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15 North Carolina Wineries and Vineyards You Must Visit

The state of North Carolina is known for its sweet, not so tantalizing muscadine wines. But did you know that over the last 10-15 years, NC has elevated it’s locally made varieties and now has vineyards that boasts delicious wines for all to enjoy? Keep reading to discover my top pics for North Carolina Vineyards by region all of which have been tested and approved by yours truly. #rueapproved


*this is a non-sponsored post – Drink responsibly and as I always say, make good choices.


I have traveled around the world and sipped wine and champagne at some of the most popular vineyards and cellars known to mankind.


Whether visiting the Napa and Sonoma Valley, “champagning and cellaring” in Champagne, France (Reims) or touring Stellenbosch and Franschhoek sipping the finest Chenin Blanc in South Africa, I think it safe to say that I’ve had my fair share of wine tours, tastings, and experiences.

Me, wine tasting at a vineyard in South Africa



I have been touring #ncvineyards for over 10 years now and I can honestly say each one is unique, and you will meet some of the most amazing people there. Let's be honest, it's a winery, everyone is there to have a good time.


Vineyards are some of the most beautiful places to visit and the wine you get to sip while there takes the mountainous views and clean air to the next level.


North Carolina use to be all about its muscadine wines; an almost syrupy sweet varietal that is sure to turn any wine snob off. I like to call it “the southern version of Moscato” eeeyuck!


Not to worry, my list is filled with loads of different wines all matched with the breathtaking views that the incredible state has to offer.


On my most recent wine excursion in WNC (western North Carolina) I actually learned a very little-known fact about muscadine wine. Are you ready??


The muscadine wines we’ve been exposed to actually have added sugar!!! (barf-o-rama!)

Why on God’s green earth they would do such a thing is beyond me. But the good news is there are winemakers in NC that make muscadine wines without adding sugar and it is absolutely divine. (Don’t say I never told you nothin’).


Don't worry, I’ll share more information on where you can get it in just a few. I got you.


How to fully enjoy a winery


Before going to the vineyards, I highly suggest having a hearty meal.


Most of the vineyards below offer snacks like meats, cheeses and even charcuterie boards, but not all of them have places where you can enjoy a full meal nor are they located near restaurants so it's best to be safe and eat before going. No one wants to visit a winery and "rookie out" because they failed to have food on their stomach. #sigh

Breakfast at The Biltmore


Now, when you get to these vineyards I suggest opting for a tasting. It typically takes about 15ish minutes to get through a full flight of the offerings at each vineyard. These samplings are to give you an idea of the tastes, aromas and undertones of each wine.


After the tasting, you can decide if you would like to order a glass or bottle to share on the premises, and/or take a bottle (or 10) take back to your home cellar (or kitchen counter, but you know what I mean).


In North Carolina, tastings can cost you anywhere from free, like at the Biltmore, and can range up to $20 or so. At my favorite #ncwinery (highlighted below) you can sample every wine they produce for a very low cost. And they are all delicious!

The cellars at The Biltmore winery


A well-kept secret for those outside the state is, North Carolina has some of the most beautiful Vineyards in the United States. (So does Georgia, btw. Right outside of Atlanta, but that’s a different post for a different day.)


Coming in with a record number of 200+ Vineyards throughout the state, North Carolina doesn’t leave much to be desired in the vino department, you just have to know where to go. That’s where this post comes in!

Remember to always have a designated driver and to drink responsibly. Your life, safety and the safety of others is most important.

That said, I am excited to bring to you my list of North Carolina must-do vineyards and wineries that are Rue and #thevinochronicles approved. So, without further ado, below I’ve listed some of my favorite wineries by regions along with the routes I take while visiting. Enjoy!


Vineyards north of Charlotte


Yadkin Valley Vineyards (I-77 Wine Route)


We’ll start with my #clt go-to vineyards. These wineries are just an hour and some change north of Charlotte (via I-77N). While in the area you can hit 3-4 of these wineries in the same day if you’re the ambitious type such as myself. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. My favorite is Shadow Springs, so be sure to hit that one when in the Yadkin V and tell them Rye sent you!


