When most people think of the “wine states” of the United States, they probably immediately think of California and maybe Washington or New York. The state of North Carolina is not only full of natural beauty, from the Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean, but it’s also become a bit of a wine destination in its own right.
Boasting five American Viticultural Areas and over 180 wineries, there are plenty of places for wine enthusiasts to visit no matter what they’re tastes. From dry reds to sweet whites and everything in between, there’s a little bit of something for everyone. There are so many great wineries and vineyards throughout the state, but here are six of the best wineries in North Carolina.
Set on top of a hill that overlooks the countryside, Raffaldini Vineyards is reminiscent of something you would find in Tuscany and offers a taste of Italy in the middle of North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley. Going along with its Tuscan vibe, the winery specializes in Italian varietals, such as Montepulciano, Vermentino, and Moscato d’Asti. The tasting room is located inside of a picturesque villa and features a few tasting bars. There’s also seating available outside on the spacious patio and a quaint pathway winding past wildflowers and fish ponds.
A family owned and operated vineyard and winery set on a 200-year old farm near Monroe, the Treehouse Vineyards gets its name from the charming Treehouses located throughout the property. These treehouses can actually be rented for a cozy night at the vineyard. Wine tastings and tours are offered every day and wines include drier reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, white blends and Riesling, and sweet Muscadine wines. However, staying overnight in one of the Treehouses will give you the full experience of Treehouse Vineyards.
While the Biltmore is best known for its “American castle,” there is much more to the 8,000-acre estate, including a vineyard and winery. One of the most visited wineries in the country, it would only make sense that the Biltmore Winery would be one of the best wineries in North Carolina. Located in the Antler Hill Village of Biltmore Estate, the winery’s spacious tasting room features an extensive wine bar where visitors can sample more than twenty varieties of wine. Biltmore also offers specialty wine experiences and tours, along with locally made truffles, charcuteries, and cheese to pair with the wines.
Located less around thirty minutes from Winston-Salem, Divine Llama Vineyards is certainly one of the most unique wineries in North Carolina. Where else can you enjoy a great glass of wine and visit with llamas? One of the largest llama farms anywhere in the southeastern United States, Divine Llama features a rustic farmhouse-style tasting room where you can sample their wines and purchase other llama-related merchandise. The winery also often has food trucks on the weekends and offers llama treks on specific dates.
Owned by notable NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, these vineyards in Lexington, North Carolina encompasses more than seventy acres and feature nearly a dozen different European wine varietals, such as Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, and Viognier. There’s also several Reserve wines, dessert wines, and Muscadine wines available at Childress Vineyards. The tasting bar can be found inside the winery’s large gift shop and free tours are usually offered a couple times a day. If you get hungry, you can also grab lunch at The Bistro (reservations are highly recommended).
The oldest winery in the South, Duplin Winery actually has two locations: Rose Hill, North Carolina and North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Focusing on sweet Muscadine wines, Duplin is one of the best wineries in North Carolina for anyone who loves sweet wines. You’ll be greeted with southern hospitality and a friendly staff at this rustic and charming hidden gem. In addition to the spacious tasting bar where visitors can sample as many as ten wines, there’s also the Duplin Winery Bistro for a delicious meal and tours of the winery.