muscadine pepper jelly and MuscadinePlus, a resveratrol dietary supplement made from the skins and seeds of muscadine grapes.
Biff left his job in industrial sales to start his family in this new venture. He grew up on a farm and decided to plant muscadine grapes.
He’s far from the days when he was tasked with experimenting and researching different communion wine recipes for his church in his parents’ basement. He has a degree in agriculture and bioengineering.
Biff spoke after the announcement about the state’s flourishing wine industry being a principal part of travel and tourism.
Ten years ago, there were just 21 wineries in North Carolina and by 2005 there were 52.
There are currently five new wineries right behind Cauble Creek.
Biff said his main goals were to support the tourism, heritage and sustainability basics and he wanted to plant something that would do well on the land.
Also in attendance was David Fussell, owner of Duplin Winery in Rose Hill. His is the oldest winery in North Carolina, opening in 1976, and today it is the largest volume producer of wine in the state. It is also the largest muscadine winery in the world.
“It’s quite an honor to be here as the oldest and largest to shake the hands of the newest,” Fussell said.
He would’ve never imagined 38 years ago when his family started Duplin Winery that he’d be a part of the celebration for the 100th in the state, he said.
For more information about Cauble Creek Vineyard, call 704-633-1137 or log on to www.caublecreekvineyard.com.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.