It seems like the fall is always jam-packed with festivals and outdoor activities. One of the more fun adult festivals in the Charlotte area is the Great Grapes Wine, Arts, and Food Festival held at Symphony Park. The 2012 Festival will take place October 6 from 11-7pm.
The festival features over 200 wines from more than 20 North Carolina Wineries. The wine industry has really flourished in North Carolina over the past decade and there are now more than 100 wineries operating in the state. This is more than quadruple the number in 2001. Wineries in eastern North Carolina produce Muscadine wine from the Muscadine grape which is native to North Carolina. Those in western North Carolina focus on growing European-style Vinifera grapes (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Syrah).
With so many NC wines on the market, an event like the Great Grapes Festival is a fantastic way to experiment and see which ones you like and which you’d rather not spend money on.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 onsite and include souvenir glasses, unlimited samples, and all music performances and cooking demonstrations. Designated driver tickets are $5 cheaper. Kids 12 and under are free, but it’s probably best to leave your kiddos at home. By late afternoon there are a LOT of people who have had a little too much to drink stumbling around.
Among the participating wineries are RagApple Lassie Vineyards, Uwharrie Vineyards, and Old North State Winery.
A great resource for information on NC Wine is visitncwine.com.
Symphony Park is located behind Southpark Mall at the corner of Morrison Blvd, and Barclay Downs Dr.
Buy your tickets online at uncorkthefun.com.