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A simple question -- “Where can we eat?" -- led to an award-winning pairing between the UNCG Bryan School of Business and Economics and Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery.

Bryan School MBA students won the 2014 Small Business Institute’s Project of the Year award for their comprehensive business plan for a restaurant at the Wilkes County winery. A feasibility business plan by Bryan School undergraduates for Little Acorn Books, a local publisher of children’s books, won second place in the Small Business Institute’s undergraduate feasibility business plan category. Both of UNCG’s entries placed out of about 500 entries in the national competition. UNCG is the only Triad school with a Small Business Institute program.

“Most business schools are very good at teaching students about the theory of business through articles and books and its application through case studies, but the Bryan School stands out because, in addition, we teach the practice of business - how it really works,” said Bryan School Dean McRae C. Banks. “Our required projects program for both undergraduate and MBA students is the cornerstone of our effort.  The SBI awards for these projects, which are typical of what our students do, is one more external validation of what we are doing for our students, while we are also having significant impact on the business community.”

Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery, near the Blue Ridge Mountains, grows central and southern Italian varietals in the loamy soil of the Swan Creek AVA. It’s a destination for customers seeking authentic Italian wines. But once the tours and tastings were done, visitors found the dining options in Ronda -- population 417 -- limited.

"Our regular food options consist of freshly-made deli items, meats and cheeses. Based on our experience with that and what folks were telling us and asking us, they prepared a feasibility study to develop an Italian-style restaurant business plan,” said Thomas Salley, who handles media relations for the winery. 

MBA students Gordon Trimble, Scott Jordan and Taylor Pittman worked on the business and marketing plan with Bryan School faculty members Richard Browne, Bonnie Canziani and Sam Troy.

“It’s real-world experience,” Troy said. The students “weren’t working on something that was pie in the sky. They were working on something that will come to reality. They provided input to this company that was really meaningful.”

“Raffaldini Vineyards will be using the plan to attract potential investors and restaurateurs to the area,” Salley said. “The plan offers confidence to potential investors,” he added.

“Anyone reviewing the business plan would see how thorough and well thought out it is, as verified by the Small Business Institute.”

The partnership with Raffaldini is the latest in a long line of works and research Bryan School faculty have undertaken with wineries and North Carolina’s wine industry. Seven years ago, faculty in the Bryan School identified North Carolina's nascent wine industry as a potential economic engine for the state. With more than half of the state's wineries located within a 120-mile radius of Greensboro, the burgeoning wine industry is one that UNCG is uniquely positioned to help grow.

Little Acorn Books is the labor of love for UNCG student Marilynn Barr, who began the publishing press years ago while looking for educational materials for her son. Hoping to take her business to the next level, Barr and classmates Brandi Johnson, Bob McDaniel, Chantha Nie and Eric Sorber completed a feasibility study to gauge growth opportunities. Professor Dianne Welsh, who also serves as Director of the Small Business Institute for UNCG, oversaw the project.

“It helped to organize the information and helped me zero in on where I needed to work,” Barr said. “I learned that I was on the right track.”

Since UNCG’s SBI program began in 2009, the university has placed first, second or third nationally seven times and had one honorable mention.
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The Bryan School of Business and Economics helps students develop the knowledge and experience to become exceptional problem solvers that organizations and communities need. One of the largest business schools in North Carolina, the Bryan School boasts an AACSB International accreditation in business and accounting that puts it among the top 3 percent of business schools in the world.  Our students and alumni carry forward their Bryan School experience to make meaningful contributions where they work, live and lead.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is a challenging, supportive and engaged community where learning is carried forward to Do something bigger altogether. Founded in 1891, UNCG is the largest and most diverse university in the Triad, serving more than 18,000 students. Standing apart from other universities, the UNCG community is joined together by a shared value: We define excellence not only by the people we attract, but by the meaningful contributions they make.

The Raffaldini family traces its origins to the 14th century in Mantua, Italy, where for generations the family produced wine on their family farm. The family chose the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina because the area closely resembles the winemaking region of Tuscany with rolling hills, rocky soil, gentle breezes and constant sun. 

One of Wine Business Monthly’s Top Ten Hot Small Brands in North America, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards is known as “Chianti in the Carolinas,” producing Central and Southern Italian varietals such as Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Visit the web site, www.raffaldini.com, call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

Raffaldini Vineyards Seeks Rescue Dog Photos For Wine Label
Posted by admin on Wednesday, 19 March 2014.

Ronda, NC, March 19, 2014—Calling all dogs! Raffaldini Vineyards is looking for the next rescue dog to appear on the label of Pino Vino VI, the next vintage of Raffaldini wine that benefits local animal shelters and organizations.

Previous Vintages of Pino Vino have all featured a picture of a rescue dog that was chosen from entries submitted by rescue pet owners. Pino Vino VI will be bottled featuring the picture of the winning dog from this year’s submissions. The wine will be released at a special unveiling ceremony on Saturday June 7.

“Our goal for this competition is to raise awareness for the caring and compassion that all animals deserve,” Vineyard Owner Jay Raffaldini, said. “We are always touched by the unconditional support demonstrated by our participants towards animals in need, and in the end, we are all winners because of the impact and inspiration these special creatures have on our lives.”

Raffaldini Vineyards accepts photos of rescue dogs until April 30, 2014. The winning rescue dog will replace last year’s winner, Trotter, a German Shepherd mix from Troutman, NC. This is the sixth release of the wine Pino Vino, and like the previous five releases, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Pino Vino VI will be donated to local animal shelters in support of all rescue animals.

Entrants can send their digital photos to pinovino@raffaldini.com. Please include your name and contact information, your dog’s name and a brief story about your dog in 50 words or less. The winner will be announced on May 9.

About Raffaldini Vineyards The Raffaldini family traces its origins to the 14th century in Mantua, Italy, where for generations the family produced wine on their family farm. The family chose the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina because the area closely resembles the winemaking region of Tuscany with rolling hills, rocky soil, gentle breezes and constant sun.

One of Wine Business Monthly’s Top Ten Hot Small Brands in North America, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards is known as “Chianti in the Carolinas,” producing Central and Southern Italian varietals such as Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Visit the web site, www.raffaldini.com, call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

Raffaldini Vineyards Seeks Rescue Dog Photos For Wine Label
Posted by admin on Wednesday, 19 March 2014.

Ronda, NC, March 19, 2014—Calling all dogs! Raffaldini Vineyards is looking for the next rescue dog to appear on the label of Pino Vino VI, the next vintage of Raffaldini wine that benefits local animal shelters and organizations.

Previous Vintages of Pino Vino have all featured a picture of a rescue dog that was chosen from entries submitted by rescue pet owners. Pino Vino VI will be bottled featuring the picture of the winning dog from this year’s submissions. The wine will be released at a special unveiling ceremony on Saturday June 7.

