Leaving Pretention Behind!
Regardless of one’s view of wine, this region of North Carolina is fun. We usually refer to our excursions as “boots and blue jean wine tours” without any of the stuffiness many think of when visiting a winery. For our group, we leave the pretention and all the jargon behind and prefer to have fun while soaking in the beauty of the land and meeting the fine folks who nurture the vine and create good wine. We don’t get hung up on the fancy talk and aroma bouquets. Our formula is simple – if it tastes good, we’ll buy it.
Wine tasting was different this visit with most of the tasting rooms moved outside and moving to flights which has now become our preferred method to experience new wines. In this blog and the video below, we’ll highlight our first two days of these vineyards.
Raffaldini Vineyards & Winery
Raffaldini Vineyards is a family-owned vineyard that brings a Tuscan Charm to this area. The winey and the surrounding vineyards with the rise of the Western Carolina Mountains in the background was the most picturesque of this trip. Typically, we find more American style wines on the east coast, but Raffaldini Vineyards was a treat to experience classically dry Italian style wines.
Piccione Vineyards is located minutes from Raffaldini Vineyards traveling less than 100 yards from entrance to entrance. This was the second location where we experienced Italian wines. Located at the top of a hill, the overlook into the valley with the vineyard below offered a breathtaking view. The outdoor area for tasting was quaint and comfortable adding to the enjoyment of the wine flights for this tasting.
Shelton Vineyards was the last stop for day 1. This was the second visit to the vineyard and again, didn’t disappoint. This is a very large vineyard offering many of the familiar wines including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Malbec and many more. We sat outside in a large outdoor patio area to enjoy our wine flights while soaking in the beautiful gardens and the vineyards surrounding the winery.
Shadow Springs Vineyards
Shadow Springs Vineyards started day 2 of our wine tour. The tasting room sat on a gentle slope overlooking a large pond and ten acres of the surrounding vineyard. As with the other vineyards, we treated ourselves to a list of wine flights. The tasting room offer large indoor and outdoor sitting areas to enjoy an extensive list of both dry and sweet wines.
Laurel Gray Vineyards
The land where the Laurel Gray Vineyards is located has been in the Myers family for ten generations. This speaks volumes when visiting a vineyard and one appreciates the dedication to managing a farm, generation to generation where now the winery has existed for 20 years. Sitting on the back patio, the flights of wine consisted of excellent Cabs, Petit Verdot, Chardonnay, blends and more. Laurel Gray Vineyards was our last stop for day 2 and was a great cap for a perfect day.
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