Last year, while visiting southern Virginia, we discovered a wonderful winery in North Carolina. The grounds are amazingly beautiful, the Tuscan style tasting room is impressive, and the wine is amazing. The winery was established by members of the Raffaldini family which dates back to 1348, in the town of Mantua, Italy. They visited many sites before choosing the Yadkin Valley, between the Brushy Mountains and the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains as a locations for a vineyard and winery in the United States. The Ronda, North Carolina, winery is surrounded by gorgeous views in all directions. After buying the land in 1999, the vineyard was planted in 2000, and the tasting room opened in 2004.
Raffaldini’s wines are all Italian varieties. Montepulciano, the grapes in the photo, creates a wine that is full-bodied with a distinct fruity flavor. The winery also produces a Montepulciano Riserva. Vermentino Riserva, a white varietal, is one of their most popular and comes from the oldest Vermentino vines on the East Coast. Both Riservas are developed using the Appassimento drying process to give them a richer character. Appassimento is an ancient Italian method of using a portion of dehydrated grapes in the making of the wine, to create a wine with different structures in the flavors. A Girasole, sunflower in Italian, is created with free run juice from Sangiovese and Montepulciano. The wine is a dry, medium-bodied rosé, which is very popular especially in the summer months. Other wines include a Pinot Grigio, a Sangiovese, Rossi (a red blend), and La Dolce Vita (a Moscato, Asti style). For more information go to my link page.
Jay Raffaldini has created a bit of Tuscany in the mountains of North Carolina and is making some of the best wines I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. It’s about an hours drive from southern Virginia and a two hour drive from Asheville, North Carolina. If you are in the region, be sure to visit. Wine lovers will feel right at home and return again and again.
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