Where to drink wine in Charleston, SC

Enjoy the scenery at Deep Water Vineyard. | Photo by Sage Glidewell

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How merlot can you go, CHS? It’s no surprise that Charlestonians do their fair share of wine drinking. But as vino connoisseurs with sophisticated palates, indulging in fine wines doesn’t always have to mean sipping on our favorite fermented grapes from distant lands — oftentimes, those praiseworthy treasures are produced right in our own backyards. Sometimes with a little help from our grape-growing friends.

Get to know Charleston’s booming wine industry, from local wineries to festivals to places with wine on the menu. Ready? Yes way, rosé. It’s wine o’clock.

🍷 A brief history

Dating back to the late 1500s, alcohol was added to wine in a process called fortification, which helped preserve the beverage for long shipping journeys. This process produced sweet + tangy wines like port, sherry, and a Portuguese wine called Madeira. When the latter came to the U.S., it was used to celebrate a significant part in American history: The signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Fast forward roughly two and a half centuries to today’s America… Charleston has some serious wine fans.

🍷 Locally produced + thriving

We heard it through the grapevine — South Carolina has produced ~77,842 gallons of wine in 2022, and boasts 54 wineries. Did you know? The most popular wine in South Carolina is Merlot, with the most popular in the Southeast region being Moscato, Chardonnay + Zinfandel.

When it comes to places to wine down, Charlestonians have a couple choices that are both near the city and a little farther out. Head just down the road to Graft Wine Shop & Wine Bar on King Street and kick back with a glass of our beloved 2018 Stephane Tissot Chardonnay Rose Massale. Or, grab your wine-obsessed friends for a short road trip and some outdoor learning time during a wine tour at Deep Water Vineyard on Wadmalaw Island, just ~20 miles from the city. While you’re there, be sure to try the award-winning Magnolia, which was awarded Best Estate Wine and Best Muscadine at the 3rd annual Palmetto Wine Competition in 2020.

🍷 Wine outside the box

Don’t forget — summer is just around the corner. That means on a warm day, try a tasty way to cool off with a 16 oz. frosé from The Co-Op. Just be warned, don’t guzzle these down too fast to avoid a wine-induced brain freeze.

🍷 Festivals + other fun wine events

With such a robust wine community in Charleston, the options for celebrating and enjoying wine are endless. Mark your calendars for the annual Charleston Wine + Food Festival set to be held in March of 2023. The wait is worth it, we promise.

Looking to toss back a glass (or two) of Riesling a little sooner? Come out for the Toast to Spoleto 2022 hosted by The Local Palate on June 2 to get in your fine grape fix with a side of wood-fired pies, charcuterie, oysters, and celebration.

Que syrah syrah, oenophiles.

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