Last Updated on July 14, 2021
Last Updated on July 14, 2021
Enjoy European-style reds in the Yadkin Valley or simple Southern muscadine sweets in Eastern North Carolina. No matter which North Carolina winery you visit, you’ll find that each one offers something unique to experience.
This list is based on our personal experiences, categorized geographically, and organized alphabetically. Here’s how we’ve organized this guide:
- Wineries and Vineyards Defined
- North Carolina Wine Growing Regions & American Viticultural Areas
- Western North Carolina Wineries & Vineyards
- Central North Carolina Wineries & Vineyards
- Eastern North Carolina Wineries & Vineyards
We are never finished exploring North Carolina and will be updating as we continue to travel our beautiful state, but this list can be a great starting point for your own adventures.
Wineries Versus Vineyards
Throughout our guide, you’ll see the two terms interchange when sharing official business names. In case you didn’t know, a vineyard is a farm that grows grapes for production. A winery is the production facility that makes the wine.
North Carolina Wine Growing Regions
There are about 200 wineries and 400 vineyards in North Carolina. The state ranks 10th in the US in production. Grapes for wine are grown in three regions—the Mountains of Western North Carolina, the Piedmont typically associated with Central North Carolina, and the Coastal Plain of Eastern North Carolina.
Within those three regions are 6 designated American Viticultural Areas (AVA). Some are shared with neighboring states.
Here’s a breakdown of the 6 AVAs found within North Carolina:
- Appalachian High Country: 5 North Carolina counties (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, and Watauga) share this AVA with 2 counties in Tennessee and 1 in Virginia, respectively.
- Haw River Valley: This AVA lies in Alamance County and parts of Caswell, Chatham, Guilford, Orange, and Rockingham counties in Central North Carolina.
- Swan Creek: The Swan Creek AVA sits on the western edge of the Piedmont. It’s a smaller AVA and considered a “sub-appellation” of Yadkin Valley.
- Upper Hiwassee Highlands: On the far southwestern edge of North Carolina is the Upper Hiwassee Highlands. 2 counties in North Carolina (Cherokee and Clay) join three in Georgia to form this AVA.
- Yadkin Valley: Many of the best North Carolina wineries and vineyards are found within the Yadkin Valley AVA. It encompasses all of Surry, Wilkes, and Yadkin counties and lies in parts of Davie, Davidson, Forsyth, and Stokes counties.
- Crest of the Blue Ridge Henderson County: While it’s still growing, this one is currently confined to the Hendersonville area.
With those quick lessons out of the way, let’s get to our favorite North Carolina wineries and vineyards to visit and sip!
Western North Carolina Wineries & Vineyards
These amazing wineries and vineyards in North Carolina’s mountains and foothills keep people (including us) coming back for more.
Adagio Vineyards (Elkin)
Violin maker, dentists, and wine lovers, the owners of Adagio Vineyards wanted to create a wine that was a beautiful as sweet melodies. Located just a little bit outside of downtown Elkin, Adagio Vineyards produces European varietals that are both smooth and elegant.
The property of Adagio features a “baby vineyard” while the rest of the 7 acres are located a mile down the road. The tasting room is family-friendly and they have an excellent outdoor area where you can sip wine beside the fire. Our favorites were their Petit Verdot, Vivace, and Coda.
Adagio is the first of a few North Carolina wineries that are kid-friendly, in case you brought the whole family.
Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard & Winery (Lawndale)
Baker Buffalo Creek is located in the fertile soil of Cleveland County. Its name comes from both the Buffalo Creek that winds its way through the property and the Baker family, who have owned the land for over 100 years.
The vineyard supplies 8 different grape varieties: red muscadine, chardonnay, scuppernong, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, Riesling, and traminette. They offer their own blends as well, one of which is CD Baker, a bourbon barrel-aged cabernet sauvignon with a hint of bourbon flavor.
Find your favorite flavor by visiting their tasting room, open Thursday to Sunday, or book an appointment.
