Take a trip on the NC Wine Trail

This post originally appeared on Scoop Charlotte.
We’ve crafted a full day of wine-tasting and touring that’s perfect for a girl’s day, a weekend date, a special celebration, or just taking in the beauty of fall in North Carolina.  Not only are these wineries within 50 miles of Charlotte, but they’re also close to each other, allowing for a fun day of wine tasting set in the beautiful Uwharrie Mountains.  So pack a picnic lunch and follow along with our Google maps guide here.
Start out at Cougar Run Winery, a local go-to for a laid back wine tasting.  The Concord, NC winery specializes in hand crafted, small batch and fruit wines.  What started as a hobby for owners in search of a simpler way of life has turned into a lively neighborhood favorite that hosts regular live music and food truck events.  For a bonus your sweet tooth will enjoy, try a taste of Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream in flavors like cherry merlot and peach white zinfandel.  Yes, these are wine infused ice creams and make the perfect warm day treat best enjoyed on Cougar Run’s patio.  Like what you see?  The winery professionals can show you how to start making your own wine at home!
A quick 30 minute drive up 85 brings us to the next stop on our NC Wine trail, Old Stone Winery, which was named the Best Winery of the Triad in 2013 by Destination Guide.  But don’t be intimidated by this recognition if you’re new to the wine scene, owner Darren Griffin says that the family run winery wants to encourage wine knowledge and make it accessible for everyone from newcomers to wine enthusiasts.  Since 2002, Old Stone Winery has been crafting over 17 different types of wine, all with North Carolina grapes.  While you’re there, take a tour of the vineyards and tank rooms and try a glass of the award winning Sweet Muscadine on the front patio or on a cool day, by their fire pit overlooking the property’s 130 acre farm.
 
When you’re ready for the next stop, follow our guide to Dennis Vineyards in Albemarle.  This husband and wife run winery established in 1997 produces over 100,000 bottles of wine each year, and was Stanly County’s first winery.  Dennis Vineyards handcrafts a variety of dry, semi-dry, sweet, and fruit wines, perfect for tasting on their beautiful grounds.  While sampling, be sure to ask a member of the Dennis family how they first got their wines noticed and admired.  Hint: it has something to do with a church communion service!  Make a stop in their gift shop, which features local artisans from around the state.
 
Wind down your day full of sipping and touring with Stony Mountain Vineyard.  You’ll feel right at home at this family-owned Albemarle vineyard that will complete the day’s visits.  Make sure you’ve brought your camera, because you won’t be able to stop capturing the picture perfect setting from their deck.  After taking a tour (you can book them online in advance), sip on what we’ve heard is outstanding blackberry wine while reveling in the beautiful panoramic views of the Uwharrie Mountains and Yadkin Valley.
That wraps up our day of touring the NC wine trail!  Which wineries are on your favorites list?

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