Many people have no idea but North Carolina is home to some absolutely fantastic wineries. It’s hard to choose the best wineries in North Carolina so I’ve put together a list of many of my favorites as well as some from a few other travel bloggers.
There are six (as of March 2021) total American Viticulture Areas in North Carolina – all that means is each area (AVA) has a distinctive climate and soil type for growing specific grapes.
I am lucky enough to live in the Yadkin Valley AVA and wine tasting is absolutely one of my favorite things to do on the weekends that I’m home.
Pro tip: Plan a road trip to some of these wineries during the winter months. The colder temperatures keep the crowds away, but the wineries usually have outdoor heaters or fireplaces to keep you warm.
The scenery may not be lush and green but some of the wineries have beautiful mountain views. Many of the wineries also do fun events during the winter so check their schedule.
If you want to visit some of the smaller ones make sure that they are open as some of them close during the winter!
Anyways, here are some of the best wineries in North Carolina by region!
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Western North Carolina
There are two locations for this award-winning vineyard – one in Hendersonville and the other just outside the entrance to Chimney Rock State Park.
My personal favorite (though the only one I’ve been to) is the Chimney Rock location. These people could care less if you’ve gone hiking in the morning and then stop by for some wine and a bite to eat. My kind of people.
They won NC Winery of the Year five times from 2015 to 2020! You really can’t go wrong with any of the wines here.
The best part though is the view from the patio. Sit outside and look up at Hickory Nut Falls in the state park while you eat some of their small plates.
I HIGHLY recommend the charcuterie board and crab bites if they have them. Their menu rotates based on available ingredients.
Find out more about Burntshirt Vineyards.
Linville Falls Winery
It seems that all the wineries we visit are directly related to where we go hiking… At least we get our workout in before drinking!
This is the perfect place to visit after a day exploring Linville Falls. The best part – they have wine slushies in the summer months.
This one gets very crowded in the summer which can make it hard to get a spot for a tasting. If you can only get a glass then I would definitely recommend their Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or try their Blueberry and Blackberry wines.
They really know what they are doing with the fruit wines.
They have a spacious patio as well and have live music during the summer on most weekends. They do have snacks that you can purchase but not a full restaurant.
Find out more about Linville Falls Winery.
Grandfather Mountain Vineyard
This is another spot that gets crowded quickly. With good reason though, because the setting is beautiful and they have a great selection of red and white wines.
The Watauga River runs through the vineyard’s property so when it’s warm enough you can take your wine and sit down by the banks.
They also regularly have live music and occasionally bring in food trucks. There are plenty of places to sit outside or you can enjoy your wine indoors in their quaint tasting room that looks like a barn.
This is one of the best wineries near Boone, NC.
Find out more about Grandfather Mountain Vineyard.
The Biltmore Winery is located in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, on the Biltmore Estate. With over one million visitors each year, the Biltmore Winery is the most visited winery in the United States.
Opened by George Vanderbilt’s grandson in 1985, the Biltmore Winery has since been serving multi-award-winning handcrafted red, white, and rosé wines. They produce 150,000 cases each year with grapes grown in North Carolina, California, and Washington.
Your admission to the Biltmore Estate includes a complimentary wine tasting in their Tasting Room—with a generous pour of five different wines!
One of the Biltmore’s most popular, award-winning wines (and my personal favorite!) is the Biltmore Estate Riesling—a sweet white with honey and apricot notes and a crisp finish. If you prefer red wines, the Biltmore Estate Cabernet Sauvignon—with vanilla and cherry notes—is an award-winner, too.
After your tasting, walk through the Wine Shop to find your favorite bottle to bring home with you, or visit the Wine Bar, where you can purchase a glass (or bottle!) of wine to enjoy.
By: Brittany from Travel by Brit
Located in the Tryon Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is Parker-Binns Vineyard. They’re about an hour from Asheville, and 30 minutes from Lake Lure, or Hendersonville.
The winery is run by The Binns family, retirees Karen and Bob, their daughter Kelly, and grandson Cory. Well-known winemaker Justin Taylor joined the team to create the perfect wines for the vineyard.
While there is a large indoor seating area, I’d head outside to either the covered porch or the expansive lawn. Regardless of your choice, everything was built facing west for spectacular views of the vineyard and surrounding mountains. You’ll also have a front-row seat for stunning sunsets.
Most weekends feature live music and the Burger Barn is open so you can enjoy some food to go with all that wine.
Their 2017 Merlot won NC Fine Wines Showcase 2020. But, what I personally love about Parker-Binns is that they give back to the community. Having a rescue dog of their own, Lulu, Karen and Bob donate $1 for every bottle of Loco Lulu sold to a local pet adoption organization.
There really isn’t anything more perfect than a day at Parker-Binns.
By: Alison from Exploration Solo
Yadkin Valley AVA
I love all of these wineries so much there is no way I could ever pick a favorite. The Yadkin Valley contains over three dozen wineries and there are more being added every year.
If you want to explore a few of these wineries then I recommend you plan a long weekend to Elkin, Dobson, or Lexington. A few of my favorites are Carolina Heritage Vineyard & Winery, Elkin Creek Vineyard, and Grassy Creek Vineyard & Winery.
These are some of the best wineries near Elkin! Plus they are all affordable options and the people that own and work there are SO friendly and sweet.
