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Wineries Near Charlotte

From native muscadines to European vinifera varietals, North Carolina vineyards produce an assortment of grapes that winemakers craft into wines both sweet and dry. Whatever your palate prefers, you’ll find it within a short drive of Charlotte.
This Monroe vineyard, about 45 minutes southeast of Charlotte, is located on a 200-year-old family farm. Celebrating its five year anniversary this year, this winery produces everything from sweet to semi-dry to dry wines.
This Monroe vineyard, about 45 minutes southeast of Charlotte, is located on a 200-year-old family farm. Celebrating its five year anniversary this year, this winery produces everything from sweet to semi-dry to dry wines.

by Leah Hughes

Close to Home 

Cougar Run Winery
363 Church St. N., Concord, NC
Just 30 minutes from Charlotte, this Concord winery is about three years old. Cougar Run offers a wide variety of styles, including dry European varietals, like pinot noir and chardonnay to creative sweet combinations, such as cranberry Chianti and blackberry merlot. Tastings are $5 for six wines. Flights of one- or two-ounce pours are also available.
Hours: Tuesday, noon-6 p.m.; Wednesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (summer until 9:30 p.m.); Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Rocky River Vineyards
11685 Reed Mine Rd.,Midland, NC
This 45-acre family-owned vineyard is located about 35 minutes east of Charlotte (exit 41 off of Interstate 485). The vineyard has been growing native muscadine grapes since 2003, but it also offers dry wines, including chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and a merlot blend. Tastings cost $8 and include eight wines as well as two wine slushies.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. (The final tasting each day at 5:30 p.m.)

Treehouse Vineyards
301 Bay St., Monroe, NC
This Monroe vineyard, about 45 minutes southeast of Charlotte, is located on a 200-year-old family farm. Celebrating its five year anniversary this year, this winery produces everything from sweet to semi-dry to dry wines. Tastings, offered at the top of each hour, are $6 and include eight wines. Tours take place Monday-Friday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. as well as 6 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, winemaking tours follow each tasting. Reservations recommended, but not required, for weekend tastings.
Hours: Monday-Thursday, noon-7 p.m.; Friday, noon- 10 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

Vineyards of Swan Creek

Laurel Gray Vineyards
5726 Old US Highway 421, Hamptonville, NC
Just off of Highway 421, Laurel Gray is a little more than an hour from Charlotte. The 84- acre former dairy and tobacco farm now has about 10 acres of grapes. The land has been in the Myers family since 1773, when Queen Charlotte gave a 400 acre land grant to John Myers, her former gardener in London. The vineyard specializes in French vinifera grapes, such as chardonnay, viognier, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot and pinot gris. Tastings are $8. Vineyard tours are offered daily at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. for $10. And don’t miss their sister winery Yadkin Valley Wine Company just behind Laurel Gray, specializing in fruit wines with delicious flavors like apple, pear, raspberry, blueberry and more.
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Shadow Springs Vineyard
5543 Crater Rd., Hamptonville, NC
The vineyard, which lies three and a half miles south of Laurel Gray, has 10.5 acres of French vinifera and French-American hybrids. In addition to Old World-style dry wines, the lineup has a strawberry wine, margarita wine and a dark-chocolateinspired dessert wine. Tasting options include seven wines for $7, 15 wines for $14 and a “big red” tasting with five 1-ounce red wine pours for $15.
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Windsor Run Cellars
6531 Windsor Rd., Hamptonville, NC
Located half a mile from Shadow Springs, Windsor Run is its sister vineyard. Windsor Run sells wines and wine concoctions, such as sangria. The winery shares space with a distillery, which produces brandy to make fortified wines. It’s North Carolina’s first winery and distillery under one roof. Tasting options include seven wines for $7, three fortified wines for $6 and a full tasting that combines both for $12. Tours are $5 per person and take place Wednesday-Sunday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Dobbins Creek Vineyards
4430 Vineyard View Ln., Hamptonville, NC
Just north of Highway 421, about an hour and 10 minutes from Charlotte, Dobbins Creek has a log-cabin-style tasting room. On clear days, the view stretches 43 miles to downtown Winston-Salem and 73 miles to Grandfather Mountain. The wines are predominantly dry, such as chardonnay, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Tastings are $7 for eight wines.
Hours: Wednesday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday-Friday, noon-5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Raffaldini Vineyards
450 Groce Rd., Ronda, NC
The Raffaldini family has been making wine in Italy for centuries. From the wine to the Tuscan-villa-style tasting room overlooking the Blue Ridge and Brushy mountains, Raffaldini provides an Italian experience only an hour and 15 minutes from Charlotte. The winery specializes in Italian varietals that pair well with food, such as vermentino and sangiovese. Tastings are $7. Vineyard tours are $5 and take place Wednesday- Sunday at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Hours: Monday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.

