With fall’s recent official commencement, it is the perfect time to get outside and take the quick trip to some of North Carolina’s incredible wineries, nestled one to two hours outside of Charlotte by car. I was happily surprised by all of the wineries we discovered when my husband was in school in Winston-Salem, but as a native Charlottean, I was stunned by what I had been missing out on previously.
With an anticipated drop in the temperature, these wineries are perfect for a quick trip with girlfriends, a romantic getaway or simply some low-key relaxation this fall. Luring guests with their distinctive charms, many of these NC wineries will be impossible to visit just once.
Here are some of my favorites:
5349 Macedonia Rd, East Bend, NC 27018
Distance from Charlotte: 1 hour, 31 minutes
Tours: Yes; llama treks; and self guided tours welcome
Types of Wine: Many are named after their award-winning show llamas. The large assortment of wine includes cabernet franc, red and white blends, as well as Traminette Gold, which is finished dry in stainless steel tanks.
Tasting Prices: $9/person
Food: Grab-and-go gourmet food in the tasting room/store.
Vibe: This unique vineyard is tucked away on a farm, with llamas, ponies, friendly farm dogs and chickens. Guests are free to wander around the property and take in the animals while enjoying their wine. The staff could not be more inviting or more informative. If your group would rather relax at a table and enjoy the fall air, there is plenty of space for that neighboring the tasting room.
219 JOLO Winery Ln, Pilot Mountain, NC 27041
Distance from Charlotte: 1 hour, 39 minutes
Tours: Yes; some weekends
Types of Wine: Everything from a dry white to rosé to sangiovese can be found here.
Tasting Prices: $15/8 wines; $20/glass and 8 wines
Food: Restaurant on site
Vibe: There are countless ways to take advantage of Jolo’s exquisite setting; guests can sip on wine next to the fireplace, set up next to a fire pit outside or under one of their many shaded tables, dine at the restaurant on site and marvel at the views of Pilot Mountain.
9125 Shallowford Rd, Lewisville, NC 27023
Distance from Charlotte: 1 hour, 13 minutes
Types of Wine: Their wide selection of wine includes grapes grown in the Yadkin Valley as well as grapes bought from purveyors in other areas of the country.
Tasting Prices: $8/5 wines, $12/8 wines
Food: Food trucks are on site from time to time, and the vineyard offers delivery service from Ciccione’s Italian Restaurant and The Greek Grill. Locally made snacks are for sale and you are welcome to bring your own picnic.
Vibe: Medaloni Cellars offers a rustic and easygoing tasting room atmosphere set on 22 acres. Enjoy views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from their expansive outdoor space. There are even cabin rentals available if you wish to stay overnight.
450 Groce Rd, Ronda, NC 28670
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Distance from Charlotte: 1hour, 14 minutes
Types of Wine: Raffaldini has a wide range of choices including a traditional method sparkling wine and many unique varietals including their Vermentino white wine.
Tasting Prices: $12/person; group tastings of eight people or more start at $20/person
Food: Grab-and-go gourmet food can be found in the deli case and food trucks are on site from time to time.
Vibe: The breathtaking countryside views and cascading hills make you feel as if you were transported to Tuscany. This is my personal favorite winery in the area. The main building is welcoming and cozy, but also has plenty of space with a porch on the second floor and an outside piazza complete with a center fountain and tables for guests to enjoy.
3577 Highway 158, Mocksville, NC 27028
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Distance from Charlotte: 1 hour, 1 minute
Types of Wine: Varieties range from dry to semi sweet with a fruit-forward profile.
Red or white flights: $8/6-8 wines; extended flight: $15/glass and 12 wines
Food: There is sometimes a food truck on site.
Vibe: Located on 115 beautiful acres, with a two-story main building, a wide variety of wine and many comfortable seating areas throughout, it is easy to lose track of time here.
* For reference: the distances from Charlotte listed are each from Bank of America Stadium
Feature photo of JOLO Vineyards, courtesy of Surry County Tourism
This piece originally ran on CharlotteFive.com.