With a wealth of Asheville breweries earning the mountain town the nickname “beer city,” plus the wealth of breweries in Boone and around Hendersonville, Western North Carolina is known for some of the nation’s best microbrewing.
But NC wineries have also been gaining an increasingly high-profile national reputation. Farmers in the area have gradually realized that old tobacco fields, which have been largely drained of nutrients, make great North Carolina vineyards.
It should come as little surprise, because North Carolina is the native home to two of the nation’s favorite wild grapes, muscadine and scuppernongs.
But NC wine has expanded far beyond muscadine wine, which has the reputation of being very sweet. And many winemakers are trying to change that stereotype as well.
In addition to Niagara grapes (the only native grape used widely in commercial wine production), vineyards in NC are now planting cabernet, merlot, chardonnay, sangiovese, and more.
Duplin Winery is the oldest and largest winery in NC and, in fact, the entire East Coast. And the Biltmore Estates Winery is the nation’s most-visited winery.
Best NC Wineries Guide
- Addison Farms Vineyard
- Biltmore Estate Winery
- Linville Falls Winery
- Plēb Urban Winery
- Banner Elk Winery
- Grandfather Vineyard & Winery
- Twisted Vine Winery
- B & C Winery
- Burntshirt Vineyards
- Marked Tree Vineyard
- Point Lookout Vineyards
- Stone Ashe Vineyard
- Elkin Creek Vineyard
- Roaring River Vineyard
- Shelton Vineyard
Wineries in Asheville NC
1. Addison Farms Vineyard
4005 New Leicester Hwy, Leicester NC • 828-581-9463
A fourth-generation family farm, the Addison Farms Vineyard switched to focusing on grapes in 2009. They now grow several varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, and more.
Addison Farms is a 55-acre plot located in Leicester NC, about 17 miles northwest of Asheville NC. They currently have over six acres of grapes planted, with plans to ultimately expand it 10 acres.
The vineyard has several local partners— Two Moons Vineyard, Moon Lake Vineyard, and Spring Branch Vineyard. Collectively they produce about 800 cases of small-batch North Carolina wine per year.
The Addison Farms Winery offers tours and a tasting room, but they do require advance reservations. Addison Farms wines are available for purchase online as well.
READ MORE: The 30 Best Things to Do in Asheville NC
2. Biltmore Winery
One Lodge Street, Asheville NC • 800-411-3812
Established in 1985 on the historic Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC, the Biltmore Winery is a well-established NC winery with all the right financing to put out high-quality vino.
The first vines on the Biltmore Estate were planted by William Cecil in the early 1970s, and the Biltmore vineyard has grown to around 150 acres since then.
The Biltmore Winery bottled its first wines— Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot— in 1984, and opened to the public the following year. By 2001, the North Carolina winery was selling over a million bottles annually.
The vineyard/winery currently produces 150,000 cases a year, and is available in 40 different states.
For WNC visitors, the Biltmore Winery has two different tours/tastings: “Red Wine & Chocolate Tasting” and “Behind-the-Scenes Winery Tour & Tasting”. Both require advance reservations.
3. Linville Falls Winery
9557 Linville Falls Hwy, Linville Falls NC • 828-765-1400
A family-owned and operated North Carolina winery, the Linville Falls Winery is run by Jack Wiseman, with his grandchildren currently learning the craft.
The flagship grape for the Linville Falls Winery is Riesling, and the berries and apples grown on site are also put into wines.
This Western NC winery is open 7 days a week and offers wine by the bottle, glass, and flight. Reservations are not necessary or available, and food trucks and live music are regular parts of the experience.
4. Plēb Urban Winery
289 Lyman Street, Asheville NC • 828-774-5062
A true Asheville winery that’s located in the heart of town, plēb puts a funky, fresh spin on what a winery does and looks like (including an aversion to capital letters).
The wines are available at both plēb urban winery and the aventine wine bar, which also features vintages from other local wineries.
These North Carolina wines are grown in the surrounding Appalachian Mountains. They come on tap by the glass or growler, with some sold by the bottle and can.
