While it may not be Napa, North Carolina is home to almost 200 wineries that are spread out across the state all the way from the sandy coast to the mountains. Bonus, all are accessible not by plane but in the car, many nearby enough for a day trip. Don’t want to drink and drive but also don’t have someone will be to the designated? Check out the limited attendance and bring-your-own-pod private tours available via NC Wine Gals.
Here are some of our favorite NC wineries to visit, listed in order of driving distance, to break up the monotony of your socially safe autumn days ahead:
11685 Reed Mine Rd., Midland, NC 28107
Travel Time: Approximately 35 minutes
For just a quick escape, Rocky Rocky is an easy one, especially for a wine picnic or a Wine Slushie. Sitting on 45 acres in the rolling hills of eastern Cabarrus County, Rocky River gets its name from the Big Meadow Creek that flows through the property toward Rocky River. The family owned vineyard has been growing muscadine grapes since 2003 and offers a variety of wines all fermented in steel tanks including those from grapes grown on site and others. Plus, wine slushies. Just sayin.
COVID schedule: Tastings will be held 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday with the last tasting beginning by 4:30pm. Sunday is from 1pm-5pm with the last tasting beginning by 4:30pm. They will close at 6pm, but due to COVID restrictions, last call is at 5pm. Check out their October CAMPING IN THE VINES event.
301 Bay St, Monroe, NC 28112
Travel Time: Aproximately 40 minutes
At this time due to COVID-19 they are not hosting Wine Tastings or Wine Makers Tours according to their website. Please call for more info. 704.283.4208
Treehouse Vineyards is most well-known for its adult treehouses perched above the vineyards, some of which are available to rent overnight. While tastings and tours have been suspended, the treehouses are still available to rent.
1000 Childress Vineyards Rd., Lexington, NC 27295
Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour
Usually NASCAR and wine aren’t the pairings people envision, but Childress Vineyards is NASCAR legend, Richard Childress’ family’s grape home. If you want to visit somewhere with a wide variety of wines then Childress Vineyards needs to be at the top of your list. The vineyard produces more than 30 different types of wines using an assortment of varietals. Selections range from cab franc and merlot all the way to a fruity riesling. Daily tours and tastings are offered and the on-site bistro has an impressive menu, and this winery has music on the weekends.
A mask or face covering is required (more covid info on their website at the link) while inside any of their facilities (including the Winery Lobby, Tasting Room & Gift Shop, Victory Lounge, Grand Pavilion, and restrooms). You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing. If you do not have a mask, you will be given a mask by a Childress Vineyards associate.
450 Groce Rd., Ronda, NC 28670
Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes
Raffaldini Vineyards is one of our personal favorites for its stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and its expansive patio. Raffaldini has limited its onsite seating, so it is subject to availability, and the winery is asking that you limit your time using their onsite seating to a maximum of two hours. For those who wish to stay for longer than two hours, (and just in case they’re totally occupied) pack your your own chairs, picnic blankets, and umbrella for shade.
For the safety of staff and guests the winery will be adhering to the following policies until further notice:
- All guests must be 21 years of age or older.
- We will be offering bottle sales, glass sales, and flights only.
- Our capacity is limited by local regulations.
- All tables inside and outside will be spaced 6+ feet apart.
- We will be seating our guests at outside tables only on the Villa balcony, Piazza and Fattoria deck.
- All staff will be wearing face masks.
- Guests must wear face masks at all times when not seated and when entering all buildings.
- High-touch spots and the bathrooms will be sanitized frequently.
- Hand sanitation stations will be available to guests.
- No groups larger than 6 guests are permitted.
- Please no cash; credit cards or Apple Pay only.
2364 Cedar Forest Rd., Ronda, NC 28670
Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour 10 minutes
Located directly beside Raffaldini Vineyards, Piccione Vineyards has the same scenic views as its neighbor. Instead of a typical tasting Piccione offers wine purchasing options right now. Their covered deck is ideal for a relaxing afternoon drinking wine surrounded by the beauty of the NC foothills.
- Bottle sales and glasses of wine are available for on-site – and outdoor – consumption.
- Wine tastings are not currently available.
- Feel free to bring your own glassware – glasses available here for purchase and take-home.
- Tasting Room to be used for restroom use only.
- Group size is limited to six (6) people or fewer.
- Customers are encouraged to maintain social distancing.
- Customers are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets to spread out.
235 Chatham Cottage Circle, State Rd NC
Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour 15 minutes
Interior seating is limited and available on a 1st come 1 serve basis. Outside tastings at the Pavilion, at tables with an umbrella or on the Trail.
BASED ON AVAILABILITY, YOU MAY RESERVE A PRIVATE TASTING FLIGHT MONDAY – WEDNESDAY WITH AT LEAST 24 HOURS NOTIFICATION. PLEASE EMAIL [email protected]
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. Visitors can enjoy tastings in the Red Barn Tasting Room, you can hike around the winery, and you can rent one of Grassy Creek’s Klondike Cabins to give yourself a place to land after a fun day full of wine tasting.
