Known for its high-quality spirit production, such as gin, volk, and whiskey, South Carolina has some successful wineries even though it’s one of the hottest states.
The heat makes growing wine grapes and winemaking a unique challenge. Nevertheless, the state has a few regions that produce wines thanks to less intense weather, giving the fruit some heat relief.
The terroir has heat and humidity, which are unfavorable to the vines for many reasons. Besides the heat creating unbalanced, syrupy wines, disease thrives in the vineyards.
Notwithstanding, producers designed a solution involving correct canopy management (pruning, shoot positioning, and more). As a result, it controls sun exposure and minimizes disease risk.
Managing the vines allows winemakers to produce full, rounded, and pleasant wines, regardless of the climate. But there is a benefit to the heat. The grapes can easily reach optimal ripeness that increases sugar levels, flavor, and intensity.
Most of the wines in South Carolina are hybrids or native grapes, thus tolerant to humidity. The varieties you find here are Catawba, Blanc du Bois, Seyal Blanc, and Vidal Blanc. However, some wineries grow international varieties, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Visit these vineyards and wineries to experience wine tasting in South Carolina and let your palate appreciate their ability to produce excellent wine.
Where to Go for Wine Tasting in South Carolina
- Carolina Vineyards Winery
- Cartersville Country Winery
- Cat’s Paw Winery
- City Scape Winery
- Cliffs at Keowee Vineyard
- Deep Water Vineyard
- Victoria Valley Vineyard
While vacationing at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, you’ll find stopping by the Carolina Vineyards Winery tasting rooms is a pleasant break in the day.
They have one called Boardwalk Winery, and another called Carolina Vineyards. The establishment specializes in producing fruit wines, using twenty different fruits to make refreshing drinks. The sweetness of the wine ranges from zero percent sugar to nine percent sugar.
Boardwalk Winery has two dry wines worth tasting, Merlot and Blackberry Merlot. The tasting room has wine smoothies to quench your palate after a day at the beach.
Carolina Vineyards also serves the two dry wines, listing the Blackberry Merlot as award-winning wine. Other winners include Mango, Peach, Blackberry, and Cranberry.
The tasting rooms open daily with a $6.00 tasting of seven wines. There is a gift shop for any retail therapy while you sip and tease your taste buds and a fabulous way to take a relaxing break from your vacation.
Tucked away in the countryside by Florence, Cartersville Country Wine produces wine from Muscadine grapes grown on the property. In fact, if you want to taste an authentic South Carolinian wine, here’s the tasting room to do it.
Carlos Norton and Tom Langston have done a fine job caring for their grapevines in the harsh climate of South Carolina. They produce three to five tons of grapes annually, which says a lot about their dedication to making flavorful wine.
The winery hosts tastings Monday through Friday, from 10 AM to 6 PM, and Saturdays from 11 AM to 7 PM. Ask about their guided tour, giving you an extra treat while sipping some sweet wine.
Try the Pomegranate wine, charming addition to their wine collection. It’s packed with antioxidants and pleases the palate.
The winery occasionally hosts an event, so check their website for upcoming activities.
Nestled in York County and named after the owner’s cat, Joey, Cat’s Paw Winery has 17 wines, from reds to whites. Each one is a small batch, a true artisan style.
The winery takes pride in delivering smooth wines that are palatable and easy to drink. The winemaker uses only natural well water and fruit juices, making dry reds, whites, and sweet and unsweet wines.
Notice the high quality of their wines compared to other brands. Cat’s Paw wines have only two additives, no additional sulfites or tannins. Sip the varieties without the concern of having a wine headache the following day.
The Tasting Room is a place to meet and unwind with friends within the 100-acre country setting. You’ll have space and room to breathe. Some cattle may wonder up while sipping your wine.
They offer pairings with cigars. Included is free freshly popped popcorn and bottled water. Come by the gift shop for fun and wine-inspired gifts.
Sip a glass of Black Cherry Pinot Noir, full, red color with distinct notes of black cherries, smooth finish, pairing well with chocolate.
