Must-Try Vineyards Near Charlotte
You don’t have to catch a cross-country flight to Napa to enjoy a glass of good vino at a beautiful vineyard.
by Jamie Killian
Vineyards around the Queen City offer picturesque wineries, a range of tastings and breath-taking views. From local wines to upscale dining, the Charlotte region is ripe with experiences for casual wine sippers and true oenophiles.
Area: Lexington, N.C.
An hour north of Charlotte, this vineyard feels like a vacation destination. The 70-acre property offers plenty of space to roam, along with 15 varieties of wine to choose from. Seasonal wine tastings are a unique experience for well-versed wine lovers and vino newbies alike.
Claim to fame: The vineyard is owned by NASCAR owner Richard Childress, who established the vineyard in the Yadkin Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) which is North Carolina’s first federally designated region for grape growing.
Area: East Bend, N.C.
This vineyard is worth the 90-minute trip simply for the pure joy of a day spent with llamas and wine. Ninety-one acres of vineyards produce 10 different wines, including some nationally recognized blends. Llama treks are offered by reservation, affording guests the opportunity to grab a bottle of wine and tour the landscape for around two hours with a llama companion.
Claim to fame: Divine Llama Vineyard doubles as the largest llama farm in the Southeast.
Area: Jonesville, N.C.
One of the newest wineries to North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley, and about an hour outside of Charlotte, Dynamis Estate Wines is perched more than 1,600 feet in the air. From the mountain terrain to the high altitude, Dynamis produces high-quality wines that are grown from the rows of vines on the 1,500-acre property. Visit the Tasting Lodge to sample a flight of Dynamis’ varietals, including sauvignon blanc, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and other rich, mountain wines.
Claim to fame: While the air is thinner, growing grapes at such a high altitude produces a more complex tasting wine.
Area: Ronda, N.C.
In a Tuscan-villa-style tasting room overlooking the Blue Ridge and Brushy Mountains, Raffaldini Vineyards provides an Italian wine experience only 75 minutes from Charlotte. Designated by Southern Living as one of the South’s best vineyards, this winery is the place to find exquisite dry wines. The Raffaldini family has been making wine in Italy for centuries, specializing in Italian varietals such as vermentino and sangiovese.
Claim to fame: Raffaldini Vineyards & Winery hosts Festa Italiana each September, one of the largest Italian festivals in the Southeast.
Area: Midland, N.C.
Using muscadine grapes, this family-owned vineyard opened in 2007 after planting muscadine vines in 2003. Since then, Rocky River has steadily grown its presence as a place to enjoy local wines in a relaxing, rural setting. This 45-acre vineyard has plenty of space to take in the outdoors, enjoy a picnic and sip award-winning wine.
Claim to fame: Wine slushie flights, with flavors like peach bellini and blueberry pomegranate, along with seasonal hot mulled wine, make this winery a year-round destination.
Area: Mt. Airy, N.C.
About 90 minutes from Uptown Charlotte, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, sits Serre Vineyards. This winery is the only one in North Carolina that is fully owned by Charlotteans, as well as majority women owned. Serre Vineyards’ goal is to make wine approachable and fun, so it’s not uncommon to find food trucks and live music at the vineyard. Serre's 70-acre property also makes the perfect backdrop for weddings.
Claim to fame: The monthly rosé subscription service provides subscribers with three bottles of the winery’s Knockout Rosé, three bottles of the NautiLife Rosé or a combo of both.
Area: Dobson, N.C.
Founded by two brothers, and part of the Surry County Wine Trail, Shelton Vineyards is a dynamic vineyard on land once used for tobacco farming in the Yadkin Valley, just 90 minutes from Charlotte. Shelton Vineyards places an emphasis on sustainability, utilizing a gravity-flow system which eliminates the need to pump and reduces exposure to contaminants. Enjoy live music, upscale dining or a stay at the on-site Hampton Inn & Suites.
Claim to fame: The Madison Lee Wine Club offers members special discounts and privileges, as well as quarterly wine shipments of white, red or both.
Area: Monroe, N.C.
This family-owned vineyard, just outside of Charlotte, features 11 varietals from semi-dry to sweet, including seven muscadine wines. This is the perfect spot to unwind with beautiful views and live music.
Claim to fame: Three private tree houses, with two available for overnight rentals, allow visitors to sip among the trees.
Area: Kings Mountain, N.C.
A half hour from Charlotte, this vineyard offers craft wines with stunning views of Crowders Mountain. Veronét produces eight varietals to enjoy by the glass or bottle. Order one of the tasting flights to try the winery’s reds, whites or a mix of both. In the summer months, beat the heat with a refreshing wine slushy.
Claim to fame: The winery offers sweeping views of the sustainable and environmentally friendly vineyard at the foot of a Piedmont mountain range.