318 Elkin Creek Mill Rd., Elkin, NC 28621
Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes
| Call for current hours amid COVID-19 | (336) 526-5119
Elkin Creek Vineyard is tucked away off the main roads in what seems like its own little world, surrounded by trees with nothing but the sound of the bubbling creek off in the distance. Visiting always provides a welcomed break from the everyday hustle and bustle. NO TASTINGS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE, but wine is for sale by the bottle and the glass. Follow their IG account for hours and more info for each weekend.
There is much to explore on the property, including the vineyard’s namesake, Elkin Creek, a tree swing, and a historic mill. We suggest reserving your visit for a Saturday or Sunday when they’re serving their made-to-order brick oven pizzas. If you want to make a weekend trip out of your visit, there are a few creek-side cabins on the property that are available for rent.
2012 Sandy Plains Rd., Tryon
Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour 25 minutes.
Due to Safety Concerns, RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. Call 828-863-0523
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 winemakers are a father and daughter duo, and boutique winery sits on a 70 acre family owned farm with 17 acres of french vinifera focusing mainly on Petit Manseng, “an elegant aromatic white originally from southwest France” along with Cabernet Savuginon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot.
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.
286 Cabernet Lane Dobson, NC 27017
Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes
In the heart of the Yadkin Valley Viticulture Area is Shelton Vineyards, one of the largest vineyards on the East Coast. It shares the same climate and growing season as some of the best wine growing regions in Europe.Thanks to two Mount Airy brothers, this vineyard produces several varieties of vitis vinifera grapes: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Malbec, Tannat, Petit Verdot, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.
During Covid, Shelton Vineyards will not be doing tours. Their tasting room & retail operations are open with temporary hours listed here. Here are the tasting guidelines:
- A maximum of 20 people are allowed inside their tasting room/retail store at one time
- The tasting bar is limited to 10 guests at one time.
- Due to limited capacity ~ tasting room & retail shop restricted to 21+yr.
- Tastings are first come first serve…will have a wait-list should it be needed. You may be asked to wait until a spot opens up.
- Selling wine by the glass/bottle or flights for you to enjoy on the estate.
- Should you want to experience their “Grand Tasting” that takes place in the barrel cave, please call 24 hours in advance to reserve.
2275 Whiteside Road Mill Spring, NC
Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes
Situated in the Tryon Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Parker Binns is a multi-generation family run 40 acre winery and vineyard with 12 acres under vine. It is Polk County’s newest winery & tasting room.
COVID restrictions not clear, please contact for info ~ (828) 894-0154 [email protected]
4126 Divine Llama Ln., East Bend, NC 27018
Travel Time: Approximately 1 and 1/2 hours.
While there are plenty of beautiful vineyards to visit throughout the Yadkin Wine Valley, Divine Llama Vineyards stands to be the most unique with more than 70 llamas on the property. The llamas are friendly and will allow you to pet their necks. The winery often has food trucks on the weekends, and will begin opening on Thursdays 12-6 pm starting in September.
Current Divine Llama Tasting Room and Farm Guidelines
- THERE IS A $5 FARM VISIT CHARGE FOR ANYONE BETWEEN 5 AND 21 YEARS OF AGE.
- BOTTLES AND GLASSES OF WINE WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR CONSUMPTION ONSITE.
- ALL WINE WILL BE SOLD OUTSIDE ONLY.
- PLASTIC CUPS RATHER THAN GLASSES WILL BE PROVIDED.
- INDIVIDUAL GROUPS ARE LIMITED TO 10 PEOPLE OR LESS.
- FACE MASKS ARE MANDATORY WHEN ORDERING OR MAKING A PURCHASE.
- SOCIAL DISTANCING OF SIX FEET OR MORE IS REQUESTED.
- WINE FLIGHTS ARE BEING OFFERED AT THIS TIME.
- DOGS ON LEASHES ARE WELCOME AT THE TASTING ROOM ONLY.
8220 NC Highway 68 N., Stokesdale
Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour 35 minutes
**Please note the last tasting starts at 5:30 pm.**
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.
This year, Stonefield will not be conducting tastings at the tasting bar, but instead will offer self-guided wine flights for consumption at indoor or outdoor tables that comply with the 6 ft safe distancing requirements. A ‘wine tasting’ will consist of your choice of 7 wines poured by our staff into disposable cups presented on a tray along with your souvenir wine glass; a detailed description of each wine will be provided on a disposable tasting sheet.
No appointment is necessary unless you have a group of 6 or more or would like an event rental consultation. Also, with COVID19 restrictions, indoor seating is currently limited to 1 table (seats four). During inclement weather you are advised to reserve your table in advance to assure they can accommodate you. Inside table seating is restricted to 1 hour occupancy.
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.
One Lodge St., Asheville
Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours 5 minutes
READ ALL THEIR SAFETY INFO HERE
Hundreds of thousands of visitors make the trip to Asheville every year 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.
60 Deer Run Ln., Banner Elk
Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes
For a weekend adventure, head 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.
COVID Restrictions & measures not immediately clear on website or social media. Please call (828) 898-9090 or email [email protected] before you go.