The Dan River lazily winds its way back and forth along the North Carolina/Virginia state line, and wineries have sprung up in the foothills and mountains that make up its watershed.
The Dan River communities have a rich history with makers of alcoholic beverages. Brewers were a common part of colonial days, and the moonshine makers of the 20th century gave rise to the sport of stock-car racing. Around the turn of the century, a new breed of viticulturists began to plant grapes, in some cases on former tobacco fields.
Explore 14 wineries and vineyards on either side of the state line.
Altillo Vineyards and Winery
Altillo Vineyards and Winery, formerly named Altavista Vineyards and Winery, is located four miles south of Altavista in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. The winery specializes in custom crush, custom winemaking, and consulting to winery start-ups. It’s open on Saturdays only.
Autumn Creek Vineyards
Nestled in the beautiful, rolling countryside of Rockingham County, North Carolina, Autumn Creek Vineyards makes a dozen different wines from 17 acres of grape vines. Autumn Creek has a 2,000 sq. ft. tasting room, an elegant pavilion, and secluded cabins that are available for rental.
Bright Meadows Farm is a family-owned vineyard and winery located on a 19th-century tobacco plantation in Nathalie, Virginia. They operate in a beautifully restored, 117-year-old barn and make 11 different wines. The tasting room is open Wednesday – Saturday from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm and Sundays from 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm.
Brooks Mill Winery
Located near Smith Mountain Lake in Franklin County, Brooks Mill Winery is a small farm fruit winery operated by H.T. and Rhonda Page. The Pages made fruit wine as a hobby for years before planting a blackberry vineyard in 2006 and opening the winery two years later. They also grow blueberries, pears, apples, peaches, and cherries.
Germanton Vineyard & Winery
Germanton Vineyard & Winery began in 1981 when it began processing French-American hybrid grapes grown locally amid the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Germanton, North Carolina. In addition to wine, the winery has a gallery offering a complement of original fine art and prints. (Note: The winery has recently been closed, so check the website or call before visiting.)
Photo courtesy of Hamlet Vineyards
Virginia and Butch Hamlet started Hamlet Vineyards in 2010 by planting 3500 grape vines on a rolling hillside beside the winding drive that leads up to their home, Eltham Manor, which overlooks the Smith River in Henry County, Virginia. Hamlet Vineyards offers wine tastings in its tasting room and a terrace on Sunday afternoons. Fresh baked bread, gourmet spreads, and seasonal fare are also available.
Photo courtesy of Homeplace Vineyard
The Homeplace Vineyard
Traditionally a tobacco farm in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, the Homeplace Vineyard has been in Joe and Brenda Williams’ family for four generations. The family planted their first grapes in March 2005 and now tend approximately 5,600 vines on just over 9 acres. The winery includes a tasting room that was built from former tobacco barns on the property and has an event facility for any occasion.
Hunting Creek Vineyards
Hunting Creek Vineyards started in April 2002 with the planting of 100 Merlot, 100 Petit Verdot and 100 Viognier vines on five acres in Halifax County, Virginia. It opened its tasting room seven years later. The tasting room is open 11 a.m to 5 p.m. on Saturdays from mid-April to mid-December.
Preston Ridge Winery
Lawrence and Lois Penn started making wine in 2003 before establishing Preston Ridge Winery in 2010 in Henry County, Virginia. The winery’s tasting room opens seasonally on Saturdays and features a range of winemaking supplies for purchase.
Photo courtesy of Stanburn Winery
Nelson and Elsie Stanley established their vineyard in Patrick County, Virginia, in 1999, and Stanburn Winery became a reality a decade later with their son David and daughter-in-law Tabatha Stanley. They grow six grape varietals and make 12 different styles of wine. Located where the Piedmont and the Blue Ridge Mountains meet, the winery is open Saturdays and Sundays from April through mid-December.
Tomahawk Mill Vineyard & Winery
Tomahawk Mill Vineyard & Winery traces its roots in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, to the founding of a mill in the decades after the Civil War. It became a vineyard in 1988, when its previous owner closed the mill and planted Chardonnay and Concord varieties, with Pinot Noir, Johannisberg Riesling, and Cabernet Sauvignon to follow. The winery is open for touring and tasting March 15th through December 15th, from 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Photo courtesy of Villa Appalaccia
The vineyards, tasting room and music garden of Villa Appaccia offer stunning views and a relaxing environment on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Patrick County, Virginia. The winery specializes in Italian grape varieties, including Sangiovese, Primitivo, Pinot Grigio, Malvasia, Cabernet Franc, Aglianico and Corvina. The winery is open Friday through Sunday, often with special events.
Webster C. Hall Vineyard
Webster C. Hall Vineyard grows grapes and makes wine amid the warm mountain breezes and granite soils high of the Callaway area of Franklin County, Virginia. Visitation and wine sale are available on site by appointment only, but limited-production wines from its Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot vines are available at select restaurants and retailers in Virginia.
2 Witches Winery & Brewing Co.
2 Witches Winery and Brewing Company is a small, family-owned farm winery and nanobrewery located in Danville, Virginia. 2 Witches’ wine is made from grapes grown at the family vineyard in Pittsylvania County. Its tasting room is open to the public during scheduled hours from Thursday through Sunday. Wine is available for tasting, by the glass, or by the bottle.
Pick a few wineries and make a weekend out of it, or pair a wineries tour with one of our other trip recommendations for a longer visit. Try one of these: