Best North Carolina Wineries

Many North Carolina farmers replaced once-lucrative tobacco crops with grapevines. Now there are more than 100 wineries and vineyards in North Carolina, where you can taste prizewinning wines in beautiful surroundings.

  1. Biltmore Winery in Antler Hill Village

    Biltmore Winery; Photo courtesy of Jason Pearce

    • Known For: Biltmore Reserve Cabernet Franc 2009, Biltmore Reserve Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
    • Great For: Visitors to Historic Biltmore House
    • Where to Book a Rental: Asheville

    Among the very best North Carolina wineries is one located in Antler Village on the grounds of the popular tourist site Biltmore House in Asheville. The architect of George Vanderbilt's chateau, Richard Morris Hunt, designed the estate's dairy barn that now houses a winery.

    Visitors are offered a tour of the cellars, a winetasting experience that is included in the price of admission to Biltmore, and an unusual shop where one can acquire almost any wine accessory imaginable. The wines available include several fine award-winning Biltmore vintages, including the Biltmore Reserve Cabernet Franc noted for its aromas of vanilla, black pepper, and spice.

  2. Noni Bacca Winery, Wilmington

    Noni Bacca owners Toni & Ken; Photo courtesy of

    • Known For: A wide variety of Italian, German and French wines
    • Great For: Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington vacationers
    • Where to Book a Rental: Wilmington

    With a slew of international awards under its belt, the Noni Bacca Winery offers one of the best tasting experiences in North Carolina. Tour the winery where grapes from a wide variety of North American vineyards are meticulously fermented to produce some particularly fine wines. No matter your level of expertise in the world of the oenophile, you will be pleased with what you discover in Wilmington.

    The tasting room, open seven days a week, promises an enjoyable experience for sampling some of this boutique winery's offerings. For those who like to stray from the traditional, be sure to taste the sweet and dessert wines, especially Bacca Blue with its fine structure due to the aroma of wild blueberries, or Cherub, a ruby red with hints of fresh black cherries.

  3. Grandfather Vineyard & Winery, Foscoe

    Grandfather Vineyard & Winery; Photo courtesy of Grandfather Vinyard & Winery

    • Known For: Excellent Watauga County wines
    • Great For: North Carolina country scenery
    • Where to Book a Rental: Boone

    Producing fine sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir, syrah, and ice wine, the Grandfather Vineyard & Winery is among the best North Carolina wineries on the Boone Area Wine Trail. Tucked into a picturesque valley, the vineyard offers an authentic experience for the travellers on the byways of the Appalachians. The award-winning ice wine is frequently sold out, so if you get a chance to acquire a bottle, don't pass it up.

  4. Rocky River Vineyards, Midland

    Rocky River Vineyards; Photo courtesy of Rocky River Vineyards

    • Known For: Cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, white zinfandel
    • Great For: North Carolina mountain scenery
    • Where to Book a Rental: Charlotte

    Only 20 minutes from Charlotte, Rocky River Vineyards is fresh with the air of the North Carolina countryside. The estate is picturesque, so be sure to wander around to see the local wildlife and inspect the native North Carolina muscadine grape vines that line the fields. The muscadine grapes create some truly unique wine. Among the several fine offerings is a cabernet sauvignon that is hearty, with a spicy finish, and features aromas of plums and currants.

  5. Stony Knoll Vineyards, Dobson

    Stony Knoll Vineyards; Photo courtesy of

    • Known For: Ardella Blanc, a complete American wine
    • Great For: Scenery and a relaxed atmosphere
    • Where to Book a Rental: Stone Mountain State Park

    Located in western North Carolina's Yadkin Valley, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Stony Knoll Vineyards has a well-appointed tasting room with marvellous views of the vineyards below and the surrounding countryside. The atmosphere in this boutique winery is peaceful, so visitors can explore the aromas and tastes of the Stony Knoll wines and choose one of them to take home to complement a meal.

    Of the several excellent varieties of wine to be acquired, try their delicious Syrah 2007; aged in oak for 17 months, it has a balanced fruit and tannin taste with a peppery tinge. Don't miss the Ardella Blanc, a sweet wine made from an American native grape.

  6. Childress Vineyards, Lexington

    Childress Vineyards; Photo courtesy of Larry

    • Known For: Signature wines such as Reserve Chardonnay and Meritage Red Table Wine
    • Great For: Opulent surroundings and winery tours
    • Where to Book a Rental: Lexington

    Plan to take your time when visiting Childress Vineyard. From your first encounter with the Tuscan-style winery with its elegantly appointed interior, you will be bowled over by this establishment. The bistro, tasting room, well-stocked gift shop, winery tour, and deck – often featuring live music audible from the vineyards below – will enchant you. As for tasting, you will want to try as many varietals as you can. Among the best are the earthy Reserve Cabernet Franc 2007 with its subtle hints of coffee and liquorice, and the Three Red, a sweetish blend of the juices of cabernet franc, merlot, and malbec grapes.

  7. Southern Charm Winery, Lincolnton

    Southern Charm Winery; Photo courtesy of

    • Known For: Fruit blend wines
    • Great For: Urban location in the city of Lincolnton
    • Where to Book a Rental: Charlotte

    As the name suggests, this is a place where warmth and friendliness are the order of the day, and it is right in the middle of town. This winery produces some unique blends that inject plenty of variety to any tasting.

    Making a choice is difficult so you are likely to take home several bottles of fruit blends like the Honeysuckle with hints of apples, pear and honey, or the Southern Charm with an undertone of peach combined with the flavor of a well-balanced traditional white wine. The Dogwood Classic is a dry chardonnay-viognier with light fruit and citrus tones. Don't miss the South Fork Red, a traditional merlot with slight tones of dried berries.

  8. RayLen Vineyards & Winery, Mocksville

    ReyLen Vineyards & Winery; Photo courtesy of Mark Mathoslan

    • Known For: Pinot grigio
    • Great For: Winery tours
    • Where to Book a Rental: Winston-Salem

    A boutique winery, RayLen has a choice of two tasting menus, or you can try all the tasting wines for a very reasonable price. The tour of the winery is an ideal way for the novice to ask as many questions as they want without any embarrassment.

    Be sure to taste the pinot grigio, a well-balanced Italian white with the zest of citrus and the viognier, created from the famous Rhone Valley grape that thrives in North Carolina. Be sure always check their calendar of special events, as RayLen is justly ranked among the best North Carolina wineries.

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