With all the attention paid to beer and cider in Henderson County, sometimes it seems like the winery scene is a little overlooked. If it is, it shouldn't be! I'm no wine snob (if it tastes good, that means it's a good wine to me) but I can say for sure that since the winery experience is about setting as well as the wine itself, the vintners we have can hold their own with any.
“Ward was one of the first to recognize that ... the soil, humidity levels and elevation in the part of the county east of I-26 surpassed the better-established Yadkin Valley winemaking region.”
The granddaddy of Henderson County wineries is St. Paul Mountain Vineyards, the first commercial winery established here back in 2012 by owner Alan Ward. Ward was one of the first to recognize that - despite the long-held claims by many that you can't grow top-quality grapes in North Carolina - the soil, humidity levels and elevation in the part of the county east of I-26 surpassed the better-established Yadkin Valley winemaking region. By now he's got a fistful of awards for his wines to prove he was right.
When you visit St. Paul and take a seat on the patio, you'll be sitting practically amongst the
grapes themselves with about five acres of vines just a few steps away (another 10 acres of St. Paul grapes are grown nearby in Edneyville). There's also indoor seating in a nice lounge with a walnut bar, and a sort of indoor-outdoor space for shade or shelter but still near the area where local musicians frequently play. You'll typically find a wide selection of wines (I count 13 available as I'm writing this) and of course they're happy to let you have a taste before committing to a glass or bottle.
If you're not on that side of the county but still have a taste for home-grown wine, you can stop by St. Paul's separate tasting room in the Village of Flat Rock, which has a nice outdoor balcony tasting area. And if you do visit the winery itself, it's just a few hundred feet down
the road to Appalachian Ridge Artisan Hard Cider, also owned by St. Paul founder Alan Ward. And other local wineries Burnshirt Vineyards and Point Lookout Vineyards aren't far off, so it's easy to make a day of it (but don't drink and drive!)
How to Find It
You'll head out Highway 64 toward Lake Lure to get to any of the wineries. St. Paul is about 15 minutes from downtown Hendersonville
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/bLSreWs2TGF2