Local News

Duplin County Winery Doubles as Nature's Pharmacy

Posted June 26, 1998

— Health researchers are familiar with The French Paradox." Simply put; Why is it that French people can eat fatty pastries and sauces, yet not suffer the same heart problems as Americans? The French say the answer lies in the wine they drink. That discovery is focusing attention on grapes grown here in North Carolina.

Winery owner David Fussell says sometimes he feels like an old fashioned elixir salesman.

"Resveratrolis the most powerful antioxidant that the Lord has made and put in fruits," Fussell explains.

Fussell bottles the fruity chemical in a concentrated form as medicine.

"North Carolina is blessed," says Fussell, "and you know at one time, we were the leading wine state in the union. And with this discovery that our grapes have five to seven times more of the antioxidants than the others, who knows? We may again be the leading wine state."

Several health studies indicate the antioxidant found in wines reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes, even fights some forms of cancer.

"This stuff keeps the cells from rottening just like it keeps the grapes from rottening," Fussell points out.

An ordinary bottle of Scuppernong Blush contains 74 parts per million of Resveratrol, a bottle of French Beaujolais-- only three parts per million. This concentrated form is extracted from the leftover seeds and muscadine grape hulls. To be classified a food supplement and sold as medicine, Fussell said he had to make it taste like medicine.

"Actually it's not bad," an unidentified taster admits. "It really isn't."

There is a better way to take it-- with an equal amount of fruit juice or lemonade or soft drink. If you do that, Fussell says, you've got a real good fine wine spritzer.

There are many studies about the health benefits of Resveratrol. Fussell says he hopes it will get more farmers to start muscadine grape vineyards.

The Duplin Winery is located in the heart of Rose Hill on US Highway 117. From I-40, exit at #380 and go one mile to town. For more information, call the Duplin Winery at1-800-774-9634.

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