"Currently a resident of Arlington, VA by way of New York City, I am a Winston-Salem girl at heart and love to come home whenever I can. This year, Easter, my 27th birthday, the end of a very wonderful bachelorette weekend and a visit home all coincided to form one mega-weekend! Fortunately, my work schedule allows for Mondays off, so I enjoyed an extra day of quality time with my mom who had posed the question of what I wanted to do for my birthday. My first thought was an afternoon at Raffaldini Vineyards, one of my favorites in NC!
So after a morning of car battery adventures including a trip to my old mechanic, and some impromptu shopping, mom and I pulled up the winding pathway into the gravel lot at Raffaldini at 4:30 – just a half an hour before they closed. Upon arrival, there was a couple who had also just started their $7 tasting and one … wine spirit guide, as the wine mouths call them, who was holding court in the tasting room. She took her time and didn’t rush us through the nearly nine wines – 3 whites, 1 rosato, and 5 reds - she even added a couple of the more expensive and wildly tasty wines at the end for fun! When we asked if we could sit outside for a while as they were closing and indulge in some of very delicious (handcrafted in NC!) chocolate bars they sell, there was no problem and it made for a wonderful, relaxed afternoon on a perfect Carolina day.
Staff: Very knowledgeable without being snobby -4
Indoor ambiance: Beautiful Tuscan - villa style interior, sophisticated, but lacking in pretention - 4
Outdoor ambiance: I have yet to see a view like this one in NC wine country- 5
Regular wine tasting: diverse and all high quality - 4
The story: Experienced and adventurous vintners, details happily supplied by the staff - 4
Amount/selection tried: 9 wines, healthy pours - 5
Cost: $ 7 for a tasting and bottles ranged from $15-29/bottle with bulk discounts -5
Location: Ronda, NC – off the beaten path, gorgeous area, 45 min from W-S - 5
With its slogan as “Chianti in the Carolinas”, Raffaldini had the opportunity to slide into a cheesy Americanized Italian vineyard, but instead has hit all the right notes in incorporating a rich and authentic family history into the natural beauty of North Carolina – not to mention the goods and expertise to back it up. Incredible award winning wines with a view to rival Napa’s best."