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NC Wine Touring: Raffaldini Vineyards

Hello again my friends,

In a continuation of the NC Wine Touring reviews, I wanted to share my experience from my friend’s birthday trip of going to Raffaldini Vineyards in Ronda, NC. This is part of the Yadkin Valley wineries, as well as the subset of 5 wineries that make up the Swan Creek AVA. This is one of the prettiest vineyards I’ve been to, without a doubt, from the Tuscan-style Villa to the deck overlooking the actual vineyard to the gardens on the walk up to the Villa. Gorgeous.

Raffaldini Vineyards Stone Garden and Pond!

Raffaldini Vineyards in Ronda started its journey around year 2000, planting 40 acres of varietals between 2003-2005. Some of the varietals are so rare that Raffaldini Vineyards is either the first vineyard in the United States or the only on the East Coast to grow them. Steeped in Italian history and heritage, Raffaldini has the marketing motto “Chianti in the Carolinas” and the family motto “Audentes Fortuna Iuvat” (translation: ‘Fortune Favors the Daring’).

Raffaldini Vineyards ‘Creek’!

Raffaldini Vineyards Piazza!

For the Wine Tasting, only 2 of the 5 of us partook because the wines are typically more on the dry side. So Lisa and I decided to be the victims who were chosen to try these wines, take one for the team so-to-speak. Heh. Darn. Just twist my arm a bit harder, please…. (Lisa & I both have a real love for the drier and more robust wines, if you couldn’t tell from my sarcasm there.)

Raffaldini Vineyards make a gorgeous backdrop for our group!

So here is the tasting we did, with the notes from Raffaldini followed by my thoughts, in order of tasting.

2011 Pinot Grigio
R: Light to medium-bodied and crisp, aromas and flavors of apple and mineral. Italy’s most popular white wine [varietal].
Beth: Slightly peach fragrance, apple undertones throught, and a crisp finish.

2010 Vermentino
R: Clean, versatile, full-bodied white wine.
Beth: Tropical and citrus undertones, with a crisp start and a smooth finish. Yum.

2011 Girasole Rosé
R: A complex aroma of berries, and raspberry and  strawberry flavors balance acidity and a medium-bodied, clean, dry finish.
Beth: Tart mineral undertone similar to stainless-barrelled Chardonnay, with dry berry overtones and a slightly sweet finish.

2009 Sangiovese
R: “Chianti” style, medium-bodied ruby-red colored wine with hints of rhubarb and strawberries, and cherry dominating the palate.
Beth: Sweet cherry smelling, oak undertone, slightly subtle hint of strawberry-rhubarb, and a slightly dry finish.

Il Mezzogiorno
R: A blackberry, black raspberry, currant and rhubarb medium-bodied wine with rich fruit and oak flavors leading up to a long, lingering spicy finish.
Beth: Very smooth start and finish, with a heavy currant, berry and rhubarb middle making it slightly tart but still sweet, and a spiced finish that leaves a pleasant taste on the tongue. This was one of my 2 favorite wines from Raffaldini. Delicious!

2009 Riserva
R: Smoky, savory and warming red wine with dark cherry flavors.
Beth: Very smooth start with a smoked oak flavor undertone, and overtones of dark cherries, finishing with a smooth flourish.

Bella Misto
R: Full-bodied, jammy red fruit and earthy aromas.
Beth: This was a very dry red that had very raspberry-jam flavors throughout, with undertones in aroma of almost a dry clay to finish the sip.

La Doce Vita
R: With intense aromas of floral lychee, orange peel and cardamom, and a smooth and sweet Moscato d’Asti style, this is a juicy explosion of fruit like biting into ripe kiwi or plump peaches.
Beth: This was my other favorite wine from Raffaldini. This was delicious, and surprising. The best way I can describe it is like a dry sparkling wine was split down the middle by a sweet grape juice, and the resulting effect leaves a light kiwi bubble on your tongue. I bought a bottle for a friend’s wedding that’s coming up, because I know they’ll love it.

So that is the Raffaldini Vineyards “secondo me” for today, and I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know your thoughts on my thoughts, this wine if you’ve ever had it, or my blog in general. Love to hear from you!

Craft You Later,
Beth

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