North Carolina is famous for its plentiful beaches, enormous sand dunes, stunning mountain vistas, and much more. You might not realize it, but our beautiful state is also famous for another thing – its wine.
That’s right, tucked into the middle of Duplin County are several wineries producing some of the Tar Heel State’s finest varietals. Whether you’re planning an event, taking a trip to the beach, or want to check these vineyards out yourself, you’ll find there’s no better way to spend a day than by sipping a glass (or two) of North Carolina wine.
A long-standing staple of the Duplin County community, The Country Squire Winery & Vintage Inn has been in business for over 50 years. This cozy spot is the perfect place for a date night, romantic weekend, or wedding activities.
Situated off Highway 50 between Kenansville and Warsaw, The Country Squire offers a wide variety of wine, from cool, dry whites to sweet, full-bodied reds. The winery itself is housed in the 18th-century portion of the building, which features beautiful architecture and historical touches.
Visitors to The Country Squire can take advantage of wine tastings in the Tartan Tasting Room, where they can learn more about how the wine is made, the winery’s history, and what makes North Carolina wine so special. Visitors can also check out the Gift Shop to browse through some of the finest locally made products, including jewelry, cheese, packaged goods, and more. The Tartan Tasting Room and Gift Shop are open Tuesday through Saturday and by special appointment.
Feeling hungry? Sample some of the fantastic dishes at The Country Squire’s Restaurant. There are a variety of dishes to choose from, including steaks, seafood, poultry, and their signature Korean bbq beef. And don’t forget to save room for dessert. Any one of their delicious confections can be paired with one of their wines. Just ask your server for their pairing recommendations!
If you want to make a weekend out of your visit to Duplin County, you can stay on The Country Squire’s property in the Vintage Inn. The rustic buildings of the inn are tucked back into the woods for the ultimate in privacy and relaxation. Each room has a view of the grounds, and the whole inn sits right next to the vineyard. The Guest House provides another place to stay. Each of its four unique rooms is attached to a private bath and decorated in the theme of Scottish tartans.
Finally, if you’re looking for a place to plan a wedding, The Country Squire may be the perfect spot for you. There are several locations around the property that make for the perfect place to get married or hold a reception, including the romantic and intimate gazebo and gardens. The on-site dining rooms can hold up to 350 guests, and full-service dining and customized food and drinks packages are available if you’re in need of catering.
Duplin Winery boasts the title of the oldest and largest winery in the South, and there’s a reason they’ve been so successful over the last half-century. Located in Rose Hill, NC, Duplin Winery produces a wide variety of award-winning Muscadine wines. Muscadine grapes are native to this area of the United States and feature a sweet, rich flavor that’s slightly musky and just a little bit tart.
You can start your visit to Duplin Winery by signing up for their $15.00 wine tasting. During your wine tasting session, you’ll sample ten of Dulpin’s finest wines while staff fills you in on each wine’s flavors and the winery’s history. After you’re done sampling all your options, the tasting also includes a gourmet cheese dip, house-made crackers, and a full glass of wine. Tastings are offered Monday through Saturday, with the last tasting beginning an hour before close.
If you’d like to see more of the winery, you can sign up for their $13.00 wine tour. You’ll start at the crushing pad, where it all starts, and you’ll follow the grape juice during its journey through the 1.8 million gallon stainless steel storage tanks all the way to the bottling line. You’ll get to enjoy two glasses of wine while on the tour, and you’ll even get to choose a bottle of wine right off the line to take home with you. Winery tours are offered Monday through Friday.
Of course, we can’t talk about Duplin Winery without talking about The Bistro. This on-site restaurant features plenty of southern staples as well as classic American fare like half-pound Angus burgers and wraps. And be sure to order some of their famous cheesecake to enjoy with a glass of their sweet dessert wine. Reservations for The Bistro are highly recommended.
If you’re not hungry but want to take a little something home with you, check out Duplin Winery’s gift shop. Purchase some homemade fudge, sample a variety of muscadine-infused products, or shop for gifts for your loved ones.
Duplin Winery also hosts a variety of events each year, from holiday dinner shows to concerts to the annual grape stomp party. Most events require reservations/tickets in order to attend, so check out their event page for more info. Finally, Duplin Winery makes the perfect setting for large gatherings. Whether you need a place to host a wedding, reception, reunion, or business conference, Dolphin Winery can accommodate you. Get in touch with them for more info on event packages and pricing.
If you still haven’t had your fill of delicious NC wines, why not plan a trip to attend the 2022 North Carolina Muscadine Festival? Hosted at the Duplin Events Center in Kenansville, NC, this event features wineries from all over the area. You’ll get to try a huge variety of wines while enjoying the multiple concerts scheduled for the festival.
When you get hungry, you’ll be able to stop by and sample some tasty treats from a whole bunch of food vendors and food trucks. And, if you’re looking to win a little something extra, you can enter the famous tailgating contest. The festival kicks off at 10 am on September 24th, 2022 and runs until 7 pm that evening. Click here to learn more about the NC Muscadine Festival.
Looking for other activities in Duplin County? Click here to find more local attractions.