Wine Guide | Charlotte’s got a lot | Charlotte NC Travel & Tourism
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Your Guide to Wine in Charlotte

From winery tours and wine-centric restaurants and shops to wine festivals, you don’t have to look much further than Uptown to enjoy and celebrate fine wine.
Vin Master, a retail store and wine bar in South End, offers a unique wine tasting process to help customers pick out the perfect bottle of wine that is well-suited to their tastes.
Vin Master, a retail store and wine bar in South End, offers a unique wine tasting process to help customers pick out the perfect bottle of wine that is well-suited to their tastes.

Story by Chrissie Nelson

Wine Tours

Let someone else do the driving while you enjoy and explore North Carolina wine on a winery or wine tasting tour.

Pamper yourself on Wine Me Down’s Charlotte Luxury Wine Tasting Tour, a seven-hour excursion with tastings at four different Charlotte area vineyards and a three course vineyard lunch with wine pairings. Or satisfy your sweet tooth with their Chocolate Passion Tour, a four-hour wine and chocolate tasting tour. Offering public tours on Saturdays from April to November, Yadkin Valley Wine Tours will take you on an exploration of North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley, which has been compared by viticulture experts to France’s Burgundy and Italy’s Piedmont.

Have specific vineyards in mind or a type of wine you’re dying to try? You can plan a customized limousine wine tour with Silver Fox Limos or North Carolina Wine Tours, who has Charlotte’s first pink limousine perfect for bachelorette parties or a girls’ night out.

Live Music at Wineries

Wine down after the workweek and enjoy live music, concerts and events at Charlotte-area wineries. Enjoy a bottle of wine and a little dancing at Cypress Bend Vineyards, where they host a jazz quartet and other music every other Friday. Weathervane Winery also hosts live music on Friday nights from 7-10 p.m., so bring a lawn chair and relax!

Enjoy a weekend afternoon listening to live music at a Music in the Vineyards event at Childress Vineyards, or come to Shelton Vineyard’s Summer Concert Series, which runs through Sept. 19 and features a wide variety of bands.

If you can’t escape the city, head to the University area and get a glass of vino at The Wine Vault, one of Charlotte’s best sources for wine, beer and live music almost every night.

Stay Overnight 

No need to get all of your touring and tasting done in one day; make a weekend of your wine tour and stay on site or right next door to one of the vineyards.

Treehouse Vineyards boasts two rental treehouses on their property. Papa’s Dream, in a secluded setting overlooking the vineyards, is the perfect spot for two; the rental features a queensized bed, kitchenette, deck and a tasting of Treehouse’s wines. Or grab some friends (up to six), and rent the Date Night Treehouse, where you can enjoy views of the winery from the porch 30 feet in the air.

Sleep in a log cabin at the Klondike Cabins at Grassy Creek Vineyard and Winery, or bunk up in the historic guest cottage at RagApple Lassie Vineyards, which was built in 1931 by the father of RagApple’s owner.

Wake up to vineyard views at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel at Childress Vineyards, which is located next door to the winery. After a full day of tasting at Shelton Vineyards, settle down for one more at the wine bar at The Hampton Inn and Suites nearby (it’s the only hotel open every evening).

Enjoy a luxurious, Vanderbiltesque stay at The Inn on Biltmore Estate, where you can enjoy a variety of experiences including horseback riding, biking, spa services, gourmet dining, a tour of the Vanderbilt home and estate, and of course, complimentary wine tastings and guided tours at Biltmore Winery.

Wine and Dine

If you can’t make the trip to a local winery, stop into one of Charlotte’s restaurants or wine rooms to sip on something local or from around the world.

Bonterra Dining & Wine Room in Dilworth boasts one of the largest selections of wines by the glass, with more than 200 options at any one time. Pair the wine options with their creative, unique menu items and you won’t believe that you haven’t made it there before.

The Wooden Vine’s hand selected wine list pairs perfectly with their seasonal menus filled with local ingredients.

