North Carolina may be better known for its craft brewing prowess, but its wine industry is also aging well. The state’s wine roots extend to the founding of the nation. Today, North Carolina’s wine industry focuses on the production of native muscadine grapes in the eastern part of the state and European-style vinifera grapes out west. Muscadine grapes, which thrive in hot, coastal conditions, are used to produce scuppernong, sangria, and rosé wine. Vinifera grape varieties include cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, syrah, chardonnay and viognier.
Historic wineries and vineyards facts
The scuppernong was the first grape cultivated in the U.S. and is the state’s official fruit.
The Mothervine in Manteo on Roanoke Island is a 500-year-old scuppernong vine and the oldest-known cultivated grapevine in the nation.
Medoc Vineyard in Brinkleyville was the first commercial winery established in North Carolina in 1835.
Most popular wines
N.C.’s wine industry focuses on native muscadine grapes and European-style vinifera grapes.
Western N.C. vinifera grapes
Vinifera grape varieties include cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, syrah, chardonnay and viognier.
Eastern N.C. muscadine grapes
These grapes thrive in hot, sandy coastal conditions and are used inscuppernong, sangria and rosé wine.
based on Trip Advisor reviews
Noni Bacca Winery, Wilmington
Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards, Hendersonville
JOLO Winery & Vineyards, Pilot Mountain
Linville Falls Winery, Newland
Shelton Vineyards, Dobson
Raffaldini Vineyards & Winery, Ronda
Grandfather Vineyard & Winery, Banner Elk
Burntshirt Vineyards, Hendersonville
Childress Vineyards, Lexington
sources: The Economic Impact of North Carolina Wine and Grapes, 2016 Report – A Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP, NC Wine, Duplin Winery & Vineyard