*for those who have asked, yes, this this the route and vineyards that I hosted my 2019 birthday trip/extravaganza on!


Raffaldini Vineyards 1hr 15 mins from Charlotte

  • “Holy Grail” of the Yadkin Valley

  • Sip wine in a castle-styled winery on a beautiful Tuscan-themed estate

  • Offers tasty dry wines

  • Venue available for events and parties

  • Picnic and dining areas on the grounds

  • Light snacks offered (wine and cheese)

Piccioni Vineyards 1hr 15 mins from Charlotte

  • A stones-throw from Raffaldini (so why not)

  • Delicious wines

  • Fun themes and pairings (think macarons and girl scout cookies)

  • Live music and food trucks

  • A cute little doggy-mascot that makes you feel “at home”

  • Light snacks offered (wine and cheese) and sometimes they have food trucks


Shadow Springs Vineyard 1hr 15 mins from Charlotte

My absolute favorite winery in NC. When you get to this place the women who run it make you feel like you’ve been friends for 20 years! This is the winery where you can opt to try ALL of the wines on you their menu and trust me when I say, each wine DELIVERS!

  • Huge variety of wines

  • Excellent staff

  • Super fun atmosphere and wine-paraphernalia shopping

  • Offers strawberry wine, chocolate wine and a strawberry chocolate wine

  • Delicious wine slushies

  • Deck seating with a pond views and gorgeous scenery

  • Light snacks offered (wine and cheese)


Windsor Run Cellars 1hr 15 mins from Charlotte

IMO this place has the best wine in the Yadkin. Looks a little sketchy but, go for the wine… you won’t be disappointed.


30 mins from Charlotte

A bit closer to Charlotte, you will find Davidson Wine Company and Daveste Vineayard. They are a bit closer than the wineries I mentioned earlier but make for an absolute decadent time.

  • Beautiful Black-owned, woman-owned winery in the heart of downtown Davidson

  • Super cute, major chic, restaurant setting

  • Offers an excellent brunch and “light eats"

  • 30 different wine varietals

  • Globally sourced grapes


Daveste Vineyards 40 mins from Charlotte

  • This place is a party and a half

  • Owned by a super sweet couple, you will meet them, and you will love them

  • Mostly outdoor seating

  • Firepits available

  • Live music and dancing (next level bands a performances)

  • Bring your own food or purchase food from a food truck


Divine Llama Vineyards 1hr 30 mins from Charlotte


If you’re looking for a bit of adventure, look no further than Divine Llama Vineyards. Where you can sip wine, tour a farm and complete a llama trekking experience all at one vineyard!


This place sits on a family-owned farm which you can tour while trekking with your llama. Please make sure you’re in shape lol. They almost took your girl out!


You can go to llama trek or not, but if you plan to enjoy the llama trekking experience, be sure too book at least 6 months in advance as space (and llamas) are limited

  • One-of-a-kind experience

  • Offers Llama trekking and yummy wine!

Sipping and trekking with my llama, Bently

Cellar 4201 1hr 40 mins from Charlotte

  • A 5ish minute drive from Divine Llama Vineyards

  • Delicious wine *some of the best in NC

  • Just like hanging out at a friend’s house, only with an unlimited supply of delicious wine

  • Beautiful flowers and landscapes on their gorgeous outdoor patio

  • Gourmet chocolate and charcuterie selection


Now, enough with m I-77 wine route, let's talk about what the rest of the beautiful state of NC has to offer in the way of wine and shenanigans. Below are more wineries I have had the pleasure of visiting. I have listed them by distance in order to help you plan your adventures accordingly.


Vineyards East of Charlotte


40 mins from Charlotte


Outside the Yadkin, but close to Charlotte, you will find Treehouse Vineyards, one of the coolest and more creative vineyards in NC which also boasts tasty wines.

  • Super-cute, family-owned winery

  • Offers access to real live treehouses!

