Whether it’s a harvest festival, a grape stomp or simply a day in the countryside, sip and savor the fruits of labor in vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms in the Charlotte region.
About an hour north in Lexington, check out Childress Vineyards. Yes, that Childress: NASCAR team owner Richard Childress. Gold and Double Gold awards are among the many accolades for their Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Gewürztraminer, Meritage and more. Along with the tasting room and free daily tours, enjoy The Bistro for a great lunch and the seasonal weekend series “Music in the Vineyard.”
In the Yadkin Valley, The Vineyards of Swan Creek is a cluster of vineyards only five miles apart. Explore the scenic roads connecting Laurel Gray, Shadow Springs, Windsor Run, Dobbins Creek and Raffaldini Vineyards.
Also in the Yadkin Valley, just an hour and a half north of Charlotte, Shelton Vineyards is the largest family-owned winery in North Carolina. Tours of the winery, a summer concert series and the AAA “Three Diamond” rated Harvest Grill make this a favorite year-round.
Conveniently located just miles away from I-77 North, Daveste’ Vineyards exuberates rustic charm and a down-home feel offering several award-winning white and red varietals. Among the aromas in the tasting room, explore local artists’ work in the art gallery.
South of Charlotte, Treehouse Vineyards in Monroe is a backyard fantasy for grown-ups – you can rent the treehouses and enjoy tastings of sweet muscadine wine and other wine varieties. In summer, bring lawn chairs or blankets for the Saturday evening music series “Live at the Vines.”
Other notable wineries near Charlotte are Dennis Vineyards Winery in Albemarle, Old Stone Winery in Salisbury, Owl’s Eye Vineyard in Shelby, RayLen Vineyards & Winery in the Yadkin Valley and Southern Charm Winery in Lincolnton.
Charlotte’s tasting rooms and restaurants serve up fine wine from around the region and the world. The Wooden Vine offers expertly chosen wines and delicious small plates in the heart of Uptown. At 7th Street Public Market, The Assorted Table Wine Shoppe has a selection of international wines, tastings, wine lectures and more making quality, fine wine easy to find. With only 37 seats, the newly-opened Punch Room at the Ritz-Carlton is designed to create an intimate experience. Menu temptations include hot and cold spirits-based punches, from-the-shaker cocktails, infused drinks and several libations perfected in an on-site cocktail carbonator.
Outside of Center City, try Petit Philippe, a boutique wine and chocolate retailer with a classy tasting room in the historic Myers Park neighborhood. In South End, Vin Master offers a unique tasting process to help you find the perfect wine for your palette.
Just down the road in a more than 110-year-old renovated church, Bonterra Dining and Wine Room serves up more than 200 wines by the glass and more than 300 from a private cellar as well as distinct and delicious menu items like their signature JD’s Fried Lobster Tail. In addition to these wine hot spots, sommeliers at many Charlotte restaurants are eager to please your palate with their selection of wines.
The Charlotte Wine and Food Weekend celebrates wine, food and community for a generous long weekend (typically Wednesday through Sunday) every other spring. In the fall, Symphony Park hosts Great Grapes! Wine, Art & Food Festival featuring more than 220 wines and more than 20 wineries, plus food, arts and crafts. But you don’t have to hold out for the festivals – nearly every winery features ongoing events throughout the year.