North Carolina Wineries

For a gentle introduction to the world of wine, look no further than North Carolina. With nearly 200 wineries sprinkled throughout its valleys, mountains, and coastal plain, the state's wine industry is huge yet intimate in its approach.

When touring and tasting around these parts, don't be surprised if you end up sipping your vintage alongside the owner or head grower. Even the wildly successful folks at RayLen and Childress Vineyards, near Winston-Salem, remain approachable and focus on producing quality wine. This is especially true in the Yadkin Valley, the biggest wine-producing region in the state, located on and near the western edge of the Piedmont. Here, nearly 70 wineries have made a name for themselves by bucking North Carolina's centuries-old tradition of producing sweet muscadine and scuppernong wines and opting instead for the drier European varieties of the vinifera family. Though they were originally labeled rebels by the state's old-school wine producers, the Yadkin growers are now considered some of the finest in the state. A few of the hot varietals to watch include the white Viognier and the red Cabernet Franc.

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