The urban winery’s ethos reflects the new movement into producing sustainably, revitalizing community, and opening up the wine experience to everyone.
One-hour tours of the wine-making facility on Lyman Street are available by reservation (at least 24 hours in advance), and include a wine tasting at the end.
Wineries in Banner Elk NC
5. Banner Elk Winery & Villa
60 Deer Run Lane, Banner Elk NC • 828-260-1790
An award-winning Blue Ridge Mountain winery, the Banner Elk Winery & Villa started in 2005 as the first commercial winery in the NC High Country.
In addition to being a fine winery, the Banner Elk Winery & Villa has its own vineyard, as well as an 8-room villa for rent.
This winery is co-owned by Dr. Richard Wolfe, a former enological researcher (wine scientist) at Appalachian State University. He considers the western NC region as equal to the famed wine regions of Europe.
The beautiful lodge-style tasting room at the Banner Elk Winery is open Tuesday through Sunday. It features tastings of six wines for under $10, with extra wines available for an additional charge.
READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Banner Elk NC
6. Grandfather Vineyard & Winery
225 Vineyard Lane, Banner Elk NC • 828-963-2400
Claiming to be the NC High Country’s first wine-producing vineyard, Grandfather Vineyard & Winery has several varieties of grapes growing on a roughly 5-acre property.
Grandfather Vineyard is unique in that it’s located at an elevation of 3,300 feet on a steep (58-degree) slope.
This setting and the cool climate give their NC wine a distinctive flavor.
Beyond the standard reds and whites, Grandfather Winery also has sweet wines and sparkling wines, as well as wine on tap, mulled wine, and cranberry sangria.
7. Twisted Vine Winery
487 Legion Road, Lenoir NC • 828-726-3185
Climbing down from the mountains a bit, the Twisted Vine Winery was created in by home winemakers-turned-public producers, who planted their first grapevines back in 2011.
Twisted Vine offers up some rather traditional flavors, both in terms of commercial wine and in terms of the south. These include berry wines, muscadine wine, and apple wine.
This winery has been steadily expanding since those first vines went in. It now has 150 vines growing, a barn/winery, and a tasting room.
Twisted Vine participates in lots of local festivals and farmers’ markets, and there are regular events on the property. It’s located about half an hour from downtown Blowing Rock.
READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Blowing Rock NC
Wineries near Maggie Valley NC
8. B & C Winery
2427 Soco Road, Maggie Valley NC • 828-550-3610
There are several vineyards and wineries near Bryson City, but only one of them is actually located in North Carolina: The B & C Winery in Maggie Valley NC.
This is also one of the few wineries near Waynesville NC.
B & C makes wines with grapes from vineyards around the world– including California, Australia, Italy, and South America– using fresh mountain spring water as their secret ingredient.
Consequently, this winery is currently putting out over 40 different varieties. This includes standards like merlot and cab, as well as lots mixed with other fruits, such as strawberries, black raspberries, and passionfruit.
Private wine tastings are available here for groups of 12 or more with advance reservations. Daily wine tastings are available on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Wineries near Hendersonville NC
9. Burntshirt Vineyards
2695 Sugarloaf Rd, Hendersonville NC • 828-685-2402
Hendersonville Vineyards are amongst the best wineries in NC.
Burntshirt Vineyards, which has numerous award-winning wines, is arguably the most recognizable of the bunch.
Burntshirt’s 10,440-square-foot winemaking facility opened in 2013, and it’s fed by two vineyards located just minutes away from it. Among its special features is a large barrel room constructed to mimic the caves of European chateaus.
This is one of the few North Carolina wineries with lodging, with a Vintner’s Cottage and Maxwell House available for rent.
Tastings and tours are available here daily, and local food trucks set up on the weekends from April to November. Private tours for groups of six or more can be arranged as well.
10. Marked Tree Vineyard
623 Deep Gap Road, Flat Rock NC • 828-424-7131
A true labor of love, Marked Tree Vineyard prides itself on hand-tending to its plants and designing the site to make the most of the local climate.
