News & Media

Southern Distilling Company of Statesville named 2024 NCDA&CS Exporter of the Year

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler recognized Southern Distilling Company of Statesville as the 2024 Exporter of the Year. The announcement was made Feb. 1 at the Annual Ag Development Forum hosted by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and held in conjunction with the Southern Farm Show.

“We are proud to recognize Vienna and Pete Barger and Southern Distilling Company as the 2024 Exporter of the Year,” Troxler said. “They are committed to reviving Statesville’s rich distilling history and supporting local farmers. Southern Distilling sources 80 percent of the ingredients used in its products from local growers.”

The company, which produces high quality and award-winning local bourbon, rye whiskey and brandy, has actively worked with the NCDA&CS International Marketing section and SUSTA export programs for a number of years and currently sells its products internationally in Germany.

The company participated in NC and Tennessee Spirits Week and the NC and Tennessee Spirits Sample Box activities in Berlin in 2023. They have also exhibited at the Pro-Wein Trade Fair in Dusseldorf, which is the world’s largest trade fair for wines and spirits.

Southern Distilling Company has become one of the largest, privately owned distilleries in the country, and employs 50 people in their operation. The company also works with over 100 contract distilling clients providing such contact services as new fill barrel production, barrel warehouse aging and co-packing.

The Bargers are also active in North Carolina’s distilling industry. Pete has served as the president of the Board of Directors of the Distillers Association of North Carolina and Vienna has been instrumental in lobbying for the N.C. spirits industry to be able to sell liquor in retail locations on Sundays and the legalization of bottle sales at distilleries.