  • Rent a treehouse for the day or overnight

  • Wine is absolutely divine (and so are the wine slushies)

  • Live music and outdoor seating is a total vibe


Vineyards West of Charlotte (I-85 Wine Route)


Veronet Vineyards 30 mins from Charlotte

  • Indoor and outdoor seating

  • Wrap around porch

  • Picnic tables and food trucks

  • Pet friendly


Mountain Brook Vineyards 1hr 15 mins from Charlotte

  • Individual firepits as well as one huge pit

  • Offers two different tastings: one made from North Carolina grown grapes while the other flight is made from California grown grapes

  • Delicious Cab

  • Gourmet Food Trucks


Parker-Binns Vineyard and Winery 1hr 15 mins from Charlotte

  • One of the best burgers and pizza that you will EVER try at a vineyard

  • Owned by the cutest “Yankee” couple

  • Excellent Sangria

  • Live music to LIVE for! It was definitely the One-Man Band for me on this day!


Overmountain Vineyards 1hr 15 mins from Charlotte

  • Where I was first introduced to “unsweetened” muscadine wine (mind friggin’ blown)

  • Art-inspired wine labels that tell a story

  • They will pick fresh figs for you to take home! (I was floored)

  • Blueberry picking when in season

  • Beautiful landscaping

  • Outdoor seating

  • Light snacks available


2hrs from Charlotte

  • Complimentary Wine tastings

  • On-site lodging and restaurants

  • Tour the Historic Biltmore House while there

  • Join their wine club. I love it and as a member you'll get special access

  • For more details you can check out my post about my visit to the Biltmore here



Last, but definitely not least, a lot of you have reached out about my recent “Uncorked” lunch and wine pairing experience aboard the beautiful steam train that traveled through the Great Smoky Mountains in Bryson City, NC.



Straight to the point, the experience was EPIC!


This steam engine transports you through North Carolina’s beautiful Great Smoky Mountains while you learn the history of the area.


Sip bubbly and nibble from a yummy charcuterie board while you prepare to enjoy a 4-course meal with wine pairings. During the trip you will be educated by a formally trained wine expert who shares the details of each wine.



I’ll be honest, the food was “eh”, but you will absolutely love the experience!


There is a cash bar available, and you can purchase by the glass or by the bottle during this 3.5-4-hour adventure through the smokies.


The train starts and stops in two different small towns. Yu’ll have the chance to deboard the train and explore before heading back to the depot station.



Each guest is provided with a tasting note card where they can keep track of their reactions to all the wines. This is helpful because at the end of the tour you have the opportunity to purchase any of the wines from the tasting, however there is absolutely no pressure to purchase.



After leaving here you can always hit the Cherokee Casino and win a little cash (fingers crossed/eyes squinted) and spend the night in Asheville like I did. (Be sure to use a designated driver and treat them very well.)


My mind is in wine land


Well, my lovies, there you have it. Another set of my adventures on the books. I do hope you get the chance to experience some, if not all of these destinations. I absolutely love wineries and I can’t wait to write about and visit even more. Maybe my next wine post will be about Georgia vineyards or perhaps the vineyards I’ve visited in South Africa or France! Let me know what you’d like to hear about in the comments below and I’ll make it happen. Until next time, smooches!


xoxo - Rue



72 views4 comments

4 comentários


ryan
15 de set. de 2022

We definitely agree that you should get a designated driver. It is the best way to enjoy multiple wineries without the worry (or risk) of driving. We offer that service so give us a call if you need a reliable and affordable ride: www.VanInBlack.com


Rue, if you are ever back in this area please give us a call and we will share some of our favorite places and experiences to be had.

Curtir
ruehite
15 de set. de 2022
Respondendo a

Sounds good! I have a group of friends and we were just discussing planning a trip! I'll keep you in mind!

Curtir

jehinds0728
jehinds0728
15 de set. de 2022

I didn’t realize there were so many wineries in NC. Thank you for the recommendations! I would like to hear about the wineries in South Africa!!

Curtir
ruehite
15 de set. de 2022
Respondendo a

Absolutely! I'll be sure to add that to my calendar to write on soon. It was an incredible experience. Thanks for being a loyal reader!

Curtir
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