On the sweet side, try chilled Coconut Citrus Chardonnay, crossing lime and mandarin orange with playful notes of coconut sweetness.
Host tastings are inside, or self-guided tastings are inside or outside. Let the server know your preference when you arrive.
Josh and Deb Jones own and operate City Scape Winery, offering excellent wines and one-on-one winemaking classes. Here, they produce reds, whites, fruit and dessert wines. Supposedly, the Jones are the youngest winery owners in the southeast.
The winery overlooks the picturesque skyline of Greenville, South Carolina, along the Reedy River.
Thirty minutes from downtown Greenville, the Tasting Room offers seated tastings Wednesdays through Sundays, with most of the seating outdoors. No worries, they raise the tents when it rains. Weekends are busy, so make sure to make reservations.
Try their Gold Medal winner, Pinot Grigio, as a dry white with notes of citrus fruits and peaches. Savor the crisp and refreshing taste.
Another award winner is their Blackberry Merlot, a dry, medium-bodied Merlot blended with South Carolina blackberries. A complex profile is smooth with a smokey oak finish.
Tastings allow you to sample between ten and twelve wines. Purchase the Pinot’s Picnic Package for two. Available Saturdays and Sundays and includes a complete picnic with your favorite bottle.
City Scape Winery will host your event indoors and outdoors for high school reunions, weddings, rehearsal dinners, baby showers, and birthdays.
Stop by and visit this luxury lakeside community with million-dollar homes. You marvel at the 18-hole golf course dotted with beautiful Muscadine grape vineyards.
The vineyard sits on the shores of Lake Keowee, hence the name Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards. The community has an equestrian center, a clubhouse with a pizza kitchen, and miles of equestrian and hiking trails with a full-service marina. And there’s a swimming pool.
You don’t have to live here, but your membership gets you in the door, sipping wine.
The membership includes a unique and exclusive wine club, from amateur sippers to connoisseurs of wine. Once a member, you can experience fine dining and drinking establishments involving a team of a dozen wine stewards who constantly add to the club’s collection of worthwhile varietals.
Wine education is another part of the vineyard and its mission to help you enjoy the many opportunities to try new vintages and world-class cuisine.
Nestled on the peaceful and sleepy Wadmalaw Island is Deep Water Vineyard, a 48-acre vineyard and winery where Bears Bluff Road ends. Jim and Ann Irvin retired to live their dream among the majestic live oaks producing delectable wines onsite.
When traveling through the Lowcountry, this vineyard is on the top of your list to visit. Irvins will tell you that the wine is one of the genuinely native grapes in the US, and they embraced it. They produce Muscadine wine, five labels from four varieties of grapes.
The Muscadine grapes were once called “the fountain of youth” for their substantial levels of resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant. These grapes have seven times more resveratrol than other wines.
Tasting is every Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM with live music and rotating food trucks. Sip wine and dine, enjoying the serene surrounding of the vineyard. The winery encourages you to bring your family and friends for a great time.
Try the Deep Water Blend, which they uniquely produce each year, showcases the versatility of the vineyard’s grapes. It appears to sell out thanks to its popularity.
High Tide is their light-bodied wine, from Noble grape, with a rich Muscadine flavor and nose. Tease your palate as the tide rolls in.
The winery ships additional grapes from a grower in California, allowing access to grapes not grown in South Carolina.
Relax, sipping your wine while experiencing a piece of Europe in upstate South Carolina. Tucked away at the base of Table Rock are 47 acres of grapevines with a tasting room and winery that looks like a French chateau.
A small deli-style restaurant serves lunch until 2:30 PM. The Tasting Room offers European vinifera wines with no appointment necessary.
Tease your palate with their Signature Viognier, a glass of dry white wine with delicate and bright fruit notes of apricot and hints of unripened peach.
The Signature Merlot is a medium-bodied red with soft spice and a touch of berry notes. You must try the Signature Cabernet Sauvignon, a medium and full-body red with dark fruit, currant and a smooth finish.
Victoria Valley Vineyards offers group tours and has a gift shop and wine accessories. You can sip and browse the grounds. Open Thursday through Sunday and closed Monday through Wednesday.