For an unexpected venture in our winery day, RayLen Vineyards and Winery proved to be a genius idea. Here is the picture for you: after a wonderful breakfast at our favorite diner (Alex's Cafe) we hit the road. We were ready to get back as wine mouths and bloggers, and we were pumped- full of caffeine. Since we have laid our stake on most wineries in a 40 mile radius, we had quite the day ahead of us, heading to unknown towns. Barely on the road, and still before 11am, we see the glorified sign on the highway for a winery. Within the .5 mile notice of the exit ramp, we quickly googled and realized they opened at 11am (wine mouths and speedy fingers right there). Well why the hell not? We roll up and run to the door, not realizing it is still a few minutes before 11. I mean who ever cared about a few minutes anyways. The lovely man runs to the door and opens it right up. We are welcomed with "Are y'all thirsty?". Why yes we are. Well said sir.
RayLen proved to be a great stop, we liked all of their wines. Their sweet wasn't too sweet, and their Merlot wasn't weak and watery. We were able to choose from different tastings where we tried 9 wines (with a bonus) for $10. AND we got the glass. Even though I take numerous glasses to Goodwill while they bust out of my cabinet, I remember back to the early days of the Wine Mouths when getting a glass was like getting the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
As a side note, and for those heavy NC drinkers - their case club sounds pretty sweet. You buy 1 case with 10% off, are automatically in the club, and then every case thereafter is 20% off plus free shipping, free admission to events and 25% off a case if you buy it at an event. AND you get free glasses of wine and tastings. Maybe they were lying to us...
- Staff: 4 Friendly, recommended other wineries. Not too talkative or overbearing. Offered second tastes
- Indoor Ambiance: 3.5 (yes we just busted into decimals) not stuffy or modern. Lots of space and staff. Would be great for a big party
- Outdoor Ambiance: 5 JMo found $5 patio, lots of vines. There was a drive by the trailer park as an exit (just a reminder we are still in NC).
- Regular Wine Tasting: 5. All quality and consistent. Reds and whites. We loved or at least liked them all.
- Specialty Wine Tasting: 3 undecided since we didn't try any of the specialty flights
- The Story: 2 we had to ask and we were left with the burning question of how do you spell Rachel
- Amount/Selection Tried: 4 No poury spouts, offered seconds, and thirds for JMo (sneakily I might add - note to self: no more bathroom breaks).
- Cost: 3 average
- Location: 5 not far off the highway, close to Winston Salem
|"Look at me, I just found $5"|
This set the bar very high for the next 5 we had on our list. The real question was if we would make it through the day (we did, in case you were on the edge of your seat).