In case you didn’t know, September is Wine and Grape Month in North Carolina.


It’s easy to forget about the state’s viticulture, given all the focus on craft beers and liquors. Not that I am complaining about all the craft beer and liquor.


The wine industry has come a long way since entrepreneurs began to revive the state’s wine-making history. At one time, Duplin Winery was about the only game in town. Now, North Carolina is home to 525 commercial grape growers and nearly 200 wineries.


The state is also home to five American Viticultural Areas: Appalachian High Country, Haw River, Swan Creek, Upper Hiwassee Highlands and Yadkin Valley. Each is federally recognized for its distinctive combination of soil, climate, elevation and wine characteristics.


Wineries have opened their doors with special events to celebrate the month, ranging from traditional grape stomps to wine-and-cheese pairing events. And there is still plenty of September left to get out and enjoy a glass.


For example:


* This Saturday, Sept. 22, you can enjoy a wine tasting in Greensboro on the field beside Elon Law School beginning at noon at 300 Commerce Place. Enjoy wines from dozens of North Carolina’s finest wineries. The festival will include a DJ and live music, 5-7 food truck options for dining, and games and entertainment.


* Or, you could take a trip to 220 Lorax Lane in Pittsboro for the annual Mead Day Celebration. Mead, for those who don’t know, is wine made from honey. It sounds like this group has planned plenty of fall festival types of activities plus mead-making demonstrations. The fun starts at noon.


* For those who prefer their wines uber sweet and from the native vine, Kenansville in Duplin County is hosting a two-day event at 195 Fairground Drive on the last weekend in September. Gates open at 10 am and the festival will include wineries, arts and crafts vendors, food and live performances by The Carolina Band, Spare Change and Summerdaze. Your ticket entry gives you access to these amazing bands, unlimited tasting from over 20 wineries and a commemorative wine glass.


* Not to be outdone, our local winery, Zimmerman Vineyard, 1428 Tabernacle Church Road, will continue to host its popular Sisyphus Saturdays with live music on the patio. This monthly event is set for Sept. 29 from 5-8 p.m. with Vel Indica, and Indie-Folk/Alternative, as the musical guest. If you haven’t enjoyed a picnic on their patio where you can gaze out over the vineyards, wine glass in one hand, chicken leg in the other, you have missed out on a treat.


The celebrations don’t stop at the end of the month. Some charge for admission; others are free. A selection of events is available at www.ncwine.org.


You can check on Zimmerman’s schedule at http://www.zimmermanvineyards.net/.


* J.D. Walker’s garden column appears each Thursday. Follow her on Facebook at GardenSown.