Some of the best wineries in the Yadkin Valley are the six Lexington, NC wineries. Childress Vineyards is one of the six and it’s the third largest vineyard in NC.
The Swan Creek AVA is a sub-division of the Yadkin Valley though some consider this to be part of the Western NC region. If you love dry reds then be sure to head here.
Nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Monroe, about 40 minutes from Charlotte, is one of Yadkin Valley’s best-kept secrets: Treehouse Vineyards.
The family-owned winery is situated on a lush, green 200-year-old family farm. There’s a lovely pond, plenty of comfortable, well-shaded seating areas around the property, and of course, the namesake treehouses.
In addition to enjoying a wine tasting or tour, visitors can rent one of three treehouses overnight. The rustic Date Nite treehouse is ideal for two couples, cozy Papa’s Dream overlooks the pond, and creekside Horsefeathers Hideaway is set up for groups with a 400 square-foot deck.
While the treehouses are equipped with many modern conveniences, they don’t have televisions. They’re designed to help guests unplug and unwind in a gorgeous natural setting, while enjoying the vineyard’s delicious wines.
Treehouse produces award-winning organic wines made from muscadine, which is native to the region. The winery is also well-known for its cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and house-made wine slushies, a favorite of locals.
Guests are welcome to bring picnic supplies or purchase grab-and-go snacks onsite, and there is sometimes live music at the winery. Reservations are required for tastings during peak season, from March through November.
By: Taryn from Chasing Trail
Iron Gate Vineyards & Winery
This rustic winery is near Mebane but feels worlds away from the city. The owners are incredibly welcoming and there is plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy.
Like many of the vineyards in North Carolina, this one was a tobacco farm in a previous life. It is also family-owned and you can tell that the owners love what they do.
They have more sweet wines than dry, but I do love a good sweet one every once in a while. Before you visit make sure to note that children are not allowed in the tasting room so plan accordingly.
Find out more about the Iron Gate Vineyards & Winery.
The Vineyard & Winery at Catawba Farms
This place is special because it’s a winery AND brewery. Perfect for those of us who never quite know what we want.
There is a lot going on here so be prepared to spend some time at the Farm. They have multiple different animals including peacocks. Speaking of peacocks they also have a bed & breakfast called The Peacock Inn.
Come hungry because they have a wonderful food trailer serving incredible apps, BBQ, and burgers!
Finally, if you’re visiting in winter they even have an ice skating rink. How unique is that?
Find out more about the Vineyard & Winery at Catawba Farms.
Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyards & Winery
Fun Fact: The barn on this farm is featured in Hillshire Farms commercials!
This winery is named after Buffalo Creek that winds through the property and they have recently released many new red wines.
The tasting room is quaint and cozy but everyone who visits raves about the owners here. They are so nice and welcoming and love telling you all about their wines and the vineyard.
They sell cheese and crackers here or you can pack a picnic for your trip. They also welcome leashed pets.
Find out more about Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyards & Winery.
Duplin is one of the most popular wineries in North Carolina (possibly the south) and ships widely throughout the US.
They are known for their muscadine wines so these are much sweeter. Even though this is a bigger winery, they still host you with that southern charm.
They have a Bistro here where you can grab a bite to eat if you’re hungry. I recommend doing the deluxe tasting which includes a tasting, gourmet cheese dip, homemade crackers, and a glass of your favorite wine after the tasting. Sold.
They’ve also started shipping their famous cheesecake in case you need a sweets fix and can’t make it to the restaurant.
Find out more about Duplin Winery.
Grapefull Sisters Vineyard
This is located just over the North Carolina/South Carolina line in Tabor City, NC. It’s very close to Myrtle Beach, SC and located just beside CarrollWoods RV Park.
These wines range from semi-dry to sweet and they currently have nine available to try. People who visit love to bring a picnic and have a lazy afternoon and maybe escape from the city of Myrtle Beach.
They also have a cute little gift shop on property where you can purchase their wines and other locally made food goods.
Find out more about Grapefull Sisters Vineyard.
A Secret Garden Winery
This is probably the smallest winery on the list. It’s a one-person show and she is incredibly sweet and accommodating.
If the winery isn’t busy then she will take you around on her golf cart to show you the property. With your tasting, you’ll get cheese, crackers, and some pieces of chocolate which is much more than normal.
Like many of the other coastal wineries, most of these wines are sweet but she does make a couple dry. The treat is the outdoor seating area which looks like it came out of “A Secret Garden.”
Find out more about A Secret Garden Winery.
This is one vineyard that has tons of fun events throughout the week. Make sure to check their event calendar as according to their website, they do not do tastings during events.
This family-run vineyard offers many different sweet wines made from their muscadine and scuppernong grapes. Unlike many of the coastal wineries, they also offer a good variety of dry wines as well.
They also have a small gift shop with local handmade items plus meats and cheeses to purchase to have with your wine.
This is a great place to kick back with a glass on their porch!
Find out more about Huffman Vineyards.
Wrap UP: Best Wineries in North Carolina
When asked “What is North Carolina known for?” Most people don’t initially think about wine.
With multiple AVAs in the state and the Yadkin Valley gaining notoriety around the country, I hope you’ll come out and try some of these wineries for yourself though.
There are some great NC wineries and it’s an up and coming wine destination for sure!
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