North Carolina is proud to be “first in flight.” This slogan, relating to airplane inventors Orville and Wilbur Wright who famously flew the first airplane in the state, is displayed on car license plates across the state.
It’s much less famous for flights of wine. You might therefore be surprised to learn that the state is home to over 200 wineries, which collectively produce over 1.1 million cases of wine – or 13 million bottles – every year. This ranks the state as eleventh in US wine production.
- Downtown Asheville Tip-Based Sightseeing Walking Tour
- Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls Hiking Tour from Asheville
- Downtown Asheville Guided Brewery Walking Tour
- Waterfalls and Blue Ridge Parkway Hiking Tour with Expert Naturalist
The greatest number of wineries are located in the Yadkin Valley in the north, but visitors to the pretty city of Asheville have plenty of winery choices, too. Several of these offer dining options, making them a good option for an afternoon off of hiking.
The best-known winery in the region is at the Biltmore Estate, which says it hosts more guests than any other winery in the USA. (All visitors to the estate included in the count, regardless of their interest in the winery.) For those who don’t want to pay the $84 entrance fee to the estate, there are plenty of other options. Here, we discuss a number of wineries near Asheville that are well worth a visit.
Best Wineries to Visit Near Asheville, NC
736 Green Mountain Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792
When you arrive at Stone Ashe, the first thing you notice is the rows of vines climbing up the steep mountain slope. This is a sign of ambition at a winery – vineyards like this aren’t easy to manage and can only be worked by hand. The pay-off is high-quality fruit.
The focus at Stone Ashe is on French varieties, and the fruity Sauvignon Blanc, in particular, shouldn’t be missed. Tasting flights are available for $15 per person, which you can enjoy in the winery’s rustic tasting room. Inside, you can relax on sofas and armchairs. Deckchairs outside offer views over the vineyards and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Stone Ashe is a relative newcomer to the North Carolina winery scene. The tasting room opened in early 2020 but will surely be enjoyed by guests for years to come. It is open Thursday-Sunday, 12-6 pm.
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623 Deep Gap Rd, Flat Rock, NC 28731
Marked Tree is another newcomer in 2020. It is producing a diverse range of different wines, including Gruner Veltliner, Petit Verdot, and a full-bodied rosé blend of Cabernet Franc and Lemberger (aka Blaufränkisch). Its fragrant red Cabernet Franc, however, is a particular highlight.
You can taste all of these at Marked Tree’s modern (and very Instagram-friendly) tasting room. Cheese plates and other snacks are also available. It’s surrounded by vineyards, meaning the views from its spacious terrace are good, too.
The winery also offers yoga classes (Thursdays and Saturdays) and forest therapy walks (Sundays and Wednesdays by appointment).
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Saint Paul Vineyards
588 Chestnut Gap Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792
Saint Paul Vineyards successfully combines wine tasting with entertainment. It produces a range of red, white, and rosé wine, as well as cider and fruit wine, which you can enjoy at its relaxed farmyard tasting room. The Viognier is particularly fresh, aromatic, and weighty.
It has plenty of outside seating next to the vines, and regularly hosts live musicians and food trucks.
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Plēb Urban Winery
289 Lyman St, Asheville, NC 28801
Adventurous natural wine lovers, this one is for you. Plēb sources grapes from around North Carolina and turns them into wines with personality at its converted warehouse. It works with 26 different grape varieties, including several that you may not have heard of before. Catawba, Aromella, or Maréchal Foch, anyone? Production is also far from conventional. One Seyval Blanc, for example, spends 558 days on lees before bottling, giving it a nutty, wet wool character. This rebellious winery is close to Downtown Asheville. It’s open Wednesday to Sunday, 2-8 pm.
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Asheville Wine Tours, Hiking & Fun Activities
Beyond visiting Asheville wineries in wine country proper, there are plenty of ways to experience the magic of Asheville beyond wine tasting in the vineyards. Below, we’ve included several of our favorite guided options that include visits to the vineyards, but also locally guided tours of Asheville where you can taste wine, craft beer, go hiking or biking, depending on your travel preferences.
