▪ Duplin Winery
▪ U.S. 17 South, North Myrtle Beach, near Barefoot Landing and Alligator Adventure. Call 800-774-9634 or visit www.duplinwinery.com.
Down from the rural vineyards of North Carolina, Duplin Winery has found a home away from home in North Myrtle Beach. This isn’t some stuffy winery requiring you to suit up or wear a dress and swish and spit into a golden spittoon. No, the folks at Duplin want to keep it casual and let your flip-flops fly through the door.
This is the winery’s inaugural week, and the addition makes it the fourth operation on the Grand Strand catering to the vino arts – Carolina Vineyards Winery (Barefoot Landing), La Belle Amie Vineyard (Little River) and Silver Coast Winery (Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.).
Duplin Wines started back in the ’70s in Rose Hill, N.C. The Fussell family began to make the most out of the area’s Muscadine grapes. They’ve grown to produce 1.6 million gallons of wine a year from its 1,600 acres of grapes. They bring grapes in from five states to press and deliver bottles to 13 different states. The North Carolina facility has a restaurant, a wedding chapel, and it hosts events all year, including an annual grape stomp.
The North Myrtle Beach location is a scaled-down version, but some of the amenities have traveled with them. There’s a huge tank out front where wine is actually fermenting. Inside, you can watch wine get bottled by hand. Up to 150 bottles can be corked per day. The place is filled with any kind of wine-related merchandise for sale you can think of.
There are three tables for wine tastings. The tastings are $5 – you can taste 12 of the brand’s 42 labels, and you get to keep the wine glass. You can also sample the Sweetzers (frozen wine slushies). The flavors vary from the tame, Pina Colada and Margarita, to the more adventurous, Peach Bellini and Berry Bliss. But Duplin doesn’t stop at liquids. Confections are also afoot. Homemade fudge made from wine is available, and the smell of freshly baked crackers smacks you when you walk through the door.
Duplin is the Chick-fil-A of wineries – meaning it’s not open on Sundays. Hours run Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. A wine club is offered for extra perks – check out the website for info.
By Derrick Bracey, For The Surge