Wine Sorts In North Carolina

North Carolina covers a wide area that supports the growing of several different grape varieties. This means that whilst the state is well known for its sweet wines, the region is able to offer much more, particular since the influx of European vines.

a picture of grapevine


Muscadine wines are one of America’s native wine grapes, from a species called Vitis rotundifolia, which is native to the Southeastern United States. Grapes can be red or white and can grow to the size of a golf ball. Muscadine is very aromatic and also sweet, although there are some nearly dry styles. The wine is best drunk lightly chilled.

European wines

North Carolina now produces much more than just sweet wine. Thanks to the influx of European wines there is much more choice.

European Reds

Cabernet Sauvignon

A dry red wine with a smooth finish and often slightly fruitier than European examples. Aged in oak barrels they can have a taste of liquorice, black cherry and black pepper with a dash of vanilla. The wines usually have a reduced amount of tannin and acidity but have a higher alcohol content of around 13.5-15.5% ABV

Syrah (aka Shiraz)

A full bodied dry red wine has intense fruit flavours and a middling tannin levels. The wine is aged over 24 months in oak, with a peppery finish and a meaty quality. It is common for Syrah to be blended with a Sangiovese to create a medium-bodied rich, smooth and fruity wine.

a bottle of syrah wine

Pinot Noir

A light bodied wonderful fruity red wine – think cherry and cranberry – with a hint of rose aroma, and the taste depth of beetroot, mushroom or rhubarb.

bottles of wine


A red or a rosé wine, Chambourcin is a hybrid that produces a wine which has a full fruity and pepper taste. Chambourcin is often blended with other varieties to increase the aromatic intensity and tannin structure this means that the wine is either oaked, a rustic ‘nouveau’ style or a tart, dry rosé.

a bottle of red wine

European Whites


A refreshing dry white, Chardonnay aged in stainless steel produces full-bodied white has a spicy flavour with a hint of bourbon. Aged in oak barrels, Chardonnay has a full-bodied fruity taste.

Pinot Grigio (aka Pinot Gris)

A light and fruity dry white for easy drinking. Often has a slightly bitter almond or quinine taste on the palate.

a bottle of pinot grigio wine


A semi crisp white with a light refreshing finish that can either be sweet and sour or if very acidic, a dry wine. Some find the wine too acidic or too sweet, although the latter is the decision of the winery and is not inherent to the grape.

bottles of wine


Elegant and full-flavoured, this crisp white has a distinct aroma of peach and citrus. Similar in many ways to Chardonnay, it is the aroma and the citrus taste that separates the two and the taste that Viognier gives, with its softer start and a slightly bitter finish.

a bottle of white wine


The history of wine in North Carolina goes back as far as the seventeenth century, to the early days of colonisation. European settlers saw the native American grape on the land, the Scuppernong, and began to cultivate it to produce a sweet wine. This variety remains available in some parts of the state, though the majority of the wine produced in the region today comes from the Vitis vinifera grape

By the mid-eighteenth century, North Carolina had 25 established wineries across the state, which dominated the national market at the time. The Scuppernong grape, now the official state fruit, was the source for this early wine. Everything changed with the effects of the civil war and then prohibition which put an end to the wine business until the 1970s when North Carolina’s wine industry again began to show significant growth which has continued over the past decades.


North Carolina has a reputation for producing excellent fruit wines.

Blackberry wine

Crafted with 100 percent locally grown berries, this wine is pure fruity aroma with a delightful finish. A red wine made from blending blackberry wine with dry red wine creates a drink that starts sweet, but has a clean, dry finish.