Is there anything better than spending a beautiful summer day with friends visiting different vineyards and wine tasting? We don’t think so. And, with more than 400 vineyards and 200 wineries in the state there’s absolutely no shortage of incredible options. We’ve put together a list of four favorites that we recommend you start with this summer, mostly because they have an overnight option so you don’t have to worry about driving home after!
235 Chatham Cottage Circle, State Rd NC
Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour 15 minutes
Hours: Wednesday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Situated in the picturesque Yadkin Valley, Grassy Creek Vineyard and Winery, has a vast selection of wines that range from full-bodied, robust reds to light and fruity whites — making it the perfect place for groups of friends with different tastes in wine to stop while vineyard hopping. Visitors can enjoy tastings in the Red Barn Tasting Room and try six wines for $8.
To make an entire weekend of it consider renting one of Grassy Creek’s Klondike Cabins. The charming cabins are tucked away on the expansive property, giving overnight guests a private and peaceful place to land after a fun day full of wine tasting.
8220 NC Highway 68 N., Stokesdale
Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour 35 minutes
Hours: Thursday – Saturday: Noon – 6 p.m.; Sunday: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Located just north of Greensboro, Stonefield Cellars Winery originally opened in 2006 and has been a local staple ever since. Their selection of award-winning wines ranges from pinot gris and merlots to a riesling and semi-sweet blends. Tastings are $10 and feature seven wines off their wine list. While the vineyard does not serve food, they do have an array of assorted cheeses, crackers, peanuts, and chocolates available for purchase. Visitors will find plenty outdoor patio seating as well as some indoor seating for those sweltering days where it’s too warm to sit outside.
Summer is the best time to visit Stonefield Cellars as they host a Friday Flavors Concert Series, which features live musical performances by local, regional, and nationally known bands every Friday during the months of June, July, and August. Along with the music there are always several food vendors on-site during the event serving up all sorts delicious dishes.
While Stonefield doesn’t have accommodations on the property there are several adorable bed and breakfasts nearby to consider, including the Hunter House Bed & Breakfast and the Boxley Bed & Breakfast.
2012 Sandy Plains Rd., Tryon
Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour 25 minutes
Hours: Wednesday & Thursday: Noon – 6 p.m.; Friday & Saturday: Noon – 7 p.m.; Sunday: Noon – 6 p.m.
If you’re looking for a vineyard with incredible views then Overmountain Vineyards is just the ticket. There, you’ll find acres upon acres of beautiful green rolling hills lined with rows of grape vines and stunning views of the surrounding mountains set as the backdrop. The family-owned vineyard specializes in French-style wines with five different varietals that are grown on the estate — Cabernet Savuginon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Petit Manseng. Overmountain’s tasting room is in a charming cottage that has an expansive front porch overlooking the vineyard, making it the ideal gathering place for friends and family.
There are two types of tastings available — the Regular Tasting, which is $15 and includes a tasting of all of their current wines, and then there’s the Elevated Tasting for $40, which is available by appointment only and includes a private tour of the vineyard and winery, as well as a sampling of all currently released wines and the chance to sample unreleased wines straight from the barrel.
For visitors interested in staying overnight, Overmountain has luxury villas available for rent. Villas sleep up to four people with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a full kitchen.
60 Deer Run Ln., Banner Elk
Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes
Hours: Open Daily: Noon – 6 p.m.
Cool off this summer by heading west to NC’s High Country to experience Banner Elk Winery’s award-winning wines and the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. At Banner Elk guests can expect to find a myriad of wines, including —but not limited to — full-bodied Cabernet Savs that have been aged in French oak barrels for 12 months, fruity white blends that feature a mixture of Seyval Blanc, Traminette, and Viognier grapes, and ice wines that are the perfect pairing for many desserts.
Banner Elk Winery is also home to a Tuscan-inspired villa, which features eight private suites that guests can rent for overnight stays. Each of the well-appointed rooms boasts luxe linens, Jacuzzi tubs, and picturesque mountain views.
One Lodge St., Asheville
Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours 5 minutes
Hours: Open Daily: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Hundreds of thousands of visitors make the trip to Asheville every summer to see America’s largest private estate, but many don’t realize that their ticket also includes a complimentary wine tasting at Biltmore’s winery. With more than 20 different selections to choose from — several of which are award-winning — there’s something that’s sure to appeal to everyone’s palate from unoaked chardonnays and full-bodied Cabs to semi-sweet blends and sparkling wines. After a tasting be sure to visit the wine bar where you can purchase a bottle of your favorite wine and pair it with a wide variety of cheeses or chocolate truffles. There are also specialty tours available that will take guests behind the scenes of the winery’s production facility, as well as one that takes you through the estate’s vineyards.
We’d love to hear about your favorite vineyards in the Tar Heel State. Leave a comment or tag us in your summer winery adventures on Instagram @ScoopCharlotte.