Biltmore Estate Winery (Asheville)
When visiting Biltmore Estate in Asheville, make sure to stop by their winery, included complimentary with your visit. Biltmore started producing wine in the 1970s and now produces about 150,000 cases annually.
They offer a variety of reds, whites, mixed, and sweet wines. Some of their selection includes Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Blanc de Noir, Dry Rose, and more. Biltmore also offers behind-the-scenes winery tours & tastings, as well as a red wine & chocolate tasting.
Burntshirt Vineyards (Hendersonville)
Burntshirt Vineyards is a family-owned business with two locations: the flagship vineyard in Hendersonville and a second location in Chimney Rock.
The Burntshirt Vineyards winery in Hendersonville opened in 2013, boasting state-of-the-art equipment and offering tours for guests to learn more about the winemaking process.
Wine offerings at Burntshirt Vineyards include Sweet and Dry Riesling, Malbec, Gruner Veltliner, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, their own special blends, and more. Sample delicious wine pairings from the Burntshirt Vineyards food truck open from spring through fall.
They are also dog friendly, so bring your furry friends to enjoy a day out on the property.
The tasting room is open Thursday to Sunday and offers two different flights; a set 7-wine tasting of 1 ounce pours for $10/person and a 5-wine pick-and-choose tasting of 2 ounce pours for $15/person.
Divine Llama Vineyards (East Bend)
Divine Llama Vineyards is a unique North Carolina vineyard, as its 91 acres are both a vineyard and a llama farm in the heart of the Yadkin Valley.
Divine Llama is nationally recognized for its award-winning wines, scenery, and being the largest llama farm in the Southeast. They currently grow four grape varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonel, and Traminette, and over 11 different wines.
While visiting this Yadkin County vineyard, try llama trekking! Visitors are given the opportunity to hike through two miles of rolling hills along Miller Creek. These treks begin and end near the wine tasting facility, making it the perfect activity before enjoying a nice glass of wine.
During weekends, food trucks stop by and add to your wine tasting experience.
Elkin Creek Vineyard (Elkin)
Sitting on the babbling Elkin Creek, Elkin Creek Vineyard is a North Carolina winery destination. The outdoor vibe is made for relaxing with a glass of their Soft White while the kids play in the creek.
One thing we loved about Elkin Creek Vineyard beyond the ambiance is the wood-fired pizza they served. We tried two different combinations and they were both incredible, crispy, and flavorful!
Established in 2001, Elkin Creek Vineyard was built from an old mill to a thriving viticulture experience. To make it a total adventure check out their cabins and sip wine all weekend!
Wine tastings are available for $10 and includes seven 2 oz pours and a branded wine glass. This may be one of the most generous and inexpensive tastings and really gives guests a chance to try the broad range of wines that Elkin Creek Vineyard offers!
Grandfather Mountain Vineyard (Banner Elk)
Grandfather Mountain Vineyard started in 2003 and officially opened to the public in 2011. Spanning over five acres of grapevines located at a 3,300 feet elevation, this North Carolina vineyard overlooks the profile of Grandfather Mountain.
Some of the grape varieties they grow are Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, St. Croix, Lando Noir, Chambourcin, and Vidal Blanc.
Visit their tasting room Wednesday to Monday where you can try their wines and bring a picnic for the whole family to enjoy (including your leashed furry friends). Enjoy a food truck from a local restaurant and live music every Sunday during the spring and summer months.
A visit to Grandfather Winery is one of our favorite things to do in Banner Elk!
Grassy Creek Vineyard and Winery (State Road)
With 15 acres under the vine, Grassy Creek Vineyard is a kid-friendly and dog-encouraging winery in the Yadkin Valley. The European wines are all processed, aged, and bottled in a renovated 10,000 square ft dairy barn. Preserving the history and beauty of the dairy barn was important for the owners of Grassy Creek and they worked with winery architects to protect it.
The wines at Grassy Creek Vineyard are robust but also pleasing to a variety of palates. Do a wine tasting and learn more about each wine they offer before sipping on a glass.
