North Carolina, or NC for short, is not the first place in America that springs to mind when thinking of world-class quality wine. It was never typically known as a “wine state”, but over the last few years, there has been a dramatic increase in the local industry and it has become a definite tourist attraction for local wine lovers.
North Carolina has the perfect climate for growing many different varieties of grape. Regardless of your personal taste, North Carolina has something for everyone. And there are wineries in NC that will keep you coming back for more.
From the breath-taking Biltmore estate in Ashville to Yadkin Valley, we have covered everything you need to know about North Carolina wineries, wine trends and vineyards.
How Many Wineries Does North Carolina Have?
There are currently around 525 vineyards and 185 wineries in North Carolina. It also proudly has five official and certified American Vinicultural Areas (AVA’s) on the outskirts of the state.
What is the Largest Winery in North Carolina?
The largest family-owned winery in North Carolina is Shelton Vineyards and Winery. It was proudly founded in 1999 by two brothers Charlie and Ed Shelton.
This beautiful place is nestled in the heart of North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley and has more than just wine to offer. It is a stunning and versatile venue, inn/hotel, restaurant, and so much more.
Here are some of the details you’d need should you wish to visit this magical place:
- Address: 286 Cabernet Lane, Dobson, NC 27017
- Phone: (336)-366-4724
- Operating Hours for everything besides the restaurant:
- Monday-Saturday: 11am-5pm
- Sunday: 12pm-5pm
- Operating Hours for the Restaurant:
- Wednesday & Thursday: 11am – 9pm
- Friday & Saturday: 11am – 10pm
- Sunday: 11am-5pm
What is the Oldest Winery in North Carolina?
Medoc Vineyard in the town of Brinkleyville in Halifax County, is known to be the oldest of the North Carolina wineries. It was the first commercial winery and was established in 1835.
What Wine is Made in North Carolina?
The best North Carolina wines are made from Vitis vinifera grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Riesling. Another popular and easily grown grape in North Carolina is the Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) grape. An example of wine made from the Muscadine grape is Scuppernong.
The Top 5 North Carolina Wines
- Biltmore’s Cabernet Sauvignon shows off its vanilla-rich taste, combined with a tart cherry flavour, it makes for a delicious and smooth red wine. Biltmore is known to be one of the best wineries in North Carolina.
- “Her way” Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich bottle of red with delightful fruity berry notes. Made by Treehouse Vineyards, it’s one not to miss.
- Carolina Wildflower is a special wine because it gets sweetened with wildflower honey. This smooth and delicious wine brings you unexpected undertones of jasmine and honeysuckle.
- Cypress Bend Chardonnay is a crisp and dry wine with notes of vanilla and fig that provide an unusual sweetness to each bottle.
- Touriga Red is a deeply rich and earthy wine. It’s spicy, creamy, leathery and contains hints of plum, vanilla and cherry too.
The 6 Best Wineries In NC
The Biltmore is a truly stunning American castle and estate surrounded by its very own vineyard. It is located in Asheville North Carolina and is known to be America’s most-visited winery. It is around 8000 acres, and the land and castle have a rich history to speak of. ONe of thebest wineries in NC, it’s known for its utterly delightful gardens and grounds, whether you find yourself visiting for wine, history, beauty or pleasure, this American landmark has something to offer anyone who visits.
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As we discussed previously, Shelton Vineyards is located in North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley, and it’s one of the biggest vineyards on the East Coast. They have so much to offer, from wine tasting to a wedding venue, no matter what your needs or requests are, this is one of the North Carolina wineries that will have it covered.
Cypress Bend Vineyards
Cypress Bend Vineyards is Southern hospitality in its truest form. They grow Muscatine grapes (Scuppernong grapes), and offer breath-taking views, a relaxing atmosphere and unique wine that will make you feel right at home.
Autumn Creek Vineyards
Autumn Creek Vineyards is located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. This area is famous for its lush forests and massive amounts of trees. It makes it special to visit, no matter what time of year you choose. Autumn Creek is a wonderful choice for a wedding venue, or even just a weekend getaway. It is a romantic spot that is known for its serenity and peace.
Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards
Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards stretches over rolling hills in Henderson County, making this gorgeous place, the vineyard in North Carolina with the highest elevation. Being so high up means you are guaranteed to have the most incredible views from wherever you are on their property.Feel free to visit at any time of year as everything they have to offer has an indoor or outdoor section, and the appropriate heating and cooling depending on the weather. They produce a high quality of wine, one of those reasons is due to the mountain climate. It is the perfect place to grow grapes and Saint Paul’s is a world renowned winery and vineyard, sending its wine all over the world.
Overmountain Vineyards has a whopping 16 acres of vineyard. They use all this space to grow all kinds of delectable grapes, mostly of the French variety. They produce tasty boutique style wines, which you can test in the tasting room whilst overlooking the Appalachian Mountains. They have plenty of activities to do on the farm, such as hiking, exploring, wine education and a world class selection of wine to choose from.
There is an abundance of wineries in North Carolina that deserve a visit. Our round-up of the best wineries in NC should inspire you to spend some time sampling the fruits of the wine in this area.