More to Explore in the Yadkin Valley 

Davesté Vineyards
155 Lytton Farm Rd., Troutman, NC
Forty-five minutes north of Charlotte, between Mooresville and Statesville, Davesté Vineyards occupies 52 acres with four acres of vines. The majority of wines are dry, with a few semisweet blends. The vineyard is the only one in North Carolina to grow and make wine from rkatsiteli grapes, which produce a medium-bodied white wine.
Tastings include six wines for $5. Vineyard and winery tours take place at 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Hours: Monday, Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

Shelton Vineyards
286 Cabernet Ln., Dobson, NC
Located just off of Interstate 77, about an hour and a half north of Charlotte, Shelton Vineyards and its owners have played an integral role in North Carolina’s wine scene, helping to establish the Yadkin Valley American Viticultural Area and supporting the viticulture and enology program at Surry Community College. Shelton produces wine from vinifera grapes, such as chardonnay, cabernet franc, riesling and cabernet sauvignon. Winery tours and tastings (five wines for $5) begin every half-hour.
Hours: (daylight saving time) Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.; (standard time) Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, noon-5 p.m.

JOLO Winery & Vineyards
219 JOLO Winery Ln., Pilot Mountain, NC
The first thing people notice at JOLO is the picture-frame-worthy view of Pilot Mountain. About an hour and 40 minutes from Charlotte, the vineyard and winery opened in April 2014. Varietals include vidal blanc, traminette, chambourcin, cynthiana, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot. Traditional tastings include five wines for $7. The JOLOTAGE tasting offers eight wines, including the premier red JOLOTAGE for $15.
Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.

McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks
315 Thurmond P.O. Rd., Thurmond, NC About an hour and 20 minutes north of Charlotte, just east of Stone Mountain State Park, McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks was the first hard-cider producer in North Carolina. The winery specializes in small-batch, food-friendly wines, such as chardonnay, merlot and a bold red blend called Ring of Fire. Tastings are $7 and include five to six wines and two or more ciders.
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Childress Vineyards
1000 Childress Vineyard Rd., Lexington, NC
An hour from Charlotte, Childress Vineyards, owned by NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, brings wine to Lexington barbecue country. Two tasting options are available with eight wines each. The $12 “cellar select”  includes off-dry wines, such as riesling and muscadine. The $15 “barrel select” includes dry, full-bodied wines, such as chardonnay, cabernet franc and merlot. Tours take place Monday-Friday at noon and 3 p.m., and Saturday- Sunday, noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.

To the West 

South Creek Vineyards & Winery
2240 S. Creek Rd., Nebo, NC
About an hour and a half from Charlotte, in the rural area of Nebo, South Creek is a vineyard and winery in a farm setting. A large red barn and pasture with horses joins a sloping vineyard. The winery specializes in dry Bordeaux-style wines and offers three different tasting options for $6, $7 and $10.
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Silver Fork Vineyard & Winery
5000 Patton Rd., Morganton, NC
Silver Fork is about 6.5 miles from South Creek Vineyards. The vineyard and tasting room overlook the South Mountains. The wines here are also Bordeaux-style. One of the most popular is four dog red: a cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot blend. Tastings are $7 for six wines or $10 for nine wines.
Hours: Wednesday-Friday, noon-7 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

Biltmore Winery
1 Lodge St., Asheville, NC
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Biltmore Winery, located on the grounds of Biltmore Estate in Asheville, a little more than two hours west of Charlotte. The winery produces a large assortment of wines – big reds, like merlot and cabernet sauvignon, crisp whites, including sauvignon blanc, and several sparklings. A wine tasting is included with estate admission; specialty tastings and tours are available for additional rates.
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday- Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, noon-7 p.m. (Hours vary seasonally.)

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

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