South Carolina may not be the first state that comes to mind when thinking about wine, but it is home to some excellent wineries that are worth a visit. From the sweet muscadine wine that the state is famous for to European-style red and white wines, honey meads, and local fruit wines, South Carolina has something for every wine lover.
With so many wineries to choose from, it can be challenging to decide which ones to visit. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best wineries in South Carolina to help you plan your wine-tasting adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or a casual wine drinker, these wineries offer a unique and enjoyable experience that you won’t want to miss. So pack your bags, grab your friends, and get ready to explore the best wineries that South Carolina has to offer.
Understanding South Carolina Wineries
South Carolina is home to some of the finest wineries in the United States. The state has a long history of growing grapes, dating back to the 16th century when French Huguenots first planted the European Vinifera grape in the area. Today, South Carolina wineries produce a variety of wines, including Muscadine, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.
South Carolina wineries are typically located in rural areas, often on or near vineyards. Many wineries offer tours of their facilities, allowing visitors to see how the wine is made and to sample the finished product. Some wineries also have tasting rooms where visitors can try different wines and purchase bottles to take home.
South Carolina wineries are known for their warm hospitality and friendly staff. Visitors can expect to be greeted with a smile and to receive a warm welcome. Many wineries also offer special events throughout the year, such as wine tastings, grape stomps, and live music.
When visiting a South Carolina winery, it’s important to keep in mind that each winery has its own unique personality and style. Some wineries specialize in producing a particular type of wine, while others offer a wide variety of wines to choose from. Visitors should take the time to explore each winery and find the one that best suits their tastes.
The Art of Wine Tasting
Wine tasting is a sensory experience that involves the evaluation of different wines by sight, smell, and taste. It is an art that requires practice and knowledge. Wine tasting is not only about drinking wine, but it is also a way to appreciate the different flavors and aromas that each wine has to offer.
When visiting a winery, it is essential to visit the tasting room. The tasting room is where visitors can sample different wines and learn about the winemaking process. Tasting rooms are usually staffed by wine experts who can guide visitors through the tasting experience.
During a wine tasting, visitors are usually presented with a flight of different wines. A flight is a set of wines that are grouped together based on their varietal, vintage, or region. Visitors are encouraged to taste each wine and take notes on their impressions.
Wine tasting involves the evaluation of different aspects of wine, including appearance, aroma, flavor, and texture. When evaluating wine, tasters look for different characteristics such as clarity, color, intensity, complexity, and length.
To fully appreciate the wine, tasters are encouraged to use all their senses. They are advised to hold the glass up to the light to observe the color and clarity of the wine. They are also encouraged to swirl the wine to release its aroma and take a deep sniff to identify the different scents. Finally, they are advised to take a sip and let the wine sit in their mouth to identify the different flavors and textures.
Popular Wineries in South Carolina
South Carolina is home to some of the best wineries in the country that offer a variety of wines, from classic reds to refreshing whites and everything in between. Here are some of the most popular wineries in South Carolina:
City Scape Winery
Located in Pelzer, City Scape Winery is a family-owned winery that offers a variety of wines, including reds, whites, and fruit wines. Visitors can enjoy tastings, tours, and live music events at the winery.
Address: 589 Dunklin Bridge Rd, Pelzer, SC 29669, United States
La Belle Amie Vineyard
La Belle Amie Vineyard is located in North Myrtle Beach and is known for its award-winning wines and beautiful vineyards. The winery offers tastings, tours, and events throughout the year, including live music and festivals.
Address: 1120 St Joseph Rd, Little River, SC 29566, United States
Victoria Valley Vineyards
Victoria Valley Vineyards is located in Long Creek and is known for its stunning views and delicious wines. The winery offers tastings, tours, and events, including live music and food pairings.
Address: 1360 S Saluda Rd, Cleveland, SC 29635, United States
Duplin Winery is located in North Myrtle Beach and is known for its sweet wines and southern hospitality. Visitors can enjoy tastings, tours, and events at the winery, including live music and festivals.
Address: 4650 Hwy 17 S, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582, United States
Old Rock Quarry Winery
Old Rock Quarry Winery is located in Enoree and is known for its unique wines and beautiful vineyards. The winery offers tastings, tours, and events, including live music and food pairings.
Address: 620 Old Rock Quarry Rd, Enoree, SC 29335, United States
Island Winery is located on Hilton Head Island and is known for its award-winning wines and beautiful vineyards. Visitors can enjoy tastings, tours, and events at the winery, including live music and food pairings.
Address: 15 Cardinal Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926, United States
Carolina Vineyards Winery
Carolina Vineyards Winery is located in Myrtle Beach and is known for its delicious wines and southern hospitality. The winery offers tastings, tours, and events, including live music and festivals.
Address: 4720 Hwy 17 S, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582, United States
Enoree River Vineyards and Winery
Enoree River Vineyards and Winery is located in Newberry and is known for its award-winning wines and beautiful vineyards. Visitors can enjoy tastings, tours, and events at the winery, including live music and food pairings.
Address: 1650 Dusty Rd, Newberry, SC 29108, United States
Lazy Bear Winery
Lazy Bear Winery is located in Easley and is known for its unique wines and beautiful vineyards. The winery offers tastings, tours, and events, including live music and food pairings.
