Wine Evaluation & Testing Facilities
This page contains information on wine evaluation and testing facilities in North Carolina, including soil sample testing, petiole sampling and wine sample analysis.
Grape, Wine and Must Testing
Appalachian State University Enology Services Lab
Accepts samples of grapes, wine and must for analysis. They are currently providing preliminary analyses including Brix, Titratable Acidity (TA), pH, Nitrogen (FAN + NH4), Malic Acid, Soluble Solids, Glucose + Fructose, Volatile Acidity (VA), SO2 (Total and Free) and Alcohol. They will provide immediate turnaround leading up to harvest, during crush and throughout wine production when timely analysis is most important. Please see the Sample Submission page for more details.
There is no fee for current analyses as listed. Please contact Hollis Price, wine analysis coordinator, at email@example.com or (828) 406-6014, regarding inquiries for more detailed analyses (petiole analysis, phenolics, aroma compounds, microbiology panels, etc.).
Soil Sample Testing
Contact your County Cooperative Extension Agent or call Agronomic Services at (919) 733-2655 for instructions. Service is free to residents but may take several weeks.
Having trouble with your wine? Submit a sample to the North Carolina Sensory Evaluation Panel. Provided by NC State and Cooperative Extension services, the evaluation panel is composed of nine winemakers and industry experts from across the state. They will screen your wine for known defects, conduct laboratory tests and provide tips and suggestions for making the best wine possible. Contact the NCSU Department of Food Science at (919) 515-2951.
To start the process, you must petition the TTB about establishing an AVA with a letter that includes:
- Evidence the area is known by the proposed name
- Historical or current evidence the proposed boundaries of the viticultural area are correct
- Evidence the geographical features of the area produce growing conditions which distinguish the proposed area from surrounding areas
- A narrative description of the boundaries based on features which can be found on United States Geological Survey (USGS) maps of the largest applicable scale
- A copy of the appropriate USGS map(s) with the boundaries marked in any prominent color. These maps are sold by commercial dealers and by the USGS (1-800-HELP-MAP).
For more rules and information about establishing an AVA, visit the TTB.
Full bloom is the time of year to take petiole samples from your vineyard for nutrient level testing. Petiole sampling and testing is a practice that all grape growers should implement each year. Test results can diagnose a nutritional deficiency or toxicity in the vineyard that may otherwise go unnoticed or misdiagnosed. Such a nutritional imbalance could reduce the quantity and quality of the crop and/or impair the health of the vines. By taking petiole samples for testing, growers may, in some cases, be able to correct a nutritional imbalance that growing season.
A state-of-the-art plant testing laboratory in the Agronomic Division of NCDA&CS receives your samples, takes only two business days to analyze the sample and send you your results.
Stop by your County Cooperative Extension office to pick up sampling kits or contact NCDA&CS Agronomic Services at (919) 733-2656.
Follow these instructions for taking samples:
- Sample at full bloom (when two thirds of the flower caps have been shed).
- Collect one sample unit from each variety in each planting block. If you have several varieties within a block, you may want to sample only one variety. Do not mix petioles from different varieties within a sample unit.
- Collect 100 petioles per sample unit (the petiole is the small shoot which connects the leaf to the main stem). Collect no more than one to two petioles per vine. Immediately separate the petiole from the leaf and place in a labeled paper bag or envelope.
- From each sampled vine, collect a petiole that is opposite a fruit cluster. If there is no fruit, pick a healthy leaf at the second or third node from the base of the shoot.
- DO NOT SAMPLE a) diseased plants, b) heat- or moisture-stressed plants, c) within seven days after spraying, unless there has been a good rainfall d) early in the morning or on extremely cloudy days.
- Place plant tissue samples inside the large envelope provided with the sampling kit. Do not wrap or enclose sample in plastic bags.
Register Your Winery
Be sure to register your winery (or planned winery) with the North Carolina Wine Office. Please fill out the Winery Form with contact information and details about your winery.
Sign and return the completed Winery Form via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to:
North Carolina Wine
1020 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1020
If your winery is under construction, please still fill out the form and keep us updated on your progress and future opening date. Also, please let us know whenever any of your information changes.
Once your Winery Form has been received, you will be registered to receive industry news from the North Carolina Wine & Grape Council.
To be eligible for inclusion in North Carolina Wine & Grape Council marketing materials, wineries must have winery and/or wine producer permits. We produce and distribute 200,000 copies of the annual North Carolina Winery Guide and NCWine.org, the North Carolina wine consumer website. To be eligible for inclusion on the map and NCWine.org, your winery must meet the following qualifications:
- Complete the Winery Form
- Obtain all winery and/or wine producer permits (TTB, ABC, etc.)
- Use at least 5% North Carolina grapes, fruit or juice in your total wine production
- Have a tasting room at your winery
- Be open to the public
Once your winery meets all of the qualifications, your winery will be eligible for all marketing materials.
Get listed on VisitNC
To be listed on VisitNC.com and VisitNCWine.com, you must register your winery with your county’s tourism representative. To get listed, see the VisitNC.com Local Travel Bureaus page to find your county’s representative. Be sure to provide hours, location, contact information and any events occurring at your winery.
Whenever you have any changes or additions to your winery information, be sure to update your county contact. All website updates, including event listings, are coordinated by your county representative.
Wine Excise Tax
North Carolina Wine Excise Tax:
- Unfortified Wine (less than 17% alcohol): $0.2634 per liter
- Fortified Wine (17% to 24% alcohol): $0.2934 per liter
Visit the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau website for federal excise tax due dates.