North Carolina is a state full of surprises, treasures and other unexpected delights. One of the best places to find what you might otherwise miss is to stay at a North Carolina Bed and Breakfast.
Innkeepers can provide an insider’s guide to all the off-the-beaten path spots. Just tell them what types of things you’re interested in exploring and keep a notepad handy to write down all the places they suggest.
Last year, we talked about North Carolina’s fabulous Barn Quilt Trail. Today, we turn our sights and taste buds to the Wine Trails of NC. When it comes to visiting local wineries near your B&B, with over 400 vineyards and some 116 wineries across the state, you’re sure to find one close by.
For a downloadable version of the map, go here.
Touring area wineries is a great addition to your “Things To Do in North Carolina” list. The fact that NC has so many wineries scattered across the state is something that surprises as many residents as it does visitors to our state.
Of course, it all had to start somewhere – and North Carolina vineyards have quite a colorful history — starting with “The Mother Vine” that Sir Walter Raleigh and his men discovered upon landing on the Outer Banks in Eastern NC. This vine produces Scuppernong grapes, which was later selected as the State Fruit of North Carolina. In fact, many wineries in NC use cuttings from The Mother Vine in their vineyards.
Check out the website in honor of North Carolina’s Mother Vine
Even if you’re not a history buff, the story of North Carolina’s Mother Vine is sure to fascinate. It is another one of Roanoke Island’s unsolved mysteries. To this day, there is speculation as to who planted the Mother Vine. Was it the Croatan Indians of Roanoke Island or the settlers of The Lost Colony who planted her? And is The Mother Vine the authentic source of America’s first grape?
It’s Not All Muscadine Wine
Did you know: North Carolina is the only region in the world that grows EVERY major variety of grape. This is possible because of the variety of soil, climate and geography found in NC.
In Western North Carolina, the most commonly planted varieties include Merlot, Syrah, Riesling, Sauvignon Blac, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and more. And just east of Winston-Salem in NC’s Piedmont area, you’ll find one of the most vibrant and fastest growing areas of North Carolina’s wine country. This, despite fact that the red clay and heaviness of the soil puts more stress on vines.
Napa Valley has Nothing on North Carolina
Did you know: The Biltmore Winery in on the grounds of the famous Biltmore Estate is the most-visited winery in the United States. That fact surprised us too. It is also the largest winery in North Carolina. This year marks their 30th Anniversary celebration, so be on the lookout for special events and tastings happening when you visit the Asheville area this year.
So Many Choices, Too Little Time
To map out your itinerary for touring and tasting near your NCBBI member inn, we suggest you bookmark the interactive map here: NCwine.org/wineries
By now, it should be clear — you’ll need to plan several trips!