Unless you live in Butte, Montana, you don’t have to go far to find Southern wineries. In the thirteen southern states from Virginia to Louisiana there are 810 vineyards and wineries growing, making, and selling their own wines. The wines range from sweet Muscadines to dry Chardonnays and Merlots, and there are several meads in the bunch as well.
The popularity of wine over the last two or three decades has given rise to wineries and wine trails in states you might find surprising. For instance Kentucky, known for its bourbon distilleries, also has 70 wineries. Even Louisiana offers three wineries along with 29 breweries and six distilleries.
Virginia boasts the most wineries with 256 of them spread across five regions. It is ranked 5th in the nation in the number of wineries after California, Washington, Oregon, and New York.
North Carolina comes in second in the South with 185 wineries, while Missouri is number 3 with 131 wineries. Many states have designated wine trails, which are marketing tools for the state wine industry. Some place wineries under the department of commerce or the agriculture department, while others place them under the department of tourism. Several states have nationally designated viticulture regions which are geographical areas where grapes grow well. These designations also help with marketing state wineries.
Some states have embraced their budding wine industries and included them in their tourism marketing. Others have left the marketing up to the wineries themselves, or to organizations or website entrepreneurs, so it’s not always easy to find accurate information. That’s why I started this website, to help wine travelers find Southern wine.
Numbers vary, wineries close and new ones open, so the accuracy of the following list is only as good as it is today. Tomorrow will be different, but suffice it to say, you can find wine and wineries in these states, so we have a lot of exploring to do.
Southern Wine States and Their Number of Wineries
With links to their official sites
- Virginia 256
- North Carolina 185
- Missouri 131
- Kentucky 70
- Florida 42
- Tennessee 38
- Georgia 21
- South Carolina 19
- Arkansas 15
- Alabama 13
- West Virginia 12
- Mississippi 5
- Louisiana 3
You can explore Florida wine in my book Florida Wine Country Guide to Northern Wineries.
Happy Wine Trails!