Grassy Creek Vineyard also has hiking access to Carter Falls. The trail is approximately 4 miles round trip.
And if you are hungry after your hike Grassy Creek Vineyards has a great assortment of charcuterie items for purchase including Ashe County Cheese!
JOLO Winery & Vineyards (Pilot Mountain)
JOLO Winery & Vineyards has been producing superior wines since 2013 and is one of North Carolina’s most acclaimed vineyards with some of the most highly rated wines on the East Coast. Stainless steel is used to ferment their whites and rosé, while a combination of American, French, and sometimes Hungarian oaks are used for the reds.
The Pilot Fog wine, made of Cynthiana grapes, is barrel-aged exclusively in 100% new American Oak.
Enjoy seven of their award-winning wines: one sparkling, one white, one rose, three reds, and a choice of dessert wine for $15/person or $20/person if you keep their glass.
Want to try their premier wines? Go for their Reserve Tasting at $40/person (includes the glass), and you’ll get a sparkling wine and 6-7 of their finest dry red wines, including their new premier offerings.
Tastings and their restaurant, End Posts, are open Thursday to Sunday by reservation only.
Jones von Drehle (Thurmond)
As an Estate Winery, Jones von Drehle makes wines exclusively from grapes that are harvested from their 30 acres of vines. Nestled in the mountains of Wilkes County, the view from the tasting room is absolutely breathtaking and compliments the sips you’ll have.
Enjoy Jones von Drehle Friday-Sunday and feel free to bring your pets! Jones von Drehle is an easy 10 minutes away from Stone Mountain State Park and a perfect addition to your weekend adventure! At that wonderful state park, we love hikes along the Stone Mountain Loop to Stone Mountain Falls and a drive down the road to Widow’s Creek Falls.
Linville Falls Winery (Newland)
Linville Falls Winery is family-owned and operated in the High Country. The vineyard and farm is situated on over 40 acres and is filled not only with rows of vines for grape growing but also blackberries, blueberries, and other fruits and vegetables.
Grape varieties include Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc, Noiret, Marquette, Petit Verdot, Marechal Foch, and Riesling. The winery is open Thursday-Monday and offers wine flights by-the-glass and by-the-bottle.
Enjoy food trucks that stop by every Saturday and Sunday. Stay awhile at this North Carolina vineyard, enjoying delicious wine and good company. Make sure to visit nearby Linville Falls for a hike before you enjoy a delicious glass of wine.
McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks (Thurmond)
McRitchie is located on thirty acres of beautiful rolling hills in Wilkes County. In the heart of Yadkin Valley, McRitchie has a working farm and garden vibe to it’s tasting room.
Open to families and pets (say hello to the winery pups for us!), McRitchie Winery pours a delicious Unoaked Chardonnay and Ring of Fire Red blend of Merlot and Sangiovese. Also make sure to try their hard cider!
Raffaldini Vineyards & Winery (Ronda)
Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery is nestled near the Yadkin River and the Blue Ridge Mountains and produces classical Italian dry wines. They produce reds such as Sangiovese Classico, Montepulciano Riserva, Sagrantino, and Grande Riserva, and whites such as Vermentino and a sparkling Prosecco style called Auguri.
This North Carolina winery uses Appassimento, which is the ancient Italian method of incorporating dehydrated grapes into production. The process is time and labor-intensive, but Raffaldini takes great pride in being the most prominent Appassimento practitioner in the United States.
Visit Raffaldini Wednesday to Monday for a wine tasting starting at $12/person. They have a gourmet deli case of delicious food to pair with your wine, with the occasional visit from food trucks and pizza ovens. Enjoy a guided vineyards tour when they’re open, and plan a trip in September when they host the Annual Festa Italiana.
Make sure you visit nearby Wilkesboro for local arts, music, and world-class mountain biking trails!
Round Peak Vineyards (Mount Airy)
Looking for French and Italian varietals? Round Peak Vineyards, name after nearby Pilot Mountain, features 12 acres of vines and produces both dry and sweet wines. They are a kid-friendly North Carolina winery and even have a disc golf course on the property!