“Our goal for this competition is to raise awareness for the caring and compassion that all animals deserve,” Vineyard Owner Jay Raffaldini, said. “We are always touched by the unconditional support demonstrated by our participants towards animals in need, and in the end, we are all winners because of the impact and inspiration these special creatures have on our lives.”

Raffaldini Vineyards accepts photos of rescue dogs until April 30, 2014. The winning rescue dog will replace last year’s winner, Trotter, a German Shepherd mix from Troutman, NC. This is the sixth release of the wine Pino Vino, and like the previous five releases, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Pino Vino VI will be donated to local animal shelters in support of all rescue animals.

Entrants can send their digital photos to pinovino@raffaldini.com. Please include your name and contact information, your dog’s name and a brief story about your dog in 50 words or less. The winner will be announced on May 9.

About Raffaldini Vineyards The Raffaldini family traces its origins to the 14th century in Mantua, Italy, where for generations the family produced wine on their family farm. The family chose the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina because the area closely resembles the winemaking region of Tuscany with rolling hills, rocky soil, gentle breezes and constant sun.

One of Wine Business Monthly’s Top Ten Hot Small Brands in North America, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards is known as “Chianti in the Carolinas,” producing Central and Southern Italian varietals such as Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Visit the web site, www.raffaldini.com, call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

Agent learns, shares grape drying techniques
Posted by admin on Tuesday, 28 January 2014.

Click here to read about Raffaldini Vineyards' experimentation with the Appassimento technique and how it is impacting the future of the NC wine industry.

Raffaldini Montepulciano Riserva Takes on International Wines in Blind Tasting
Posted by admin on Friday, 20 December 2013.

Raffaldini Vineyards will host a Salon Tasting during which guests will participate in a blind tasting comparison between Raffaldini 2011 Montepulciano Riserva and three other wines, all of which are considered among the best of their respective regions. There will be four sessions held on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014 at 12:30pm and 2:30pm and on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 at 12:30pm and 2:30pm, respectively.

Owner Jay Raffaldini and Winemaker Kiley Evans will guide each session of 24 guests, and Fearrington House Wine Director, Maximilian Kast, who is pursuing his Master Sommelier certification, will provide commentary on each of the wines.

"Our hope is that the Salon Tasting will show the potential for North Carolina wines to take their place alongside the world's best," said Owner Jay Raffaldini.

Tickets are $60+tax per person and $45+tax per person for Raffaldini Wine Club Members. Light refreshments will be served.

About Raffaldini Vineyards One of Wine Business Monthly’s Top Ten Hot Small Brands in North America, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings is known as “Chianti in the Carolinas,” producing Italian varietal wines including: Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year.

The Raffaldini family traces its origins to the 14th century in Mantua, Italy. For generations, wine from the family farm was integral to daily life. The family chose the Swan Creek region of North Carolina because the area resembles the winemaking regions of Central and Southern Italy with rolling hills, rocky soil, gentle breezes and constant sun. Raffaldini Vineyards is located 10 minutes from the I-77—Hwy. 421 interchange. For more information, visit www.raffaldini.com.

Raffaldini October Newsletter
Posted by admin on Tuesday, 01 October 2013.

Click here to read our October Newsletter.

Raffaldini Vineyards Hosts 8th Annual Festa Italiana
Posted by admin on Tuesday, 03 September 2013.

Ronda, NC—Raffaldini Vineyards will celebrate its 8th Annual Festa Italiana on Saturday, Sept. 14th, from 11am to 5pm. The day-long festival is a celebration of Italian culture, food, music and of course wine. Cost for admission is $15 and will include a tasting of three select wines, a commemorative glass, live music, food vendors and much more. “Festa Italiana is our most popular event of the year,” Jay Raffaldini, managing partner, said. “It attracts Italians and Italian enthusiasts from all over the country who want to celebrate a historic and unique culture while enjoying a fun-filled day of La Dolce Vita.”

Guests can enjoy a glass or flight of their favorite wines from Raffaldini while enjoying Italian folk music from Mebanesville, or dancing to modern Italian hits by DJ Tyler Rhodes. Local food vendors will be on hand with traditional Italian cuisine including pastas, sandwiches, brick oven pizza, espresso, gelato and more. You can also practice the language of love with the Triad Friends of Italy Chapter at the Italian Spoken Here tent. Parking is included with admission. Lawn chairs and blankets are permitted. Raffaldini Vineyards requests no outside food or alcohol.

About Raffaldini Vineyards The Raffaldini family traces its origins to the 14th century in Mantua, Italy, where for generations the family produced wine on their family farm. The family chose the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina because the area closely resembles the winemaking region of Tuscany with rolling hills, rocky soil, gentle breezes and constant sun. Raffaldini Vineyards is located 10 minutes from the I-77—Hwy. 421 interchange. Visit www.raffaldini.com for detailed directions.

Named one of Wine Business Monthly’s Top Ten Hot Small Brands in North America, and one of Our State’s “Most Beautiful Places,” family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas” Raffaldini currently produces five single varietal wines and several proprietary blends including Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Sangiovese Riserva and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Please visit our web site, www.raffaldini.com, call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

Raffaldini Vineyards to Unveil Winning Rescue Dog and Cat Wine Labels From the Pino Vino V Wine Label Competition
Posted by admin on Tuesday, 04 June 2013.

Raffaldini Vineyards invites you to Villa Raffaldini for the unveiling the new Pino Vino V red wine on Saturday, June 8 at 2pm.

The winning rescue dog chosen for the label, Trotter, is a German Shepherd mix from Troutman, NC, while a tuxedo, domestic shorthair rescue cat named Alice, from Wilkesboro, NC, was selected as the winning cat. Trotter will be present for the unveiling, and Alice and Trotter will each be featured on their own unique label for Pino Vino V.

Both cat and dog versions of Pino Vino V will be available for tasting and purchase during and after the unveiling. As with Pino Vino I-IV, a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Pino Vino V will be donated to local animal shelters.

Raffaldini Vineyards Owner Jay Raffaldini stated, “The outpouring of compassion and commitment displayed by our contest participants demonstrates the love that we all share for our rescue animals and reaffirms our belief in and ongoing support for this mission.”

Raffaldini Vineyards Announces Winning Dog and Cat for Pino Vino V Wine Label Competition
Posted by admin on Thursday, 16 May 2013.

Ronda, NC, May 16, 2013—Raffaldini Vineyards announced today the lucky dog and cat that will each be featured on their own label of Pino Vino V, a red wine.

The dog chosen for the label, Trotter, is a German Shepherd mix from Troutman, NC. The cat chosen for the label, Alice, is a tuxedo domestic shorthair from Wilkesboro, NC. As with Pino Vino I, II, III and IV, a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Pino Vino V will be donated to local animal shelters.