Downtown Asheville Tip-Based Sightseeing Walking Tour
Experience the best of Downtown Asheville through a sightseeing tour led by a knowledgeable local guide. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and vibrant culture as you stroll past breweries, distilleries, cafes, and iconic landmarks like the Basilica of St. Lawrence, Grove Arcade, and the Leaf Global Arts Center. Along the way, savor the taste of local beers and spirits at selected stops, and hear captivating stories that bring Asheville’s unique character to life. Instead of purchasing a tour ticket, simply show your appreciation by tipping your guide an amount you deem appropriate.
Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls Hiking Tour from Asheville
Join Tumblestone Tours & Transportation for an unforgettable guided day trip, where you’ll hike along the best of the Blue Ridge Parkway and visit three picturesque waterfalls near Asheville. While traveling in a comfortable van, soak in stunning mountain views and listen to your local guide share fascinating stories about the region’s natural history and culture. As you traverse the easy to moderate trails through lush oak and hickory forests, keep an eye out for blooming laurels and rhododendrons. The tour accommodates a maximum of seven hikers, ensuring a personalized experience. Enjoy light refreshments and ample time to unwind by the falls before benefiting from the complimentary hotel pickup and drop-off service upon your return to Asheville.
Downtown Asheville Guided Brewery Walking Tour
Discover the best of Asheville’s thriving beer scene with BREW-ed Brewery Tours, led by a certified cicerone who offers expert knowledge and insights into the world of beer. Asheville’s well-deserved reputation as a top destination for craft brews in the Southeast can be overwhelming for visitors, but this brewery tour eliminates the guesswork by taking you to a curated selection of the city’s finest establishments. Enjoy behind-the-scenes access, generous pours at each stop, and an opportunity to learn about the craft from a recognized beer expert. Beer samples are included in the tour, and as an upgrade, you can even take home a commemorative pint glass as a souvenir to remember your Asheville brewery adventure.
Waterfalls and Blue Ridge Parkway Hiking Tour with Expert Naturalist
Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Pisgah National Forest with Asheville Hiking Tours, where a knowledgeable naturalist will guide your small group on an unforgettable adventure. Going beyond a simple drive, this tour allows you to fully appreciate the diverse flora and fauna of one of the nation’s most biodiverse regions. Trek across approximately 3 miles of stunning landscapes, taking in panoramic mountain views, and marveling at some of Asheville’s most prized waterfalls. This half-day tour, with a maximum of 9 travelers, ensures a personalized hiking experience, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the vibrant colors and picturesque settings that make this area so cherished.
Other Things to Do around Asheville
Chimney Rock State Park is 45 minutes out of town, roughly in the same direction as Stone Ashe, Marked Tree and Saint Paul Wineries. The park offers a number of well-maintained trails with no shortage of impressive mountain views. It would be easy to combine a morning of hiking in the park with an afternoon tasting in the wineries.
There are plenty of Blue Ridge Mountain trails to choose from. The Craggy Pinnacle Trail is one short but rewarding walk with various viewpoints.
Zen Tubing offers lazy river-style tubing in Asheville. Pack drinks and snacks to enjoy on the way.
There are a handful of wineries dotted along the Blue Ridge mountains. If you decide to tackle the challenging Grandfather Mountain Trail, you might need a glass of wine afterward. Good news, Linville Falls Winery is just 20 minutes down the road. It offers several fruity wines in flights, or by the glass or bottle. Also nearby are the gentle Linville Falls trails with views over the waterfall.
On the other side of Grandfather Mountain is Banner Elk Winery, which offers tastings at its pretty lakeside winery. For another unique region and wine tasting experience, consider visiting some of the wineries located in the Tryon Foothills of North Carolina.
Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting Asheville Wineries
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