The Biltmore is the best example of an American castle, and what completes a castle like a vineyard? It is, therefore, no surprise that this estate just outside of the mountain town of Asheville would make this list. It’s also America’s most-visited winery, so you know that they’ve got a good tour prepared for you. The tasting rooms, with their barrel tables and stone walls, will transport you right to Renaissance Europe, and the sprawling hills covered with grape plants are truly a sight to behold. A trip to the vineyard at the Biltmore is truly an experience unlike any other.
Biltmore, 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC, USA, +1 800 411 3812
Treehouse Vineyards offers daily wine tastings and tours of the winery, but you have to stay overnight to get the full experience. Why? They’re named ‘Treehouse’ for a reason. There are actually a series of treehouses built around the property, which you can rent at night and then enjoy a cozy evening overlooking the vineyard. It’s located in Monroe, North Carolina, which isn’t far from Charlotte, but you’ll truly feel like you’ve escaped from the noise and pace of modern life and into paradise.
Treehouse Vineyards, 301 Bay St, Monroe, NC, USA, +1 704 283 4208
Shelton Vineyards is located in North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley, and it’s one of the biggest vineyards on the East Coast. They make it very accessible to visitors, with paths winding their ways through the acres of fields and picnic tables scattered around for anyone who wants to just relax and enjoy the setting. If you forgot food, don’t worry – they’ve got their own Harvest Grill, so you’re covered. This is a particularly lush area, so it’s perfect during the verdant spring and summer months or in the autumn.
Shelton Vineyards, 286 Cabernet Ln, Dobson, NC, USA, +1 336 366 4724
Cypress Bend Vineyards
Cypress Bend Vineyards exemplifies southern hospitality in the form of a winery. They grow Muscadine grapes, or Scuppernong as they’re known in North Carolina, which in themselves are rather unique – they’re very large, very spherical and very sweet. They have a shady veranda behind the winery building, so you can come and relax for a few hours with the fresh scent of the vineyard surrounding you. The owners are particularly concerned with welcoming guests from all over, so they’ve done a lot to make the spot comfortable and easy on the eyes.
Cypress Bend Vineyards, 21904 Riverton Rd, Wagram, NC, USA, +1 910 369 0411
Autumn Creek Vineyards
Autumn Creek Vineyards is located in the Piedmont region of the state, which is primarily characterized by the prevalence of trees and forests everywhere. Therefore, while it’s lovely to visit at any time of year, it will be most impressive in the autumn, when the leaves crisp and turn orange. This is a particularly nice place to hold an event such as a wedding, as they have a beautiful gazebo by the pond and a rustically elegant indoor pavilion where you can hold the celebration afterwards. If you’d like to stay the night, you can book a cabin on the property and enjoy the peace and quiet of the surrounding vineyard.
Autumn Creek Vineyards, 364 Means Creek Rd, Mayodan, NC, USA, +1 336 548 9463
Raffaldini Vineyards & Winery
The Raffaldini brings a little piece of Italy to North Carolina with their beautiful winery. They chose the Swan Creek region of the Yadkin Valley because it offered the conditions most similar to the Lombardy province where their family originated. It’s not just the hills covered by grape vines with the far off mountain backdrop that will catch your fancy, however. The winery is also home to the Villa Raffaldini, built in the Italian style complete with a piazza out front, where you can come for a wine tasting or a big event.
Raffaldini Vineyards & Winery, 450 Groce Rd, Ronda, NC, USA, +1 336 835 9463
Banner Elk Winery
Given that Banner Elk is surrounded entirely by the Appalachian Mountains, it’s no shock that the winery of the same name would find itself on this list. The deep tones of the evergreen trees around the winery and villa complement the lovely buildings and gently sloping wine-growing fields with their brighter color. Whether you want to come for a wedding, a wine tasting, or just to enjoy the striking colors of a mountain sunset, you won’t regret it. And of course, there are rooms available in the villa if you’d prefer to catch the sunrise as well.
Banner Elk Winery, 60 Deer Run, Banner Elk, NC, USA, +1 828 898 9090
Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards
Also in the mountains, you’ll find the Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards, which stretch over acres in Henderson County, making this the vineyard in North Carolina with the highest elevation. And you know what that means – gorgeous mountain views to go along with all of the varieties of wine that you’re tasting. Come in the winter or the summer, as their tasting room has an indoor and an outdoor section – and in the summer, the mountains are the most temperate place in the state to be. The grapes they grow here are the ones that thrive in the area that encompasses Germany, Austria, and France, so you can count on some quality wine.
Silver Fork Vineyard & Winery
Another winery in Western North Carolina growing European varietals, Silver Fork is worth a visit to witness how they’ve managed to meld the striking architecture of their tasting room with the mountainous landscape surrounding them. At the same time, they manage to retain a comfortable, laid-back atmosphere where you can really feel free to take your time getting to know their delicious products. Come up on a sunny day so that you can take advantage of the lawn chairs and the view, which stretches for miles out into the mountains.
Silver Fork Winery, 5000 Patton Rd, Morganton, NC, USA, +1 828 391 8783
Right on the border of South Carolina out in the mountains, Overmountain Vineyards puts their 16 acres to good use by growing a number of different French varieties of grape and then turning them into exciting, boutique wines. You can come to the tasting room at any time to try them out and enjoy the view out over the Appalachians. Even more exciting is that they have a hiking trail too. How about a day out exploring the mountains, knowing that you have a world of wines to return to at the end of it? There have got to be few things better than that.
Overmountain Vineyards, 2014 Sandy Plains Rd, Tryon, NC, USA, +1 828 863 0523