Raffaldini Vineyards Owner Jay Raffaldini stated, “The outpouring of compassion and commitment displayed by our contest participants demonstrates the love that we all share for our rescue animals and reaffirms our belief in and ongoing support for this mission.”

Raffaldini Vineyards invites you to meet Trotter who will be present for the unveiling of the new Pino Vino V wine at Villa Raffaldini on Saturday, June 8 at 2pm. Alice and Trotter will each grace their own unique label for Pino Vino V, and both cat and dog versions of the wine will be available for tasting and purchase during and after the unveiling.

About Raffaldini Vineyards Nestled in the Yadkin Valley Region of North Carolina, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas” Raffaldini currently produces both varietal wines and blends with its signature wines being Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Sangiovese Riserva and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Please visit our web site, www.raffaldini.com, call336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

Raffaldini Vineyards Begins Search For Rescue Dog and Cat Picture For Wine Label
Posted by admin on Wednesday, 06 February 2013. Edited by admin on Wednesday, 06 February 2013

Ronda, NC, February 6, 2013—Raffaldini Vineyards begins its competition to select a photograph of a rescue dog and cat for the label of its upcoming wine release, Pino Vino V.

Raffaldini Vineyards Pino Vino I, II, III and IV all featured a picture of a rescue dog that was chosen from entries submitted by rescue pet owners. For Pino Vino V, the competition is open to rescue dogs and cats. An equal amount of Pino Vino V will be bottled featuring two different labels, one with the picture of the winning dog and the other with the winning cat. Both wines will be released at a special unveiling ceremony on June 8.

“Our goal for this competition is to raise awareness for the needs and compassion that all rescued animals deserve,” Vineyard Owner Jay Raffaldini, said. “We are always touched by the incredible stories and unconditional support demonstrated by our participants towards animals in need, and in the end, we are all winners because of the impact and inspiration these special creatures have on our lives.”

Raffaldini Vineyards accepts photos of rescue dogs and cats until April 30, 2013. The winning photographs will replace last year’s rescue dog, Jake, a boxer mix from Charlotte, NC. This is the fifth release of the wine Pino Vino, and like the previous four releases, a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Pino Vino V will be donated to local animal shelters in support of all rescue animals.

Entrants can send their digital photos to info@raffaldini.com. Please include your name and contact information, your pet’s name and a brief story about your dog or cat in 50 words or less. The winner will be announced on May 10, and Pino Vino V will be released at an unveiling ceremony at Raffaldini Vineyards on June 11.

About Raffaldini Vineyards

The Raffaldini family traces its origins to the 14th century in Mantua, Italy, where for generations the family produced wine on their family farm. The family chose the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina because the area closely resembles the winemaking region of Tuscany with rolling hills, rocky soil, gentle breezes and constant sun.

One of Wine Business Monthly’s Top Ten Hot Small Brands in North America, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards is known as “Chianti in the Carolinas,” producing Central and Southern Italian varietals such as Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Visit the web site, www.raffaldini.com, call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

Raffaldini February Newsletter
Posted by admin on Friday, 01 February 2013.

February Newsletter

January 2013 Newsletter
Posted by admin on Wednesday, 02 January 2013.

Click Here to read our JAnuary Newsletter

Raffaldini December Newsletter
Posted by admin on Wednesday, 28 November 2012. Edited by admin on Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Click here to read our December Newsletter

Raffaldini Vineyards' Montepulciano Wins Best in Show; Wines Top Three Categories
Posted by admin on Thursday, 11 October 2012. Edited by admin on Thursday, 11 October 2012

Ronda, NC, October 11, 2012—Raffaldini Vineyards’ 2010 Montepulciano was awarded the Winegrower’s Cup for Best in Show at the 2012 North Carolina State Fair Wine Competition out of a record 471 wines entered.

Two other Raffaldini Vineyards wines garnered top awards. The 2011 Girasole, a dry Rosé, and the La Dolce Vita, a Moscato d’ Asti-style sparkling wine, both topped their respective classes making Raffaldini Vineyards the overall winner in three out of 11 total wine categories.

“We are honored to accept the Winegrower’s Cup for the top wine made in North Carolina,” Owner Jay Raffaldini said. “These awards validate our pursuit of Central to Southern Italian varietals in North Carolina and our continuing experimentation in both the vineyard and winery.”

About Raffaldini Vineyards The Raffaldini family traces its origins to the 14th century in Mantua, Italy. For generations, wine from the family farm was integral to daily life. The family chose the Swan Creek region of North Carolina because the area closely resembles the winemaking regions of Central and Southern Italy with rolling hills, rocky soil, gentle breezes and constant sun. Raffaldini Vineyards is located 10 minutes from the I-77—Hwy. 421 interchange.

One of Wine Business Monthly’s Top Ten Hot Small Brands in North America, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas” Raffaldini produces Italian varietal wines including: Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Girasole, Sangiovese, Sangiovese Riserva and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. For more information, visit www.raffaldini.com.

Raffaldini Vineyards Hosts 7th Annual Festa Italiana
Posted by admin on Thursday, 13 September 2012.

Raffaldini Vineyards will celebrate its 7th Annual Festa Italiana on Saturday, Sept. 15th, from 11am to 5pm.
The day-long event is a celebration of Italian culture, food, art, music and of course wine. Cost for admission is $15 and will include a wine tasting and commemorative glass, live music, food vendors and much more. “The Festa Italiana is our most popular event of the year,” Jay Raffaldini, managing partner, said. “It attracts Italians and Italian enthusiasts from all over the country and allows them to commune and celebrate a historic and unique culture while enjoying a fun-filled day out.”

Guests can enjoy a glass or flight of their favorite wines from Raffaldini while enjoying jazz and other Italian-American standards from the Jeff Decker Band from Charlottesville, VA. Local food vendors offering traditional Italian cuisine will be on hand with authentic Italian pastas, sandwiches, brick oven pizza, espresso, gelato and more. You can also brush up on your Italiano with the Triad Friends of Italy Chapter at the Italian Spoken Here tent. Lawn chairs and blankets are permitted. Raffaldini Vineyards requests no outside food or alcohol.

About Raffaldini Vineyards The Raffaldini family traces its origins to the 14th century in Mantua, Italy, where for generations the family produced wine on their family farm. The family chose the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina because the area closely resembles the winemaking region of Tuscany with rolling hills, rocky soil, gentle breezes and constant sun. Raffaldini Vineyards is located 10 minutes from the I-77—Hwy. 421 interchange. Visit www.raffaldini.com for detailed directions.

