Number Of NC Wineries More Than Triples Since 1999

The number of wineries in North Carolina has more than tripled since 1999.

The numbers were revealed in a recent study. Changes in North Carolina's farming industry, particularly the decline in the number of tobacco growers, have been credited in part for the growth of the state's wine industry.

One winegrower says additional growth will be hampered unless Congress makes immigration reforms that will allow more workers into the country. Charlie Shelton, the co-owner of Shelton Vineyards in Dobson, says there's no labor force to do the work, and the only job applicants he sees are the immigrants.

Research shows that wine and grape products contribute more than 162 billion dollars annually to the American economy.