Two wine posts in a row! Who am I?
Seriously, I wasn’t a wine fan until maybe 2-3 years ago… and I still don’t really care for white wine. But I can dig some reds.
Lucky for me, the Queen City Classic Food & Wine Tour included allll the red wine. 🍷
This day-trip to the Yadkin Valley is organized and executed by Megan and Jessica (@ncwinegals) of Big Fat World Tours, a Charlotte-based company that specializes in planning tours all over the world. Jessica was our wonderful guide for the day.
We met Jessica at 7th Street Public Market on a Sunday morning for our first tasting. Our only white wine of the day came from Shelton Vineyards (Dobson, NC) in the form of a Riesling. To my surprise, I really enjoyed this wine. Especially because it was paired with a Krispy Kreme Glazed Doughnut.
Next, we piled into a spacious van and proceeded to make the 1.5-hour drive to Jones von Drehle Vineyards in Thurmond, NC. There, we partook in a wine tasting where we sampled various wines on their reserve list. This was the only stop that included a full wine tasting, so we certainly started the day off on the right foot. Jones von Drehle is family owned-and-operated, and co-owner Diana Jones was kind enough to give us a tour of the facility.
Our next stop was McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks (Thurmond, NC), the most quaint spot of the day. We sat as a group on the front porch (overlooking the dazzling vineyards) and enjoyed homemade pulled pork while sipping on Ring of Fire (Merlot/Sangiovese blend) and their sweet Port-style wine. The port was especially delightful on ice (appropriate for a hot July afternoon.)
The third winery of the day was Raffaldini Vineyards (Ronda, NC). As cliche as it is, it truly did NOT feel like we were in North Carolina. The gorgeous views make you feel as close to Italy as you can without leaving the state.
On a porch just steps away from the main estate, we enjoyed a Montepulciano Reserva with saucy meatballs and bread and a Sangiovese with brownies. Temps were rising, so we then moved indoors into the beautiful Italian-style house. There, guests can participate in tastings and purchase various snacks.
Our final stop was literally next door to Raffaldini. Piccione Vineyards (Ronda, NC) too has a gorgeous view (are you noticing a pattern here?) as well as a delicious Provence-style rosé, which we sipped on with goat cheese and crackers. It was the perfect final destination.
We were home before 6:30 that evening thanks to our amazing guide and wine expert, Jessica. She truly made the trip so special for all of us.
I honestly can’t recommend the Queen City Classic Food & Wine Tour enough. It includes transportation to and from the Yadkin Valley, one full wine tasting, at least one glass of wine at the other stops, and plenty of food. Jessica also stocked the car with water bottles to keep us hydrated throughout the day. The Big Fat World Tours team truly knows how to take care of guests.
If you want to find out what North Carolina wine is all about (and discover they are NOT all sweet!), this trip is for you. This particular tour is offered Fridays and Sundays and can accommodate 6-12 people. Feel free to book online or call the team at 704-778-7616 for more information. AND you can score $20 off your single-ticket using code CHARLOTTE at check out!
This post was created after a complimentary experience on the Queen City Classic Food & Wine Tour. All opinions are my own.