Stefan Krause, Germany

Founded in 1972, D.J Fussell Sr. and his two sons bought a 10 acre farm on the outskirts of Rose Hill and established the largest and oldest operating winery in the south. Investing $3,000 per acre, Dan and David Fussell planted the vines that made Duplin Winery the best-selling Muscadine winery in the world. This North Carolina destination attracts over 100,000 wine enthusiast a year, and it lays claim to the largest face book fan page of all wineries worldwide. Because of its impressive social media presence and ever growing fan base, it has most definitely put Duplin County on the map.

This winery is a family-owned and operated business. In its infancy, the entire family included aunts, uncles, children, grandchildren, and even the in-laws helped with the harvest. The entire family participated in the grape stomp and the bottling of the wines. Trying to make ends meet, they transported their bounty in a converted hog trailer. They did what they had to do to sustain their business. Their dream seemed all but impossible when taxes rose and prices fell, but they endured the hardship and stood the test of time. Today, the family is in the process of training their fourth generation of winemakers and educating the public about their native wine.

For the past two years the Duplin Winery has been presented with two highly coveted awards. They have received the Hot Brand and Fast Track Brand awards, a feat once only accomplished by the West Coast and European wineries. These awards are reserved for the elite few wineries that experience double digit growth over a 5 year period. Duplin’s award winning wines include Magnolia, Hatterus Red, and Scuppernong, the oldest wine in America. Duplin winery has a tank capacity of over 1,000,000 gallons, and sells over 300,000 cases a year. They produce over 30 varieties of Muscadine wines and champagnes, which makes their free daily wine tasting bar an event that you don’t want to miss. They even have non-alcoholic versions for the non-drinkers and children to test.

Producing the finest Muscadine wine in the south is not their only accomplishment, they also formed a sister company known as NutraGrape. This nutraceutical produces a 100% pure and natural daily supplements and skin care products from the grape seeds and skins. Muscadine contain the largest amount of resveratrol and phytocompounds found in nature. These compounds have been proven to improve brain function, lower blood sugar, and help deter the aging process. Resveratrol is an anti-inflammatory and has cancer fighting properties.

You can purchase their wines and supplements online, but the tour has much more to offer. Not only can you experience some of the best Muscadine wines the world has to offer, but they also provide year around theatrical productions at the Duplin Winery Dinner Theatre. You can dine at The Bistro where Executive Chef William B. Fussell has created an exclusive menu incorporating the native Muscadine flavors. While you are there be sure to explore their winemaking workshops, culinary courses, an health seminars. Try to plan your tour on September, 18th and you can participate in their annual grape stomp festival. It is a gala affair that you don’t want to miss!