February 12, 2008

Native Vines Winery

Family opens first Native American wineryNorth Carolina vineyards are getting another nod from wine lovers. That's because one of the state's fastest growing industries is now also the first in the country to have a Native American-owned winery.

When Darlene Gabbard started bottling wine, it was a hobby, something she gave away as gifts. Ten years later, her winery has become the first Native American-owned winery in the country.

“I didn't set out to hold that title, I am so proud that I do hold that title. I mean it's, I have had Native American people call me and say it's about time,”Gabbard, owner of Native Vines Winery said.

While she says that honor is more than words can express, it wasn't without her fair share of hesitations. “I was a little concerned with it because alcohol has had a bad connotation with Native Americans for such a long time,” Gabbard continued, “And I was afraid that it might look bad and that they might have a problem with it but they've embraced it.”

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