Highlands is known for its mountainous landscape and cool air, but it is also a hidden gem when it comes to wine. Nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains our charming town not only offers breathtaking scenery but an established and growing wine culture that has gained recognition from the prestigious Wine Spectator Magazine for years. 

Three Highlands restaurants have been honored by Wine Spectator in 2023 for their outstanding wine selections and many other Highlands restaurants have received the award in previous years. 

Wild Thyme, located in Town Square, has been offering highlands American cuisine with an Asian flare for over twenty years. You can savor amazing dishes paired with a wine from their extensive wine list that has received Wine Spectator awards for excellence since 2017. 

Paoletti’s, another Wine spectator award winning establishment is a family-owned Italian restaurant that has been a beloved fixture in Highlands for years. Their wine list complements their authentic Italian cuisine making it a perfect place for a romantic dinner or special celebration. 

Madison’s, located at the historic Old Edwards Inn, is a fine dining restaurant known for its elegant ambiance and culinary excellence. The restaurant’s dedication to wine excellence has earned it a coveted Wine Spectator Award, ensuring that your dining experience is truly memorable. 

Highlands boasts many restaurants with wine lists not to miss but you can also find extensive wine selections in grocery stores like Bryson's Food Store or Mountain Fresh Grocery. Highlands is home to several wine shops where you can explore and purchase a diverse array of wines to enjoy while taking in the mountain scenery. 

The Wine Shoppe located in downtown Highlands, is a friendly boutique that offers a curated selection of wines from around the world. Cozy around their firepits and take in the views of Main Street while enjoying a glass of wine. The knowledgeable staff is always ready to help you find the perfect bottle for any occasion. 

High Country Wine and Provisions is a wine bar that offers a carefully curated collection of wines and gourmet provisions. You’ll find wines that range from everyday sippers to special-occasion treasures. It’s a great place to explore unique wine pairings and discover new favorites. Book a wine tasting, sample wines from the wine machine, or relax outside with a bottle of wine while enjoying charcuterie. 

The Vineyard at High Holly offers a true vineyard experience. The picturesque property allows visitors to taste their wines and enjoy the serene mountain setting and explore the vineyards, dahlia garden, pond and walking paths throughout the 30-acre property. It’s an idyllic spot to unwind and savor locally produced wines.

Highlands, North Carolina, with its breathtaking scenery and growing wine scene, is an excellent destination for wine lovers. Whether you choose to dine at award-winning restaurants like Wild Thyme, Paoletti’s and Madison’s or explore the vineyard and wine shops in town, you’re sure to have a wonderful time enjoying wine in Highlands.