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Four Decades. Three Generations. Two Brothers.

One Sweet Story

Would you like to enjoy the softer side of life where you can be entertained rather than having to entertain? Stop by Duplin Winery and discover the slower pace of the south and relax with a glass of sweet, southern wine.

But before you visit, we’d love to share our story with you. It’s a tale of two brothers, their families and what makes our sweet, southern Muscadine wine stand out from all others.


David Sr. Fussell inspects an early grape harvest.David Sr. Fussell inspects an early grape harvest.

David Sr. Fussell inspects an early grape harvest.

Dan Fussell uses a hydrometer to check the sugar levels of fermenting wine.Dan Fussell uses a hydrometer to check the sugar levels of fermenting wine.

Dan Fussell uses a hydrometer to check the sugar levels of fermenting wine.

Jonathan and Dave Fussell Jr walk through the vineyards with their grandfather, Big D.Jonathan and Dave Fussell Jr walk through the vineyards with their grandfather, Big D.

Jonathan and Dave Fussell Jr walk through the vineyards with their grandfather, Big D.


How does one tell a story about a vineyard that unexpectedly grew into something far beyond the original expectations? In what way can we properly recount the memories and sacrifices of a family to be an inspiration to all, including future generations?

By telling their story, from the beginning.

In a small, rural town in North Carolina in the early 1970s, two brothers sat slowly rocking on their porch, pondering new ways to provide for their families. Those brothers, Dan and David Fussell Sr. decided to take a chance on growing Muscadine grapes after discovering a big city winery in New York would pay $350 for a ton of grapes. Teaming up with their father, known to all as Big D, they invested and put everything they had into building vineyards they hoped would produce the South’s sweetest grapes.

Four years passed and just before the first harvest, the grape prices fell to less than half the original price. Dan and David now wondered with dismay, “what in the world are we country boys going to do with a bunch of grapes?”

They decided to make wine!

With experimentation and determination, they taught themselves how to coax the sweet, natural flavor from the Muscadine grape. But now the brothers needed to find a way to bottle their wine and discovered the price of wine bottles was far too high for them to afford.

Refusing to be discouraged, the brothers sauntered into their local hardware store in Rose Hill and headed straight for the owner. “We need a bunch a mason jars and some more sugar,” they declared. Skeptical, the owner raised an eyebrow, laughed and said: “Uh-huh, and just what are you boys planning to make with sugar and mason jars?” After being reassured that both items were for their brand new winery and not for what he was implicated, they left with the needed materials.

Those two country boys from the south sold their first batch of wine bottled in mason jars. It was 1976.

Vintage Photo of Duplin Winery at Rose Hill, NCVintage Photo of Duplin Winery at Rose Hill, NC

Vintage Photo of Duplin Winery at Rose Hill, NC

Ronnie Kelly gives an in-depth wine and production tour in Rose Hill, NC.Ronnie Kelly gives an in-depth wine and production tour in Rose Hill, NC.

Ronnie Kelly gives an in-depth wine and production tour in Rose Hill, NC.


Fast-forward to over forty years later.

Two brothers from the next generation are rocking on a porch, recalling their childhood and the early years of Duplin Winery. But this porch is in North Myrtle Beach, SC at the new winery they had worked hard to open in the summer of 2015.
These brothers, Dave Fussell Jr. and Jonathan Fussell, now run the family business allowing their father and uncle to finally relax and enjoy the sweeter side of life.

Dave and Jonathan’s childhood memories are filled with watching their grandfather, father and uncle give everything they had to make Duplin Winery successful for their families; while also delivering a delicious, sweet wine that people would love.

Still relaxing on the porch, a big grin grows on Jonathan’s face, drawing the attention of his older brother. Jonathan turns to his big brother and says, “I tell you what, we’ve been so lucky and so blessed. But, the best thing I like to remember is what Big D always said was most important, make the pretty girls smile.”

Dave glances over at his brother and does what he normally does, corrects him. “No, that’s… make sweet wines that make the pretty girls smile. To make WIIIIINES,” he drawls out.

Dave shakes his head with a laugh and continues, “Big D and Dad always said, ‘Never forget where you come from. Always remember who you are. And treat people right, just like you want to be treated. And we’re going to keep on doing just that.”

Jonathan takes a sip of his wine and nods in agreement; thinking how far they have come. The wooden homemade grape presses, designed and built by Dan Fussell, Jr have long since been replaced with four, state of the art bladder presses, handling over 5,000 tons of grapes per season.

The buckets and plastic tanks for storing wine now pale in comparison to the 1.8-million-gallon capacity housed in looming stainless steel tanks in the facility in Rose Hill, NC and the hand bottling lines of yesteryear sit quietly in the corner beyond the rhythmic hums of lines producing over 40,000 bottles of wine each day.

Now that we’ve shared our tale, we would love for you to visit us at either of our retail locations in person, so we can treat you like our family.

Enjoy a unique wine tasting unlike any other you’ve ever experienced, there’s no pinky raisin’ allowed. Let us entertain you with funny stories, anecdotes and interesting facts about the family history and the wines. See wine being bottled by hand, just like Dan and David Sr. did back in the day.

Take a stroll through the beautiful building and find unique gifts and accessories, relax on the porch and enjoy live music during the summer. You may even get a hug from Dave or Jonathan if they are still sitting there.

Visit us at the original location in Rose Hill, NC, where the story began. Or, swing by our North Myrtle Beach location, located near Barefoot Landing. We’ll be waiting for you.

Stop by, say hello and discover why Life is Sweeter with Duplin.

Dave Jr. and Jonathan Fussell proudly standing in the North Myrtle Beach location.Dave Jr. and Jonathan Fussell proudly standing in the North Myrtle Beach location.

Dave Jr. and Jonathan Fussell proudly standing in the North Myrtle Beach location.

Duplin Winery in North Myrtle Beach, SCDuplin Winery in North Myrtle Beach, SC

Duplin Winery in North Myrtle Beach, SC

Duplin Winery in Rose Hill, NC.Duplin Winery in Rose Hill, NC.

Duplin Winery in Rose Hill, NC.

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