Rent one of their two cabins and make an entire weekend out of it. Round Peak Vineyards also works closely with Skull Camp Brewery in Elkin and has their delicious beers on tap.
Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards (Hendersonville)
Saint Paul Mountain Farms is home to Saint Paul Vineyard in Henderson County. Their tasting room was established in 2008 on land that has been in the family for centuries.
Saint Paul Vineyards specializes in French Vinifera and offers almost 30 wines that are locally grown, processed, and served in their three tasting rooms. Some of the wines include Cabernet Franc, Dry Riesling, Vidal Blanc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and blends of their own, such as their red Jasper wine.
They regularly offer tastings, wine events, live music, classes, and pairing dinners. Guests can visit their Saint Paul location 7 days a week, or visit their Appalachian Ridge Hard Cider location in Flat Rock.
Shelton Vineyards (Dobson)
Shelton Vineyards is another great Yadkin Valley grower and producer. Several varieties of grapes grown in this Surry County vineyard include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Malbec, Tannat, Petit Verdot, Reisling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Petit Manseng.
There are a variety of tours and tastings offered, ranging from $12/person to $55/person. You can also enjoy the onsite restaurant, Harvest Grill, to enhance your Shelton Vineyards visit.
Its upscale, bistro-style dining has been awarded the Triple-A three-diamond rating for its food, service, and decor. Make sure to try the sonker while you are there!
Silver Fork Winery (Morganton)
This North Carolina winery offers Chardonnay, Chardonnay Reserve, Rose, Chambourcin, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and two of their own variants: Four Dog Red and Nonsense Red Blend.
The owners have a deep love for their furry family members, and their Four Dog Red is inspired by their family puppies: Lil Bear, Callie, Lily, and Gus. Their Nonsense Red Blend is a new release of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.
Visit the Tasting Room Friday to Sunday (Winter hours) and enjoy self-guided wine flights for $15/person with the option to purchase farm-fresh cheeses, meats, and crackers. Take in the breathtaking scenery with friends, family, or your leashed furry friends!
Slightly Askew (Elkin)
Slightly Askew is located near Downtown Elkin and is in a great spot to cozily drink some NC wine! This winery specializes more on the sweet side by incorporating fruit.
However, don’t assume that only sweet wines are available here. Slightly Askew does offer dry wines that are more of a South American style as opposed to the many Italian wines you’ll find in the Yadkin Valley.
Central North Carolina Wineries & Vineyards
These Central North Carolina wineries and vineyards bring together some big names from neighboring industries (NASCAR) and for the first time in this guide, animal friends on one property.
Childress Vineyards (Lexington)
Childress Vineyards is one of the most prominent North Carolina wineries and features over 70 acres of vineyards and over 30 different wines for all palettes. Since its opening in 2004 by Richard Childress of NASCAR fame, this Lexington winery has won many wine competitions with its total medal count exceeding 750.
Wine flight tastings are offered daily from 10 am-4:30 pm with three different flight options to choose from. The normal Wine Flight is $25/person, Sparkling Wine Flight at $32/person, Indulging Sparkling Wine Flight at $45/person, and their Luxe Wine Flight for $35/person by reservation only.
Enjoy their in-house, full dining restaurant, The Bistro, for an incredible meal. Open 7 days a week, The Bistro offers a beautiful view to enjoy during your delicious lunch.
Childress also offers online shopping for any of their wine, wine-related items, and merchandise.
Daveste Vineyards (Troutman)
Come visit Daveste Vineyards near Lake Norman, Statesville, and Mooresville, where you can sip wine and experience outdoor live music events, vendors, and more throughout the year! Their wine comes from fruit grown on their roughly 50 acres of land.
Wines at Daveste are typically developed in very small lots, producing about 25 cases for some estate wines and only 1,500 in a year.
