For Christmas (2104), we decided that we should treat ourselves to a weekend away from the kids. We had spoken with Jason Hibbets about suggestions on nc wine country, and decided that was our plan. It only took us 10 months.. and our 19th Anniversary. But, we made the trip, and we had a great time.
We headed out to to the Yadkin Valley. We planned out two days, with a hike at Pilot Mountain Sunday Morning. Like most good adventures, we through out the plan and rolled with the flow. The trip turned out great, and I am willing to say the NC wines are very good. It is not just Muscadine and Scuppernog.
We started at Rag Apple Lassie. We were there early in the day, so we had the place to ourselves. Frank, the owner, chatted with us about running a winery, growing grapes in NC, and how to start out. Jenny and I have always chatted about how it would be fun to do a winery at her dad’s place, so it was fun to get the inside scoop while drinking some good wine. Frank suggested we would not like their other winerys we had on our list so we left the cow and headed over to his suggestion of Raffaldinis.
Raffaldinis is an Italian winery. The wines were fine, but the place was crowded. Folks came for the view. The person doing the tastings said they picked the location because it looked like Tuscany, and was at the same lattitude. All I know is the view was beautiful.
The winery’s must get along well, because they suggested we head next door to Piccione Vinyard. It was opening day for their tasting room. Their wines were young (vines were about 5 years old), but tasty. We are looking forward to visiting again in a few years.
That night we had dinner at Shelton Winery. We were told that more than three winerys was too much, and they were correct. We owe another trip there to do a real tasting. The original plan stopped at Rag Apple, but all and all, we had a great day.
The next day we planned to work off all the toxins with a hike at Pilot Mountain. The grey skies of the day before broke, and we were treated to great views from the top. We hiked for about 2.8 miles, stopped to enjoy the views some more, and then planned to head off for our next destination.
If you know Nathan, he has a thing for LLamas. So, when we heard there was a winery called Divine LLama, we had to go. Great wines, and a friendly staff. We got an extra glass, and headed down to see the LLamas. We saw happy Llamas, crazy Llamas, and Big Fat Mama Llamas.
At the end of the day, listening to a nice jazz band, we discussed we needed to head home and be parents again. We talked about how everyone we met had suggested we needed to visit Cellar 4201. We were right around the corner, so like good parents we decided to do one more winery!
Cellar 4201 had the best wine of the entire weekend. Aaron, who chatted with us while there, told us that they prefer quality over quantity. Although they only have 5 acres under grapes, they cut down the vines to only have 2 bunches of grapes. This gets the brix up, and the quality of the wine up. Great wines, and it was great chatting with someone who had helped start a winery 13 years ago on such a small plot of land.
All and all, a great trip and a great anniversary. And, as I started, NC wines are alot better then I had thought. We visited 6 wineries, and liked multiple wines at each. We liked 4 of them enough to buy wine and bring it home. And, after chatting with Aaron, Jenny is now ready to go get some Cab Franc grapes and kick off Brick Quarter Vinyards!