One of Wine Business Monthly’s Top Ten Hot Small Brands in North America, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas” Raffaldini currently produces five single varietal wines and several proprietary blends including Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Sangiovese Riserva and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Please visit our web site, www.raffaldini.com, call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

New WRAL Documentary Featuring Raffaldini Vineyards Examines N.C.’s Booming Wine Industry "Grape Expectations"
Posted by admin on Tuesday, 19 June 2012.

RALEIGH – The growth of our state’s wine industry is nothing short of phenomenal. Just decade ago there were only 25 wineries in North Carolina. Now there are 110. So what’s causing the wine boom in our state? That's the focus of the new WRAL Documentary “Grape Expectations.” The program premieres Wednesday, June 27 at 7:00 p.m. and is hosted by WRAL News anchor and reporter Monica Laliberte.

A recent study shows our state’s wine industry has an annual economic impact of about $1.3 billion a year, helps employ about 7,600 North Carolinians and generates about $51 million in local and state tax revenue. In addition to wine production, the economic impact comes from a growing wine tourism industry and the creation of businesses like suppliers that support wineries.

“Grape Expectations” profiles the industry’s pioneers, shows how the industry is generating revenue, examines the sustainability of its growth and explores the wide variety of wineries that span our state from the mountains to the coast.

“Grape Expectations” will air on Capitol Broadcasting Company stations across North Carolina:

WRAL-TV, Raleigh, Wednesday, June 27 at 7:00 p.m. WILM-TV, Wilmington, Wednesday, June 27 at 7:00 p.m. WRAZ-TV, Durham, Sunday, July 22, 6:00 p.m. WJZY-TV. Charlotte, Saturday, July 14, 5:00 p.m. WMYT-TV, Charlotte, Sunday, July 8, 10:30 p.m.

To watch a preview of the documentary, go to www.wral.com, search: WRAL doc. The documentary will also be available for on-demand viewing anytime after the premiere television broadcast on June 27.

Follow WRAL Documentary on facebook at www.facebook.com/WRALdoc and @WRALdoc on twitter. Watch the “Grape Expectations” documentary and discuss using #NCWine.

WRAL Documentary is one of the only dedicated documentary units in local TV. Its mission is to provide in-depth coverage of topics and issues relevant to North Carolinians.

WRAL News Documentary Producer Clay Johnson is available for radio interviews about this program. To schedule an interview or to get more information about this documentary contact him at (919) 469-2797.

Raffaldini Vineyards Announces Winning Dog for Pino Vino IV Wine Label Competition
Posted by admin on Tuesday, 15 May 2012.

Ronda, NC, May 15, 2012—Raffaldini Vineyards announced today the lucky dog that will be featured on the label of its Pino Vino IV, a red table wine.

The dog chosen for the label, Jake, is a boxer mix from Charlotte, NC. As with Pino Vino I, II and III a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Pino Vino IV will be donated to local animal shelters.

Raffaldini Vineyards Event Coordinator Casey Watson, who helped coordinate the collection of pictures and tabulated the results received from an outside voting panel, stated, “The outpouring of love and commitment displayed by our contest participants demonstrates the love that we all share for our rescue animals and reaffirms our belief in and ongoing support for this mission.”

Raffaldini Vineyards invites you to meet Jake who will be present for the unveiling of the new Pino Vino IV wine at Villa Raffaldini on Saturday, June 9 at 2pm. Pino Vino IV, featuring Jake on the label, will be available for tasting and purchase at that time. ** About Raffaldini Vineyards


Nestled in the Yadkin Valley Region of North Carolina, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas” Raffaldini currently produces both varietal wines and blends with its signature wines being Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Sangiovese Riserva and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Please visit our web site, www.raffaldini.com, call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

American Cities Insider: Sam in the City Features Raffaldini Vineyards
Posted by admin on Wednesday, 22 February 2012.

Tour superior wineries of North Carolina's Yadkin Valley

Raffaldini February Newsletter
Posted by admin on Wednesday, 01 February 2012.

Click Here to read our February Newsletter!

Raffaldini Vineyards One of N's Prettiest Locations in Our State Magazine
Posted by admin on Monday, 09 January 2012.

Ronda, NC, January 9, 2012—Raffaldini Vineyards is featured in the January 2012 issue of Our State Magazine as one of North Carolina’s seven most stunning spots.

“We are both honored and humbled to receive such special recognition from Our State Magazine, Jay Raffaldini, managing partner, said. “Our founding belief and principle is that, although we could have planted vines and made wine anywhere in the United States, North Carolina’s vast potential for quality wine production and agritourism is unsurpassed.”

In addition to describing Raffaldini Vineyards’ emergence as one of North Carolina’s premier wine and event venues, readers learn intimate details of vine care and production. The article follows Winemaker Kiley Evans and Vineyard Manager Andy Shores on a day to day journey through Raffaldini Vineyards from vine to bottle, including an interview with vineyard Owner Jay Raffaldini.

“Our Prettiest Places” is the feature article in the January 2012 Our State Magazine issue and also includes: Portsmouth Island, Pinehurst No. 2, the Bonner Bridge, Pond Mountain, Lake Waccamaw and the Appalachian Trail. The complete article is available online at www.ourstate.com/raffaldini-vineyards and on newsstands now.

About Raffaldini Vineyards

The Raffaldini family traces its origins to the 14th century in Mantua, Italy, where for generations they produced wine on their family farm. The family chose the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina because the area closely resembles the winemaking region of Tuscany with rolling hills, rocky soil, gentle breezes and constant sun. Raffaldini Vineyards is located 10 minutes from the I-77—Hwy. 421 interchange. Visit www.raffaldini.com for detailed directions.

One of Wine Business Monthly’s Top Ten Hot Small Brands in North America, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas” Raffaldini currently produces five single varietal wines and several proprietary blends including: Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Sangiovese Riserva and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Visit www.raffaldini.com, call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

Raffaldini Vineyards Hosts 6th Annual Festa Italiana
Posted by admin on Wednesday, 27 July 2011.

Ronda, NC—Raffaldini Vineyards will celebrate its 6th Annual Festa Italiana on Saturday, Sept. 17th, from 11am to 5pm.

The day-long event is a celebration of Italian culture, food, art, music and of course wine. Cost for admission is $15 and will include a wine tasting and commemorative glass, live music, food vendors and much more.

“The Italian festival is our most popular event of the year,” Jay Raffaldini, managing partner, said. “It attracts Italians and Italian enthusiasts from all over the country and allows them to commune and celebrate a historic and unique culture while enjoying a fun-filled day out.”

Guests can enjoy a glass or flight of their favorite wines from Raffaldini while enjoying authentic Italian folk music from Mebanesville, a band from Mebane, NC. Local food vendors offering traditional Italian cuisine will be on hand with lasagna, brick oven pizza, espresso, gelato and more. You can also brush up on your Italiano with the Triad Sons of Italy Chapter at the Italian Spoken Here tent. Lawn chairs and blankets are permitted. Raffaldini Vineyards requests no outside food or alcohol.

