There now are approximately 106 wineries/vineyards up and rolling in North Carolina, from Murphy in the mountains to Knotts Island on the coast. The biggest concentration of the best of them is about an hour north of Charlotte on I-77, in the adjacent Yadkin and Swan Creek valleys. Most welcome visitors and many go all-out with special weekends that pair their products with food, music or tours.
The varieties and techniques differ from one place to the next; the size, sophistication and ambiance of what you can see and do at each winery vary, too. Tasting events are plentiful in October. Varieties range from dry to sweet. Perhaps most unusual are wines made from muscadine the Vitis rotundifolia grape developed over centuries in the Southeast (the renowned N.C. scuppernong is a large bronze muscadine). At www.visitncwine.com, download a brochure; it includes a map.
The Yadkin area includes Mount Airy, which has made quite an industry out of being the home town of Andy Griffith and the model for his classic TV shows Mayberry. Get your tickets early (www.visitmayberry.com) for the big Sept. 27-29 wing-ding: Mayberry Days