If you’re in the mood for a trip to Italy, but your budget won’t take you past the North Carolina state line, make the drive to Wilkes County to visit Raffaldini Vineyards. Set in the foothills near the Blue Ridge Mountains, this vineyard will transport you to the countryside of Tuscany.
“Chianti in the Carolinas” is the motto of this vineyard, which produces mostly Italian varietals. The tasting room is in a large villa on a hillside, overlooking the vineyards and the mountains in the distance. After your tasting, purchase a glass or bottle of your favorite and head for the covered patio outside to enjoy the view – breathtaking
We visited the tasting room and sampled seven different wines for $5. Our favorites were the Il Mezzogiorno, a rich, red blend of five grapes, and Bella Misto, a syrah blend with a smoky, tannic taste. All the reds were very good though – I would recommend them all.
The winery was quite busy on a Sunday afternoon, and we enjoyed talking with a nice young woman from Chapel Hill who poured for us. Be sure you know where you’re going when you come here – though we could see the villa, we passed the entrance at least once before finding the long road winding up the hill.
The day we visited, they were also offering a brownie made with Raffaldini wine, paired with a red wine. There is no restaurant here, but catered events are scheduled, so watch the website. There are a few offerings – cheeses and sandwiches — to enjoy on the patio with your bottle of wine.
In addition to food-based events, Raffaldini also offers hikes around the vast vineyards, as well as concerts. Check out the Raffaldini events page. There is a beautiful, Italian-inspired garden and a picnic area as well, many possible sites for special events, including weddings.
450 Groce Road
Ronda, NC 28670
The tasting room is open every day except Tuesday.
11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday
Noon – 5 p.m., Sunday
See more photos from Raffadini Vineyards.