About Raffaldini Vineyards**

The Raffaldini family traces its origins to the 14th century in Mantua, Italy, where for generations the family produced wine on their family farm. The family chose the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina because the area closely resembles the winemaking region of Tuscany with rolling hills, rocky soil, gentle breezes and constant sun. Raffaldini Vineyards is located 10 minutes from the I-77—Hwy. 421 interchange. Visit www.raffaldini.com for detailed directions.

One of Wine Business Monthly’s Top Ten Hot Small Brands in North America, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas” Raffaldini currently produces five single varietal wines and several proprietary blends including Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Sangiovese Riserva and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Please visit our web site, www.raffaldini.com, call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

Raffaldini Vineyards & Winery Hires New Winemaker
Posted by admin on Wednesday, 06 July 2011. Edited by admin on Wednesday, 06 July 2011

Ronda, NC-July 6, 2011—Raffaldini Vineyards announced today the appointment of B. Kiley Evans to the position of Winemaker.

Before beginning his winemaking career, Kiley served as Head Sommelier at a premier Florida restaurant, building a wine cellar that earned Wine Spectator Magazine's recognition as one of the best in the nation. Kiley’s passion for wine next led him to the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University California at Davis, where he graduated near the top of his class and was recognized as the Albert J. Winkler scholar. Upon graduating, Kiley relocated to Southern Oregon and consistently produced wines that have been rated excellent to outstanding by many industry notables such as Wine Enthusiast Magazine. A wine from his first vintage as a head winemaker received the highest score ever awarded by Wine Enthusiast Magazine for a Southern Oregon wine. The wines he has helped produce have also received numerous awards in national and international competitions.

“I am delighted that Kiley has joined Raffaldini Vineyards,” said Jay Raffaldini, Managing Member. “His expertise highlights our commitment to producing the best wines possible. We look forward to Kiley’s skills enhancing our award-winning wines.”

Mr. Raffaldini also noted that Wine Business Monthly Magazine named both Raffaldini Vineyards and Abacela Winery, where Kiley made critically acclaimed Tempranillo and Syrah wines, among the Top Ten Hot Small Brands in North America in 2009.

About Raffaldini Vineyards

Nestled in the Yadkin Valley Region of North Carolina, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas,” Raffaldini Vineyards’ acknowledgements include wines rated “Good to Very Good” by national publications and being voted one of the Top Ten Wedding Venues in NC by the Knot Magazine. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Please visit our web site, www.raffaldini.com, call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

Raffaldini Wine Club Payment Information
Posted by admin on Friday, 01 July 2011.

Ciao Amici!

We are excited to bring you news regarding your upcoming Wine Club Package. The vineyard is full of fruit, our winery is busy bottling and labeling the new wines and we are preparing a special Wine Club Member only event to celebrate the release of our most popular wines. The August Wine Club release date will be August 13, 2011. We know you will truly enjoy our 2009 Montepulciano, 2009 Sangiovese Riserva and 2010 Vermentino.

We are upgrading our payment system to a more secure method of processing wine club payments to meet with the credit card industry’s new stringent requirements for responsibly handling consumers’ personal information. Instead of charging your credit card automatically, you will be able to go online to our new payment site and pay directly and securely.

If You Pick Up Your Wine Club Package:
Starting on July 11, 2011 go online to pay for your package at: http://www.raffaldini.com/wineclub.php and follow the simple instructions. Your Wine Club Package will be available for pick up from August 13 through October 13, 2011. We hope to see you at our special Wine Club Pickup Weekend Event on August 13 and August 14. You will be able to pick up your Wine Club Package and receive a complimentary food pairing with one of the wines as well as meet the winemaker.

If We Ship Your Wine Club Package: Starting on July 11, 2011 go online to pay for your package at: www.raffaldini.com/wineclub.php and follow the simple instructions. (Please remember to review our list of acceptable ship-to states.). Your Wine Club Package will be shipped between the dates of August 16 to August 18, 2011. Of course, we would be honored if you could join us during our special Wine Club Pickup Weekend Event on August 13 and 14.

We think you will find our new payment site fast, easy and secure.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our support team via email at info@raffaldini.com or call us at 336.835.9463.

Salute! La Famiglia Raffaldini

Raffaldini Vineyards To Unveil Pino Vino III Rescue Dog Wine Label
Posted by admin on Friday, 10 June 2011.

Ronda, NC—This Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 2pm, Raffaldini Vineyards will unveil the winning label from its Pino Vino III wine label contest.

The dog chosen for the label, Chloe, is a Rough-coat Jack Russell Terrier from State Road, NC. As with Pino Vino I and Pino Vino II, a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Pino Vino III will be donated to local animal shelters. Chloe is the ambassador for all animals in need of rescue and she will be present at Raffaldini Vineyards during the unveiling ceremony.

Raffaldini Vineyards also invites you to meet Chloe who will be present for the unveiling of the new Pino Vino III wine at Villa Raffaldini on Saturday, June 11 at 2pm. Pino Vino III, featuring Chloe on the label, will be available for tasting and purchase at that time.

About Raffaldini Vineyards

Nestled in the Yadkin Valley Region of North Carolina, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas” Raffaldini currently produces both varietal wines and blends with its signature wines being Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Sangiovese Riserva and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Please visit our web site, www.raffaldini.com, call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

Raffaldini Vineyards Announces Winning Dog For Pino Vino III Wine Label Competition
Posted by admin on Wednesday, 18 May 2011.

Ronda, NC, May 18, 2011—Raffaldini Vineyards announced today the lucky dog that will be featured on the label of its Pino Vino III, a red table wine.

The dog chosen for the label, Chloe, is a Rough-coat Jack Russell Terrier from State Road, NC. As with Pino Vino I and Pino Vino II, a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Pino Vino III will be donated to local animal shelters.

Owner Jay Raffaldini sums up the sentiment of the contest in his letter to all contestants, “All of you care for and love your rescue dogs so much that it reaffirms to me the belief that at any moment in our lives something completely unexpected can enter and be an immense source of joy and happiness. In my mind, all the rescue dogs are winners but the real winners are us, for we get to have them in our lives.”

Raffaldini Vineyards invites you to meet Chloe who will be present for the unveiling of the new Pino Vino III wine at Villa Raffaldini on Saturday, June 11 at 2pm. Pino Vino III, featuring Chloe on the label, will be available for tasting and purchase at that time. ** About Raffaldini Vineyards** Nestled in the Yadkin Valley Region of North Carolina, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas” Raffaldini currently produces both varietal wines and blends with its signature wines being Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Sangiovese Riserva and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Please visit our web site, www.raffaldini.com, call336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

Raffaldini April Newsletter
Posted by admin on Wednesday, 30 March 2011.

