Sample and purchase N.C. wines at the fair

Visitors sample wine from Duplin Wineries at the Got to Be NC Wine exhibit in the Hunt Horse Arena.

For years, the N.C. State Fair has showcased the best of commercial and amateur wineries through the N.C. State Fair Wine Competition. But this is the first year you can sample and purchase several of those award-winning wines and others from across North Carolina.

The new Got to Be NC Wine exhibit opened up Thursday in the Hunt Horse Arena. During the fair, seven wineries from across the state will be pouring free samples of their products daily. Wineries will rotate throughout the fair to add variety. Over the weekend, visitors sampled products from Chatham Hill Winery, Country Squire Winery, Duplin Winery, Flint Hill Vineyards, Rock of Ages Winery, Rocky River Vineyards and Shelton Vineyards. Whit Winslow, a wine marketing specialist with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, says sampling is the best way to find a wine that suits your tastes.

“North Carolina has more than 120 wineries, but a lot of people still don’t think of North Carolina as a wine state,” Winslow said. “The new tasting area is a great way for fairgoers to sample an array of local wines and find one that’s right for them.”

Rocky River Vineyards offers guests a selection of wines and wine slushies to sample.

In addition to free samples, visitors can purchase bottles of wine and wine products to enjoy after the fair. Visitors also can pick up information on the state’s wine industry, including the 2013 N.C. Winery Guide. The guide includes a map and contact information for nearly all of the state’s wineries.

The tasting area is located across from Gate 8 in the Hunt Horse Complex. The area is open from 2 to 9 p.m. daily.

About Bearded Lady

Paul Jones blogged for the 2009-2012 N.C. State Fairs. Here's his bio from 2009: Paul Jones, here (a.k.a. Bearded Lady). I love the N.C. State Fair. I love the rides, I love the food, but my favorite part of the Fair is the displays of the unusual. The two-headed snake, the world’s smallest woman, the world’s tallest horse and the list goes on. Originally from South Carolina, I hope that I can bring a different perspective to this blog as I shed light on some of the ordinary, yet extraordinary, aspects of this year’s Fair.

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