The vineyard is located in the tiny village of Flat Rock, which is about 4 miles south of downtown Hendersonville.
Marked Tree strives to make wines showing off the quality of the grapes selected and grown to suit the site, including Cab Franc, Petit Verdot, Chardonel, Vidal Blanc, and more.
The vineyard’s tasting room is open every day, and there’s also an Asheville tasting room that’s open daily. Special dinners and tastings are offered periodically as well.
11. Point Lookout Vineyards
408 Appleola Rd, Hendersonville NC • 828-808-8923
Hendersonville vineyards like Point Lookout Vineyards strive to make the most of their southeastern slopes, with great morning sun that warms those cool mountain breezes.
This winery is located on Point Lookout, a perfectly picturesque peak in the North Carolina mountains.
In conjunction with it, the World’s Edge Meadery produces a full selection of fine meads.
The tasting room at Point Lookout (which is less than 10 miles from downtown Hendersonville) is open every afternoon and evening, with lots of award-winning wines and meads to choose from.
Their gorgeously appointed facilities can also be rented for weddings and other private events.
12. Stone Ashe Vineyard
736 Green Mountain Road, Hendersonville NC • 828-551-5643
One of the newer wineries in Hendersonville NC, Stone Ashe Vineyard is designed to look like those in France.
The brand is the brainchild of Craig and Tina Little, who took on grape growing and winemaking after finishing their respective careers.
The vineyard’s name is in recognition of the “stony ashe” soil on the farm. That fertile soil combines with a micro-climate that’s perfect for growing complex fruit for great wines.
Stone Ashe Vineyard has a small selection of wines, and a luxuriously rustic tasting room for sampling them.
The stellar view overlooks the Blue Ridge Mountain range for the perfect setting to chill with a glass.
Wineries near Elkin NC
13. Elkin Creek Vineyard
318 Elkin Creek Mill Road, Elkin NC • 336-526-5119
Elkin Creek Vineyard is the local favorite for Elkin-based wine enthusiasts.
It offers a beautiful setting, with a century-old grist mill (circa 1896) and the rolling hills of the NC Piedmont.
After being established by Mark Greene in 2001, this winery was purchased a decade later by two couples who met in Las Vegas (while working for the Blue Man Group!).
The Elkin Creek Vineyard has been developed to be a comfortable place for relaxing and appreciating tasty wine, quality food, and good company.
The Kitchen at Elk Creek is mostly used for events, but the small restaurant also serves brick-oven pizzas and salads on Sundays for those with reservations.
14. Roaring River Vineyard
493 Brewer Mill Road, Traphill NC • 336-957-2332
Located just a few miles outside of Elkin NC, Roaring River Vineyard is right on the banks of the river, with a comfy tasting room perched right above it.
This tasting room (which is also Chez Josephine, one of the area’s best restaurants) has small plates and full meals, as well as local microbrews on tap, with indoor and outdoor seating.
Roaring River also has riverside lodging, from rooms and suites to cabin rentals. Amenities here include fishing, a river beach, and lawn games such as bocce ball, horseshoes, corn hole, and croquet.
The RRV wines include about 10 different choices, with standards like Cab Sav and Chardonnay, as well as NC specialties like Traminette and Norton.
15. Shelton Vineyards
286 Cabernet Lane, Dobson NC • 336-366-4724
The OG of the wineries in Elkin NC, Shelton Vineyards is located a few miles north on I-77, on the outskirts of the town of Dobson.
Shelton Vineyard was founded in 1999 by two brothers, Charlie and Ed Shelton, in an effort to make something productive out of old tobacco farming land.
With the success of Shelton Vineyards putting this region on the North Carolina wineries map, Surry County has become a stronghold in North Carolina wine country, reimagining the lands northeast of Winston-Salem NC.
Shelton Vineyards is now often ranked among the best vineyards in North Carolina. They offer tours, tastings, a top-quality restaurant, and private event spaces. –by Jonathon Engels, featured image via Canva