Click Here to read our April Newsletter!

Raffaldini Vineyards Announces Wine Label Competition Featuring a Picture of Your Rescue Dog
Posted by admin on Friday, 18 February 2011.

Ronda, NC, February 18, 2011—Raffaldini Vineyards is hosting a competition to select a photograph of a rescue dog for the label of its upcoming wine release, Pino Vino III.

Raffaldini Vineyards is accepting photos of rescue dogs from now until April 30, 2011. The winning photograph will replace last year’s rescue dog, Paddington, an Old English Sheepdog from Lenoir, NC. This is the third release of the wine Pino Vino, and like the previous two releases, a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Pino Vino III will be donated to local animal shelters.

“Paddington is an ambassador for all of the rescue dogs who were entered in the Pino Vino II wine label contest,” Ray Williams, owner of Paddington, said. “Paddington loves people, enjoyed the attention and served as a wonderful representative for Raffaldini Vineyards Pino Vino II. We wish all of the rescue dog entrants the best for Pino Vino III. Through Raffaldini Vineyards' support of local animal shelters, all animals in need are winners.”

Photos of rescue dogs will be accepted via email now through April 30. Entrants can send their hi-resolution digital photos to info@raffaldini.com. Please include your name and contact information, your pet’s name and a brief story about your dog in 50 words or less. The winner will be announced on May 13, and the Pino Vino III wine will be released at an unveiling ceremony at Raffaldini Vineyards on June 11.

About Raffaldini Vineyards

Nestled in the Yadkin Valley Region of North Carolina, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas” Raffaldini Vineyards acknowledgements include being named one of Wine Business Monthly’s Top Ten Hot Small Brands in North America, wines that are rated “Good to Very Good” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine and being voted one of the Top Ten Wedding Venues in NC by the Knot Magazine. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Please visit our web site, www.raffaldini.com, call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

Raffaldini Vineyards Announces Wine Label Competition Featuring a Picture of Your Rescue Dog
Posted by admin on Friday, 18 February 2011. Edited by admin on Friday, 18 February 2011

Raffaldini Vineyards is accepting photos of rescue dogs between now and April 30, 2011. The winning photograph will replace last year’s rescue dog, Paddington, an Old English Sheepdog from Lenoir, NC. This is the third relase of the wine Pino Vino, and as in the previous two release, a portion of the proceeds of the sale of both Pino Vino III will be donated to local animal shelters.

“Paddington is an ambassador for all of the rescue dogs who were entered in the Pino Vino II wine label contest,” Ray Williams, owner of Paddington, said. “Paddington loves people, enjoyed the attention and served as a wonderful representative for Raffaldini Vineyards’ Pino Vino II. We wish all of the rescue dog entrants the best for Pino Vino III. Through Raffaldini Vineyards' support of local animal shelters, all animals in need are winners.”

Photos of dogs will be accepted via email now through April 30. Entrants can send their hi-resolution digital photos to info@raffaldini.com. Please include your name and contact information, your pet’s name and a brief story about your dog in 50 words or less. The winner will be announced on May 13 and the Pino Vino III wine will be released at an unveiling ceremony at Raffaldini Vineyards on June 11.

About Raffaldini Vineyards

Nestled in the Yadkin Valley Region of North Carolina, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas” Raffaldini Vineyards acknowledgements include being named one of Wine Business Monthly’s Top Ten Hot Small Brands in North America, wines that are rated “Good to Very Good” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine and being voted one of the Top Ten Wedding Venues in NC by the Knot Magazine. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Please visit our web site, www.raffaldini.com, call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

Raffaldini Wine Club--Spring
Posted by admin on Wednesday, 09 February 2011.

Attention La Famiglia Raffaldini Wine Club Members! The release of our Spring 2011 Wine Club package is just around the corner. Please take a moment to look over the Raffaldini Wine Club Newsletter. If you are not already a member of our Wine Club and would like to learn more about our releases, benefits and special Win...e Club member events, email us at wineclub@raffaldini.com or 336.835.9463.

Raffaldini Vineyards Featured in WBTV On The Road
Posted by admin on Wednesday, 09 February 2011. Edited by admin on Wednesday, 09 February 2011

On the Road, a segment produced by Charlotte News Station WBTV, featured Raffaldini Vineyards as a great destination for local tourism.

Raffaldini Vineyards Celebrates Tenth Anniversary
Posted by admin on Friday, 07 January 2011.

Ronda, NC, January 7, 2011—Raffaldini Vineyards will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the establishment of Raffaldini Vineyards on January 21 from 6pm-9pm with a ribbon cutting, reception and special wine release. The guest of honor at the celebration will be NC Deputy Secretary of Commerce Dale Carroll.

At the celebration, Raffaldini Vineyards will unveil its first 1.5 Liter Magnum of red wine, Tutto è Possibile – Anything is Possible, produced with varietals harvested over the past years and blended together to harmoniously express the full potential of the Yadkin Valley and Swan Creek appellations. The wine is limited to 450 magnums which have been individually numbered and then signed by the winemaker, vineyard manager and Jay Raffaldini on behalf of La Famiglia Raffaldini.

“We are grateful for the local communities who have supported us throughout the years and who have helped Raffaldini Vineyards and the North Carolina wine industry ascend to the world stage,” said owner and managing member, Jay Raffaldini.

Since the land for Raffaldini Vineyards was purchased in 2001, Raffaldini Vineyards has been an innovator in the North Carolina wine industry by focusing on Italian varietals and incorporating a traditional approach to winemaking with modern vineyard techniques. Raffaldini Vineyards has been recognized nationally and internationally in wine competitions and media such as the Associated Press, Wine Business Monthly, Wine Enthusiast, The Knot Magazine and other media outlets.

About Raffaldini Vineyards

Nestled in the Yadkin Valley Region of North Carolina, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas” Raffaldini Vineyards acknowledgements include being named one of Wine Business Monthly’s Top Ten Hot Small Brands in North America, wines that are rated “Good to Very Good” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine and being voted one of the Top Ten Wedding Venues in NC by the Knot Magazine. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Please visit our web site, www.raffaldini.com, call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

Raffaldini December Newsletter
Posted by admin on Saturday, 04 December 2010. Edited by admin on Saturday, 04 December 2010

Click here to read about our exciting upcoming events and holiday offerings in our December Newsletter!

Grape Escape-North Carolina is one of the faster-growing wine regions in America
Posted by admin on Tuesday, 30 November 2010. Edited by admin on Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Check out this mention of Raffaldini Vineyards in this article about North Carolina Wines featured in the Advocate Magazine from Baton Rouge, LA. Originally published Nov. 21.

