One of our favorite things to do in Fall, is to visit area wineries with friends. We have a fun group always up for adventure. Sometimes, there are as many as seven to eight couples on these trips. In which case, we split the cost of hiring a driver to allow us a care free day. Other times, it’s a smaller group. Whatever the case, we always enjoy our trips. When we first began our winery visits, it shocked me to find out the sheer number of locations just a short drive from Charlotte. We love the Yadkin Valley, about an hour and a half from Charlotte. It’s home to some of our favorite wineries in North Carolina. At last count, there were 46 wineries in the Yadkin Valley, all within a few miles of each other. Apparently, the reason for the concentration of wineries in that area is the soil. The clay found there is similar to that in Tuscany, Italy. And, the climate seems to mimic Bordeaux. So, if you find yourself in search of a new outing, give the Yadkin Valley wineries a try. Here’s a few of our favorites!

  • Raffaldini

    Raffaldini is one of the first wineries we ever visited.  It is, by far, one of the most picturesque settings in the region.  It’s located in the foothills of Swan Creek and offers Tuscan charm you won’t see in most places.  Raffaldini is family-owned and produces classically dry Italian style wines.  They host public and private events throughout the year.  Enjoy tastings as well as the option to purchase snacks to enjoy with wine.  The view from the patio is gorgeous.  And, occasionally, food trucks visit the venue.  Check the events calendar for more. It’s known as “Chianti In the Carolinas!”

  • Shadow Springs Vineyard

    Another of our must visit locations is Shadow Springs Vineyard on the Swan Creek Vineyard wine trail.  Shadow Springs is also a beautiful setting.   They say it all began when now owner, Chuck, decided to retire and move his family back home and start a vineyard.  They planted acres of Merlot and Cabernet Franc on a plot of what once was tobacco land.  That is when Shadow Springs was born, in 2005.  The sprawling vineyard encompasses nearly 11 acres today.  Sip your wine from the patio with a breathtaking view of the property.  Fine wines. No snobbery.  Tastings are available according to schedule you can find online.

  • Windsor Run Cellars

    Just a half mile down the road from Shadow Springs is Windsor Run Cellars.  I remember the first time we visited Shadow Springs, the owner asked our group if we liked fortified wines.  Of course, we said yes!  He escorted us down the road to a new experience.  Turns out, in 2011, the Shadow Springs folks purchased Buck Shoals Vineyard and Winery and expanded their operations.  And, it’s the home of one of North Carolina’s first legal stills.  One of our favorites is the Windsor Run Apple Mead.  It’s great in the winter warmed up like cider.  And, I love their labels that  feature a truck carrying barrels.  Get more information online.

  • Laurel Gray

    We never miss a chance to stop in at Laurel Gray.  This story goes back all the way to 1773.  Ancestor, Joseph Myers, was gardener for King George and Queen Charlotte of England.  As a gift for service, he was given a land grant in Yadkin Valley.  And, for 10 generations, the family farmed the land.  Fast-forward to Benny and Kim Myers marriage in 1977.  After research, they realized the land was perfect for a vineyard.  They planted the first grapes in 2001.  They named the vineyard for a combination of their daughters’ names.  It’s a beautiful, quaint spot great for spending a relaxing afternoon.  We love their wines and other grocery items you can purchase onsite.  Our faves are the Laurel Gray Artisan Vinaigrette Sauce and the Chardonnay Caramel Sauce.  Check online for tasting schedules.

  • Dobbins Creek Vineyards


    Dobbins Creek is another beautiful spot we always visit.  Its origins also date back a while.  Owner Charles King says the idea for the vineyard came to him in 1998.  But, all the way back in 1946, his father purchased the land the vineyard sits on today.  It was to be used for tobacco.  In 2000, King enrolled at Surry Community College and took viticultural courses.  And in 2001, the work began.  And, the vineyard opened in 2007.  We always thoroughly enjoy our time at Dobbins Creek.  The tasting room is gorgeous.  And, we’ve even brought picnic lunches to enjoy with our wines.  Check out everything you need to know.

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