Address: 644 Hester Store Rd, Easley, SC 29640, United States
Elevation 966 Winery
Elevation 966 Winery is located in Cleveland and is known for its delicious wines and stunning views. Visitors can enjoy tastings, tours, and events at the winery, including live music and food pairings.
Address: 301 Airport Rd Suite H, Greenville, SC 29607, United States
Deep Water Vineyard
Deep Water Vineyard is located in Charleston and is known for its award-winning wines and beautiful vineyards. The winery offers tastings, tours, and events, including live music and food pairings.
Address: 6775 Bears Bluff Rd, Wadmalaw Island, SC 29487, United States
Cartersville Country Winery
Cartersville Country Winery is located in Rock Hill and is known for its delicious wines and southern hospitality. Visitors can enjoy tastings, tours, and events at the winery, including live music and festivals.
Address: 571 Lamar Hwy, Timmonsville, SC 29161, United States
Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just looking for a fun day out, these wineries offer something for everyone. So, grab a glass and enjoy the best of South Carolina’s wine country.
Wine Varieties and Specialty Wines
South Carolina wineries offer a wide variety of wines, including sweet, muscadine, dry, fruit wine, and wine slushies. Visitors can find something to suit their taste buds, whether they prefer sweet wine, fruity wines, or dry varietals.
Muscadine grapes are a popular variety in South Carolina and are used to make muscadine wine, which has a distinct taste and aroma. Some wineries specialize in muscadine wines, while others offer a mix of varietals, such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and chardonnay.
In addition to traditional wines, South Carolina wineries also offer specialty wines, such as dessert wines and fruit wines. Strawberry wine is a popular fruit wine in South Carolina, and wineries often use local fruits to create unique and flavorful blends.
Visitors can also enjoy wine slushies, which are perfect for hot summer days. These refreshing drinks are made by blending wine with ice and fruit flavors, creating a delicious and cooling treat.
The Winery Experience
South Carolina wineries offer a unique experience to visitors with their picturesque vineyards and tasting rooms. Many wineries in the state provide outdoor seating areas where visitors can enjoy a glass of wine while taking in the scenic beauty of the surrounding mountains or farms. Some wineries also offer live music and food trucks on-site, making it an ideal spot for a girls’ outing or a romantic date.
Visitors can also enjoy a picnic at some of the wineries, with charcuterie boards and snacks available for purchase. Some wineries have gift shops where visitors can purchase wine-related souvenirs or organic products from the farms. The friendly staff and hosts at the wineries ensure that visitors have a memorable experience.
The Blue Ridge Mountains provide a stunning backdrop to many of the wineries in South Carolina. Visitors can explore the mountainous region and stop by some of the wineries for a tasting. The wineries in this region offer a range of wines, including red, white, and fruit-based wines.
Small Batch and Handcrafted Wines
For wine connoisseurs who appreciate the art of winemaking, South Carolina has a lot to offer. Many wineries in the state specialize in small-batch and handcrafted wines, which are made in limited quantities to ensure the highest quality possible. These wines are often made using traditional methods, and the grapes used are carefully selected and harvested by hand.
One winery that stands out in this category is Wellborn Winery, located in Travelers Rest. The winery produces a variety of handcrafted wines, including reds, whites, and fruit wines made with local fruit. Wellborn Winery’s small batches allow for more attention to detail, resulting in wines that are unique and flavorful.
Another winery that specializes in small-batch wines is Deep Water Vineyard, located on Wadmalaw Island. The vineyard grows muscadine grapes on-site, which are used to make a variety of wines, including reds, whites, and fruit wines. Visitors can take a tour of the vineyard and winery, and sample the handcrafted wines in the tasting room.
Island Winery, located on Hilton Head Island, is another great option for those looking for small-batch and handcrafted wines. The winery uses top-quality grapes from around the world to make their red and white wines, as well as local fruit to make their fruit wines. Visitors can enjoy tastings in the outdoor seating area, which overlooks the vineyard.
Unique Winery Features
South Carolina is home to a variety of wineries, each with its unique features that make it stand out from the rest. From wine slushies to distilleries, there is something for everyone. Here are some of the unique features that you can expect to find at the best wineries in South Carolina.
One of the unique features that you can find at some wineries in South Carolina is the wine slushie. These refreshing drinks are perfect for a hot summer day and are made by blending wine with fruit and ice. Some wineries even offer wine slushie machines that you can rent for your next party.
Another unique feature that you can find at some wineries is the upper room. This is a private room that is often used for special events such as weddings or corporate meetings. The upper room is usually located on the second floor of the winery and offers a beautiful view of the surrounding area.
If you are looking for a winery that produces all-natural wines, then you are in luck. Some wineries in South Carolina use only organic grapes and do not add any chemicals or preservatives to their wines. These wineries are perfect for those who are health-conscious and want to enjoy a glass of wine without any added chemicals.
For those who want to learn more about wine, some wineries offer wine classes. These classes are usually taught by a sommelier and cover topics such as wine tasting, food pairing, and grape varietals. Wine classes are a great way to expand your knowledge of wine and impress your friends at your next dinner party.