Choose Your Thanksgiving Wine - Raffaldini Vermentino!
Posted by admin on Wednesday, 17 November 2010. Edited by admin on Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Enjoy this clip from WCNC's Charlotte Today where wine writer, Trevor Burton reviews Raffaldini's 2009 Vermentino!

Vermentino Finds a Global Groove
Posted by admin on Friday, 29 October 2010. Edited by admin on Friday, 29 October 2010

Snippet courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Hot in North Carolina

From the other side of the country, the 2008 Vermentino from North Carolina's Raffaldini Winery made Wine Business Monthly's 2009 top 10 list of "hot, small brands."

Read more: here

Raffaldini Vineyards Receives Two Double Gold Medals at NC State Fair
Posted by admin on Wednesday, 13 October 2010.

Raffaldini Vineyards received two double gold medals at the 2010 NC State Fair, one each for its Oenotria 2008 and Vermentino 2009. Raffaldini Vineyards also received three silver medals and two bronze medals.

Complete award information can be found at: http://www.nccommerce.com/NR/rdonlyres/C2CAF806-14CE-44C0-8CF5-7E4126320882/0/CommercialMedalsbyWinery.pdf

Nestled in the Yadkin Valley Region of North Carolina, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas,” Raffaldini currently produces both varietal wines and blends with its signature wines being Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Sangiovese Riserva and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Please call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

N. Carolina, where winemaking dates to 1835, now home to more than 90 wineries
Posted by admin on Thursday, 09 September 2010. Edited by admin on Thursday, 09 September 2010

Courtesy AP- The Canadian Press By Julie Reed Bell (CP)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina is known for basketball, beaches and barbecue. But wine doesn't necessarily come to mind when thinking about the Tar Heel State.

Yet North Carolina is home to more than 90 wineries and has three American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) — Yadkin Valley, Swan Creek and Haw River Valley. For an AVA designation, 85 per cent of the grapes have to be grown in the region and there must be a distinctive combination of soil and climate. This results in an identifiable regional wine character, also known as an appellation or district.

The number of wineries in North Carolina has more than quadrupled since 2001. Currently, the state ranks seventh in wine production in the United States. The growing industry has two focuses — native muscadine grapes and European-style vinifera grapes.

While North Carolina winemaking may seem to be in its infancy now, it's actually more of a rebirth. The state's first commercial winery opened in 1835. At the turn of the 20th century, 25 wineries were in operation, making it one of the most productive states in the U.S. But Prohibition effectively shut the industry down and land was turned over to lucrative and legal crops, like tobacco.

Several of the vineyards of Swan Creek, located in the northwest part of the state, in fact, are located on the sites of former tobacco farms. There are five wineries in this area within about 25 kilometres of each other and all are as distinctive as the varieties of grapes they grow. They are family owned and operated and small in terms of wine production. The largest single winery is Raffaldini Vineyards, which produces 5,000 to 6,000 cases per year. All specialize in European-style grape varieties.

The area is an easy hour drive from Charlotte, straight up Interstate 77. Once you get off the highway, a wine trail meanders on two-lane roads through lush, rolling farmland of the Yadkin Valley between the Brushy Mountains and the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. These ranges provide a sandy, loamy, soil for grape cultivation. In fall, you'll be surrounded by dramatic mountain scenes and vibrant autumn colours in this heavily forested region.

First stop on your tour of Swan Creek should be Laurel Gray Vineyards, in the town of Hamptonville (where four of the five wineries on the trail are located). The winery is owned by Benny and Kim Myers and named after their son and daughter. The first grapes were planted here in 2001 on land that has been in the Myers family for 10 generations. Laurel Gray was honoured with the 2009 Winegrowers of Excellence in North Carolina award and grows Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Viognier, Syrah and Pinot Gris grapes. The winery produces 1,500 to 1,800 cases of wine per year. Like most boutique wineries, its wine and other products can only be purchased on a trip to the vineyard.

Laurel Gray's charming tasting room is located in a converted 1930s milking parlour and is surrounded by English rose gardens. There's a relaxing front porch and patio for leisurely sipping with a view of the vineyards and mountains in the distance. Don't miss the honeysuckle aromas of the Viognier or the intense smokiness of the estate reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

Your next stop will be the grand and majestic Raffaldini Vineyards, located in Ronda. A Tuscan-style villa suddenly and incongruously springs up from the rural hills and valleys of Wilkes County. This terra cotta and stucco structure was inspired by the villas in Mantua, Italy, where the Raffaldini family has lived since 1348. When the family came to the United States in the 1950s, they wanted to preserve their home winemaking tradition, and visited 60 spots around the country before choosing the current location in 2001. Raffaldini was recently named one of the top 10 hot small brands of 2009 by Wine Business Monthly, a trade publication.

Raffaldini specializes in Italian grape varieties and grows two dozen types on 17 hectares. It is the only exclusively Italian winery in North Carolina and one of relatively few vineyards in the country to grow the Vermentino grape. Vermentino is the premier white of southern Italy and Raffaldini's version is marvellously crisp and mineral-rich. You can also sample wines made from Sangiovese (the predominant grape in Chianti), Montepulciano, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Tempranillo, Moscato, Pinot Grigio and Petit Manseng. Spectacular mountain and vineyard panoramas can be seen from either the first-floor piazza-like patio or upstairs balcony of the villa.

Your next visit is back in Hamptonville, to Dobbins Creek Vineyards, one of the newer members of the Swan Creek AVA. Retiree Charles King planted his first vines on his father's former tobacco farm in 2002 and the winery opened to the public in April 2008. Dobbins Creek produces 900 cases a year and King grows Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Riesling. There are only a few Riesling producers in the state as the humidity makes it tough for the grape to flourish here, but King says it's his favourite and worth the extra effort. The tasting room is an expansive and airy log cabin with hickory plank floors and a large stone fireplace. The wine bar itself is covered in 100-year-old cherry wood harvested from the property.

Buck Shoals Vineyards, in the heart of North Carolina's Amish country, is also in Hamptonville. A nearby bakery and deli is a popular stop for wine tasters to refuel, and horse-drawn buggies can often be seen on the surrounding roads.

Owned by Terry and Joanne Crater, the vineyard's land has been in the Crater family for five generations and until 2002 was a tobacco farm. Buck Shoals opened in 2004 and grows 10 varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Barbera, Pinot Grigio, Traminette, Chardonnay and Viognier. The winery produces about 5,000 cases a year. Buck Shoals is the only winery in the state with a legal distillery producing award-winning meads (a mead is any beverage fermented with honey). Buck Shoals also makes Midnight Royal, a port-style beverage with all local ingredients, and La Gloria, which is a ratafia (basically a white wine port) that's very sweet. The cosy tasting room is also in a log cabin and features a covered back deck for sipping before a tableau of the vineyards and mountains.

