This is my first Travel Tip Thursday hosted by my dear friend, Pseudo of Pseudonymous High School Teacher. Pseudo and friends transport us to fabulous locales every Thursday. Click the link for more Travel Tips.
We stopped in North Carolina on our way home from Indiana a few weeks ago. My Harley Stud surprised me with a trip to a local winery. This was a real treat for me and a very generous gesture from MHS as he doesn’t like wine. MHS knows that I’ve always wanted to visit a winery that we pass every time we go to the lake to see Daddy but never seem to have the time. So instead, we traveled a few miles from MHS’s brother’s where we were staying to Raffaldini Vineyards.
Raffaldini’s is located in the Swan Creek area of Yadkin Valley. The picturesque setting is what drew us to this particular winery but it was the wine that surpassed the expectations of this virgin wine taster. Of course, this was not the first time I’ve tasted wine but it was my first real wine tasting. (I really need to get out more)
MHS left me at the wine tasting and did a bit of exploring on his own. By exploring, I mean that he took several calls from customers, read emails, called both of our daughters, and checked the weather of every single person we know with his fancy weather app all while walking the grounds. In other words, he found ways to entertain himself while I was having great fun at the wine bar.
I joined two sisters from Minnesota at the bar. They were such nice women and I couldn’t have asked for better companions on my first wine tasting experience. Our hostess was fabulous and a wealth of information about the wine, the grapes and the area. She had a warmth and wit about her that made you feel as though you had been invited into her living room for a glass of wine.
The following is what I learned during the wine tasting. I should warn you that any details I can’t remember have been replaced with those I made up. Details…who needs ‘em.
Raffaldini’s is owned by a first generation Italian-American family. The family can trace their history back to the 1300s in Italy. The winery in Yadkin Valley was established in 2001. They started with thirty-three different grapes. In an effort to create the Italian wines of their ancestors, the Raffaldini’s, after determining what grows well in the Carolinas now grow only eight different varieties of Italian grapes.
I had the pleasure of tasting seven different wines: 3 white, 3 red and 1 rose. All were wonderful. I particularly liked a white that was selected by the US State Dept. for President Obama to give as a gift at the G8 Summit. I loved their Urbano. Urbano is a red that is made primarily from Sangiovese grapes which are the grapes used to make chianti. I also fell in love with a red called Pino Vino, named after the Raffaldini's dog. It even has a picture of Pino on the bottle.
After the tasting, I gathered up a few sandwiches, some cheese, a diet coke for MHS and of course a glass of wine for me. We had a lovely lunch on the terrace that overlooks the vineyard. It was then that I decided that working at a winery will be my retirement job. How fun would that be!
The entire property is covered with rose bushes. Many were still blooming even though the cool fall weather has already hit the area.
We couldn’t leave without buying a few bottles of wine. I was told that as good as they were the day we were there, they will be even better if we can wait a year before opening them. We gave a few bottles away as gifts. The rest are tempting me even as I write this. It will be interesting to see how long I can hold out.
A little more wine, my dear?