Corkbuzz, a newcomer to the Charlotte restaurant scene, is a wine studio in South Park, where you can enjoy wine, talk about wine and learn about wine in a welcoming space. Corkbuzz is more than just a wine bar (although they do have a wine bar in their space); it’s also a wine-centric restaurant, a home base for wine education, and an event space for wine dinners and parties, including a weekly Sunday Supper communal wine dinner.

If you’re looking for a glass of North Carolina wine, indulge in Heirloom's “globally inspired, locally sourced” cuisine; everything in the restaurant, including the wine and other beverages, is from North Carolina.

Foxcroft Wine Company offers a selection of estate, artisanal, small production and naturally made wines that can be enjoyed by the glass or brought home in a bottle. They also offer small plate cuisine prepared from scratch daily to accompany their wines.

Or stay Uptown and share dinner at The Mandrake, a tapas and wine restaurant, aiming to create an experience with a variety of flavors that can be explored and shared with friends.

Sip and Shop

Most of the Charlotte-area wineries have gift shops on site where you can purchase bottles of wine and other souvenirs that celebrate North Carolina wine. If you’re looking for winecentric gifts and items in the city, stop into one of Charlotte’s wine shops, tasting rooms or local markets.

Vin Master, a retail store and wine bar in South End, offers a unique wine tasting process to help customers pick out the perfect bottle of wine that is well-suited to their tastes. Vin Master also hosts monthly food truck wine dinners, where they turn the store into a sit-down restaurant for an evening and feature food from a local food truck paired with wine.

The Wine Shop Dilworth has been selling a broad, distinct selection of fine wine since 1985, featuring wines from all over the world that fit any budget ($5 to $500) as well as use their Wine Station, a selfserve wine tasting machine with 12 wines on tap to sample.

For shopping or relaxing between shopping, visit Vintner Wine Market in the Arboretum and explore more than 500 wines in all different price ranges, or enjoy wine by the glass at their wine bar.

Stop into 7th Street Public Market and pick up a bottle from Assorted Table Wine Shoppe to enjoy at home or at the market. If you visit on a Tuesday, enjoy a wine flight with five wines for $5.

And don’t miss WoodMill Winery’s stand at the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market, where you can learn more about their winery, sample their products and bring a bottle of their wine home with you.

Wine Festivals and Events

There’s no shortage of classes, tastings, events and festivals that celebrate wine in the Charlotte region.

Held biennially in the spring, Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend runs for five days with more than 30 events, bringing together leading wine makers and chefs from around the world to celebrate fine wine and great food. The event proceeds are donated to local charities benefitting children and their families in the Charlotte community. The next festival will be held April 26-May 1, 2016.

On Sept. 12, taste the best that 15 North Carolina wineries have to offer for $25 at the 13th annual Taste Carolina Wine Festival in Colfax, North Carolina.

On Oct. 3, stroll from tent to tent with your souvenir glass and savor and sample hundreds of different wines at the 12th annual Great Grapes! Festival at Symphony Park at SouthPark Mall.

Celebrate the harvest and enjoy some fine wine at Shelton Vineyards 10th Annual Harvest Festival Oct. 10 and 11. Stroll through the grounds perusing handcrafted items and locally grown produce, enjoy a hay ride through the vineyard and kick back with a glass of wine while listening to bluegrass.

Throughout September, pair stand-up paddleboarding and wine tasting at the U.S. National Whitewater Center’s newest adventure dining event, Unwined. Unwined starts with a flatwater stand-up paddleboarding trip on the Catawba River followed by a chef-prepared fireside dinner back on shore at the Ridge Landing and wine tastings from one local, regional or national winery.

For a full day of wine and adventure, head to the U.S. National Whitewater Center for the Uncorked wine festival on Sept. 26. Unwind at Uncorked with the Wild Vine 5k and Half Marathon, wine tastings from local, regional and national wineries, and live music on the main stage on Belmont Abbey Island throughout the day.

This article ran in the September 2015 issue of Charlotte Happenings.

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