Duplin Winery

 



HISTORY OF DUPLIN WINERY

Duplin’s roots trace back to the 1970s when Muscadine grapes

were considered a “wonder crop,” and 

a large winery out of New York was paying $350 per ton for North Carolina’s native grapes. D.J. 

Fussell, Sr. and his two sons, David and Dan, decided to grow grapes. Within three years, the 

price fell to $150 per ton and the Fussells were looking for a way to salvage their livelihoods.

In the early 1970s, the family decided to create a market for their grapes and started making 

wine. In-laws, grandchildren, aunts, and uncles all pitched in, helping to stomp grapes and bottle 

wine. While larger wineries flew their sales executives across the country in corporate jets, the 

Fussells traveled with their wines in a converted hog trailer. “We pulled up to this sophisticated 

wine distributor in Raleigh … it was the first time they had seen anyone deliver wine loaded in a 

hog trailer,” says David G. Fussell.

Duplin Winery grew rapidly. By 1983, production levels reached 200,000 gallons per year. However, 

the rest of the decade would prove disastrous for the winery. Changes in tax laws and new 

legislation resulted in plummeting sales, and the banks took everything but the winery itself. In 

order to meet payrolls, equipment was sold off and David Sr. took a full-time job teaching. He 

lost his house and admits that during these years he often thought about quitting. His wife, Ann, 

kept saying, “We make the best Muscadine wines in America. Let’s give it one more day and see what 

happens.” The Fussells’ resilience and commitment sustained Duplin Winery until customers across 

the state discovered its delicious Muscadine wines and spread the word.

In 2009, Duplin Winery proudly received honors normally reserved for the traditional West Coast 

wine belt. Duplin Winery received Impact’s Hot Brand Award and Beverage Information Group’s Fast 

Track Award. Both awards are given to a short list of wineries who have seen double-digit brand 

growth in the past 5 years. Duplin Winery’s success returned in 2010 and 2011, as they received 

both awards for the second year in a row.

The third generation took the helm at Duplin Winery in the early 2000s. Jonathan became head of 

retail operations at Duplin Winery and Dave assumed the position of president and CEO. Both 

brothers are extremely involved in the day-to-day operations of Duplin Winery, including leading 

tours and tastings, or having a hand in the winemaking process. This visibility helps create a 

sense of family and commitment to excellence apparent to all the guests who enter the winery.

Dave and Jonathan dreamed of opening a location along the Grand Strand in Myrtle Beach since the 

1990′s, so in 2015 a second location was opened in North Myrtle Beach, SC. A hand-bottling line was 

installed so visitors can capture how Duplin used to bottle their wine before they grew to be the 

largest winery in the south.

Today, Duplin winery has a tank capacity of over 1.8 million gallons and sells over 450,000 cases 

of wine annually. All Duplin wines are cold fermented to preserve the natural sweetness that only 

muscadine grapes can produce. Over 150,000 visitors are greeted with sweet, southern hospitality 

when they visit at either location.

Duplin’s award-winning Carolina wines include Magnolia, featured in Martha Stewart Living as a 

favorite summertime wine, Hatteras Red, a North Carolina favorite enjoyed with good ‘ole southern 

barbecue, and Scuppernong, the oldest wine in America.

 

Hours 

Tuesday 11AM–5PM

Wednesday 11AM–5PM

Thursday 11AM–5PM

Friday 10AM–6PM

Saturday 10AM–6PM

Sunday Closed

 

CONTACT INFO

Duplin Winery
505 N Sycamore Street
Rose Hill, NC 28458
(800) 774-9634
Website