Daveste produces red and white wines, including their award-winning Merlot, Chambourcin, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Viognier, Dry Reisling, and more. When visiting, be sure to try their Portrait wine, which is their award-winning creation of Bordeaux style Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
The tasting room is a short day trip from Charlotte and open from Thursday-Sunday (winter hours). Guests are more than welcome to try their wine or craft beer and can get them by the glass, bottle, or flights.
Junius Lindsay Vineyard (Lexington)
Junius Lindsay Vineyard is the namesake vineyard for the owner’s grandfather, who started Zimmerman Farm in 1896. Zimmerman Farm is now home to the production of the French-style wines at Junius Lindsay.
All grape varietals that are grown at this vineyard originate from the Rhône Valley of Southern France. When visiting, choose from reds, whites, dessert wines, and specialty wines such as rosé and sangria.
Their tasting room is open Friday to Sunday and starts at $10/person. Junius Lindsay is home to the only open-air tasting room in North Carolina and boasts amazing views of the vineyard.
Treehouse Vineyards (Monroe)
The vineyard was named after the treehouses found on the property. The original treehouse is 30 feet off the ground and equipped with a deck that overlooks the vineyard.
They produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot Dry White blend, and other award-winning Native Muscadine wines and are open seven days a week for wine tastings. For a unique experience, we recommend renting out the treehouse for overnight visits and enjoying the views of the property!
Eastern North Carolina Wineries and Vineyards
Cypress Bend Vineyards (Wagram)
Cypress Bend Vineyards in Wagram (Scotland County) has been around since 2005 and spans over 30 acres. They specialize in Muscadine wines and offer 16 different kinds spanning from dry to semi-sweet, and grow three Muscadine varieties–Carlos, Noble, and Magnolia.
Their wine array includes Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Enjoy and explore the wine flavors of Cypress Bend at their tasting room, open 7 days a week.
Tastings are $6/person and include a Cypress Bend Vineyards logo glass, a tour of the vineyards, and the option to purchase packaged snack items and merchandise. Stop by for their Jazzy Fridays filled with wine, friends, and good music.
Duplin Winery (Rose Hill)
Located in Rose Hill is Duplin Winery, home to a large variety of sweet wines. It has two locations, with the other one being in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Enjoy wine tastings Monday-Saturday where you sample at least ten preselected award-winning Muscadine wines.
One of the Duplin Winery associates will walk you through the winery’s history while you sip on each of their wines. By the way, Duplin is the oldest winery in North Carolina, established in 1975.
Their $10 deluxe tastings also come with gourmet cheese dip, homemade gourmet crackers, and a glass of wine after the tasting is completed.
While on the property, enjoy lunch from The Bistro from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm on the days that the winery is open. The Bistro offers daily lunch specials and has many offerings, such as gourmet soups and salads, sandwiches, and more.
A visit to Duplin Winery is one of our favorite things to do in Duplin County!
Sanctuary Vineyards (Jarvisburg)
Located in Jarvisburg (Currituck County), Sanctuary Vineyards is the last but not least of our North Carolina wineries. Using age-old methods to bring out the sweetest flavors from the sandy land, This Outer Banks vineyard grows Syrah, Tempranillo, Viognier, Norton, and Muscadine grapes.
Each bottle from Sanctuary Vineyards is treated with care and attention to honoring the hand-picked grapes. Visit The Winery and Cotton Gin Tasting Room seven days a week from 10 am-6 pm.
Sanctuary sits just off US 158 and isn’t too far from Weeping Radish, North Carolina’s oldest microbrewery!
Ready to Sip at These North Carolina Wineries and Vineyards?
Sip! Sip! Hooray! These North Carolina wineries and vineyards each offer fun and unique experiences.
Whether you are trekking with llamas, looking out from a treehouse, or simply enjoying estate-grown wines, these awesome places are more proof that we’ve got something special in this state.
Have you ever visited any of these North Carolina wineries and vineyards? We’d love to know which you love and what bottle we should pick up next? In case you haven’t gotten started exploring yet, we’re eager to know what’s first on your list. Let us know here in the comments and feel free to share your NC wine adventures in our Facebook Group!