Drinking wine and visiting wineries is becoming as popular in North Carolina as it is in many other more famous parts of the country. Though you won't find the wineries as busy on the weekend as Napa or St. Helena I've found a small crowd no matter what day of the week Ivisit.
Because of the warm weather along the coast you'll see more muscadine based wines there. To many people these are very sweet and more of a desert wine, but a visit to wineries like Cypress Bend may change your mind quickly.
Further inland you'll find the traditional cabernet sauvignon but I prefer the locally grown cabernet franc, chardonnays with citrus and the rich buttery tast of MLF, and merlots. I also like some of the less well known varietals with real potential like chambourcin while Fred Thompson of the News & Observer likes the prospects of Viognier.
One difference I find from California is that North Carolina wineries, predominantly in the northwest, try to do it all. They'll try to produce a few cases of each type of wine, often growing most of the grapes themselves.
In California, a small winery will often specialize in a few varietals, then resell wines from their neighbors to round out their selection.
This is probably a vestige of the post prohibition blue laws that still try to stop or limit sales of alcohol. Another factor is the inexperience of growing viniferous grapes as the vineyards learn what grows well and produces great wines.
The North Carolina winery owners that I've met so far have been extremely friendly and more than willing to give tours and let me take photos. I've been to 10 wineries so far and as I visit more I'll post pages with as much information as I have. Until then I've created an interactive map and linked to their home web site where they exist.
If you're doing some travel planning first click the "Clear Markers" link below. Then y ou'll see buttons () in front of regions and wineries. Click on these buttons to add the selected to the map at the bottom of the page. See more options at the bottom of the page.
I'll also be writing some reviews and tasting notes on North Carolina wines as well as wines from around the US. That of course is the hard part of this job, but someone has got to do it. Cheers.
Wednesday 1:00 pm– 6:00 pm
Thursday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am - 6:00pm
Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Closed Monday and Tuesday
Note: will be closed the month of January and will re-open February 1st.
How the map works. You can see little grape clusters , or icons, placed in various locations on the map. Each one represents a winery. Click on the icon to get the winery's name and a link to more information.
There's a map control in the top left hand corner of the map. Click on the + to zoom in closer, the — to zoom out. You can click and drag the map to move around.
I have all of the wineries that I know of mapped. If you think one is missing please contact me.
The wineries that have photos are ones that I've visited. I'll be adding wine lists and reviews here as well as on my new blog.
Disclaimer: We try to keep our information as relevant and up to date as possible. From time to time we'll miss something. We encourage you to call verify all information and assume no liability for problems that may arise from information you may receive here. If you find something incorrect, please let me know at donald at fane.com. Thanks.