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
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 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 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
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.
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