The Grand Strand didn’t lure a craft beer bottler from California but it’s getting a winery from North Carolina.
Duplin Winery, located on Interstate 40 about 50 miles northwest of Wilmington, N.C., has begun clearing land for its Grand Strand bottling and sampling facility between Barefoot Landing and Alligator Adventure.
The expansion has been a dream of brothers Dave Fussell Jr. and Jonathan Fussell, according to the company’s website, and has also seen the family buying property in Barefoot Resort, said Marc Jordan, CEO of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Morgan Jackson, the winery’s general manager, said its Grand Strand facility will let customers participate in the bottling process as well as showcase a growing number of wines from South Carolina grapes in a 15,000-square-foot tasting room.
The company, founded in 1975, recently staged its 38th-annual Grape Stomp at its Rose Hill, N.C., facility, a tradition Jackson said would be exported to its new location.
Jackson said the company hopes to open its North Myrtle Beach facility next spring and is looking for 40 employees to staff it.
Jobs as tour guides, bottling line managers and hospitality/sales managers are available. Applications can be made online to email@example.com or by mailing a resume to P.O. Box 756, Rose Hill, N.C. 28458.
The winery gets more than 100,000 visitors a year in North Carolina, its website said, and Jordan anticipates that its North Myrtle Beach store could be a destination attraction and that people who visit the winery will spend more money at other Grand Strand businesses.
Jordan said he thinks Duplin hopes to get its labels known among the Grand Strand’s 14 million visitors annually, a fact that was believed to have temporarily attracted interest from California’s Stone Brewing Co. when it was looking for an East Coast location.
It still has not announced the location, but Myrtle Beach isn’t among the final choices.
Jackson said Duplin gets its muscadine grapes from 1,400 acres owned by 60 families in North Carolina and South Carolina. A number of them were formerly tobacco farmers, she said, adding that the company will look at other land to expand its capacity.
“We always tell people if they have land, call us,” she said.
It currently bottles wines under more than 42 different labels, and Jackson said the opening in North Myrtle Beach could coincide with the introduction of a new wine from South Carolina grapes.
She wouldn’t say what the name will be, but hinted that it will have something to do with “sippin’ sweet muscadine.”
Jackson said she has been to the Grand Strand so often to oversee the new winery’s development that she gets confused about which state she’s in.
“There’s not really a line between North and South Carolina,” she said. “We’re all family.”