Right down the road from Buck Shoals is Shadow Springs Vineyard, the newest addition to the Swan Creek AVA. Shadow Springs' first vines were planted in 2005 (again, on land that most recently grew tobacco) and the winery opened for tastings in June 2008. Owned by Chuck and Jamey Johnson, Shadow Springs grows Merlot, Seyval Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Petit Verdot, Chambourcin and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their tasting room is bright and modern and fully equipped with the latest technology. There's a sun room and patio overlooking a spring-fed lake with a vineyard vista. Shadow Springs is best known for its dessert wines, Shortcake and Dark Shadow. Shortcake is made completely of strawberries and Dark Shadow is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Seyval Blanc and dark chocolate, added right before the wine is bottled. Buck Shoals offers 14 different wines and produce about 2,500 cases per year.

"Tasting is believing," says Margo Knight Metzger, spokeswoman for North Carolina's Divison of Tourism and former executive director of the North Carolina Wine & Grape Council. "The wine industry here has a bright future."

All the winery owners say their greatest reward is in meeting different types of people, along with the reaction of customers trying something new and discovering they like it. Discover North Carolina wine for yourself — and don't be afraid to try a local Cabernet with that 'cue.

———

If You Go...

SWAN CREEK AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREA: Information, maps and directions to the five Swan Creek wineries at http://www.swancreekvineyards.com/. All the wineries are open to the public Wednesday-Sunday. Tastings, $4 to $5. Most wineries also include a commemorative glass with the tasting price.

NORTH CAROLINA WINE TRAIL: More than 20 itineraries, events, directions, maps, hours and contact information for the state's 90-plus wineries: http://www.visitncwine.com/

UPCOMING EVENTS: Vineyards of Swan Creek Annual Harvest Festival, Oct. 9-10. Yadkin Valley Grape Festival, Yadkinville, N.C., Oct. 16, http://yvgf.com/. Swan Creek Vineyards Annual Holiday Open House, Dec. 4-5.

Raffaldini Vineyards Hosts 5th Annual Festa Italiana
Posted by admin on Friday, 03 September 2010. Edited by admin on Thursday, 16 September 2010

Ronda, NC, Sept. 3, 2010—Raffaldini Vineyards will celebrate its 5th Annual Festa Italiana on Saturday, Sept. 18th, from 11am to 5pm.

The day-long event is a celebration of Italian culture, food, art, music and of course wine. Cost is $15 and will include a wine and food tasting. “The Italian festival is our most popular event of the year,” Event Coordinator Annie Vorys, said. “It attracts Italians and Italian enthusiasts from all over the country and allows them to commune and celebrate a historic and unique culture while enjoying a fun-filled day out.” Guests can enjoy a glass or flight of their favorite wines from Raffaldini Vineyards along with a tasting of savory and sweet Italian cuisine. Authentic Italian food vendors will be on hand with calzones, pizza, espresso, gelato and more. Musicians will perform from 12pm-4pm, while visitors can come dressed as their favorite Italian character and compete in a costume contest for a Raffaldini Vineyards $75 gift certificate. There will also be an opportunity to speak Italian with the Triad Sons of Italy Chapter as well as pick up some specialty Italian food items such as Raffaldini’s Sangiovese marinara sauce, white truffle oil, wine-infused chocolate truffles and more. About Raffaldini Vineyards The Raffaldini family traces its origins to the 14th century in Mantua, Italy; where for generations the family produced wine on their family farm. The family chose the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina because the area closely resembles the winemaking region of Tuscany with rolling hills, rocky soil, gentle breezes and constant sun. Raffaldini Vineyards is located 10 minutes from the I-77—Hwy. 421 interchange. Visit www.raffaldini.com for detailed directions.

One of Wine Business Monthly’s Top Ten Hot Small Brands of 2009, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas” Raffaldini currently produces five single varietal wines and four blends: Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Sangiovese Riserva and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Please visit our web site, www.raffaldini.com, call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

Raffaldini Vineyards Announces Winning Dog For Pino Vino II Wine Label Competition
Posted by admin on Tuesday, 18 May 2010. Edited by Thomas on Thursday, 17 June 2010

Raffaldini Vineyards announced today the lucky dog that will be featured on the label of its next release, Pino Vino II, a red table wine.

The dog chosen for the label, Paddington, is an Old English Sheepdog from Lenoir, NC. As with Pino Vino I, a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Pino Vino II will be donated to local animal shelters.

Owner Jay Raffaldini sums up the sentiment of the contest in his letter to all contestants, “All of you care for and love your rescue dogs so much that it reaffirms to me the belief that at any moment in our lives something completely unexpected can enter and be an immense source of joy and happiness. In my mind, all the rescue dogs are winners but the real winners are us, for we get to have them in our lives.”

Raffaldini Vineyards invites you to meet Paddington who will be present for the unveiling of the new Pino Vino II wine at Villa Raffaldini on Saturday, June 12 at 2pm. Pino Vino II, featuring Paddington on the label, will be available for tasting and purchase at that time. About Raffaldini Vineyards Nestled in the Yadkin Valley Region of North Carolina, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas” Raffaldini currently produces both varietal wines and blends with its signature wines being Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Sangiovese Riserva and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Please visit our web site, www.raffaldini.com, call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.comfor more information.

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Raffaldini Vineyards Wins Multiple Medals at California Competitions
Posted by admin on Wednesday, 14 April 2010. Edited by Thomas on Thursday, 17 June 2010

April 14, 2010

Ronda, NC, April 14, 2010—Five wines from Raffaldini Vineyards received medals at the San Diego International Wine Competition and the Lodi International Wine Competition in California.

Top honors went to the 2008 Pinot Grigio, which received a gold medal at the Lodi, CA competition. Also at the Lodi, CA competition, bronze medals went to 2008 Oenotria, Bella Misto and Vermentino. The 2008 Vermentino received silver medal at the San Diego International competition.

About the Competitions Courtesy www.lodiwineawards.com The Lodi International wine awards is the first and only judging to use a new evaluation methodology that takes into account issues of flavor distortion and palate fatigue that often occurs at tastings and judgings where many wines are evaluated over a long and extended session.

Courtesy Robert Whitley www.sdiwc.com The San Diego Wine Competition, in its 27th year, is one of the oldest wine competitions in the US. Every year they receive close to 2000 entries from more than 20 countries. The contest is directed by nationally-syndicated wine columnist, Robert Whitley, and judged by industry professionals from across the US. About Raffaldini Vineyards Nestled in the Yadkin Valley Region of North Carolina, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old Nor``th State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas” Raffaldini currently produces both varietal wines and blends with its signature wines being Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Sangiovese Riserva and Montepulciano. Raffaldini hosts public and private events throughout the year. Please visit our web site, www.raffaldini.com, call 336.835.9463 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information.

posted by Thomas on 04/14/2010

 

 

 
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