GUILFORD COUNTY - September is North Carolina Wine and Grape Month, and wineries and vineyards across the state are planning wine tastings, grape stomps and other special events to celebrate the industry.
Over the holiday weekend one Triad vineyard gave wine connoisseurs a first-hand look at how wine is made in the Tar Heel state.
Cathy Fowler and her husband Ken consider themselves regulars at Grove Winery and Vineyards in Gibsonville.
"We just love having this in our backyard," said Fowler.
During the Labor Day holiday, they got to participate in actually making the wine.
"It's a lot of work,” said Fowler.
Experts said it can take months to make. Grove Vineyard's owner, Max Lloyd, said this cold winter had him worried, but he's glad to see grapes growing and people taking interest in the industry.
“We are definitely agriculture based, but we are also very much tourism based, we are a manufacturer, a retailer and we do distribution," said Lloyd.
Lloyd likes being able to show people the process from start to finish. After punching down the grapes, which has to be done three times a day, people got a first-hand look at how they check to see if the grapes are ready to be picked. After that's done, they check the temperature, and finally they measure the PH level.
People who participated said being a part of the process made sampling new wines less intimidating.
"You can come and ask about the wine and what goes into it and how long it takes to make and it makes it more of a homey setting," said Greensboro resident Christina Vanvoorhis.
A complete schedule of wine and grape month events and more information about the state’s wine and grape industry are available here.