Piccione Grand Opening

This past weekend was the grand opening for Piccione Vineyards.  The newest vineyard in Wilkes county is keeping it close to their Italian neighbors (Raffaldini Vineyards, that is).  Established in 2010, Dr. Bill Piccione of Chicago decided to embrace the red clay terrain and plant primarily Italian varietals.  With 16 acres under vine and plenty of room to expand, Piccione Vineyards has helped expand the Little Italy of the Appalachian foothills.

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Their current selection of 8 wines is split equally between reds and whites.  The current vintage on all but one wine is 2013 (the Pinot Grigio is the outlier being the 2014 vintage).  In addition to the Pinot Grigio there are two Chardonnays (stainless and neutral oak) as well as a Vermentino to round out the whites.  All are mild in acidity with a food friendly quality to them.

The reds are where more of the Italian side shines through.  One red blend and three single varietal wines make for a robust red wine offering.  Among the red grapes is the Nero Amaro (also known as Negroamaro).  This uncommon grape makes an incredibly dark wine with a deliciously fruit forward appeal.  Of particular interest is the Cabernet Sauvignon which is a classic example of what a North Carolina Cabernet can offer.

If you’re out and about in the Yadkin Valley, this vineyard is a must visit.  The view is absolutely stunning and the wines, while still young, are worth sampling.  More information can be found on their website at http://www.piccionevineyards.com.

Here are our notes on the current selections:
2013 Unoaked Chardonnay – A light and zippy wine with fresh apples and a mild tropical mid-palate. A light creamy finish gives way to a subtle spark on the finale.

2014 Pinot Grigio – This medium-bodied white has a delicate nose that is slightly floral with a hint of slate. The flavors are well rounded and very good-friendly. There is a good mineral composition throughout the wine. It’s not the ordinary of with an ABV of 13.8%.

2013 Vermentino – A nose of lime zest and citrus pulp highlights the citrus appeal of this wine. The lime flavors are present on the first sip and then move into a white pepper spice on the mid-palate. A mild creamy finish lets you appreciate this unique grape.

2013 Oaked Chardonnay – Aged in neutral oak, this Chardonnay has a full body with a mild apple flavor profile. A fair amount of cream on the finish fades out cleanly.

2013 L’Ottimo – Meaning “excellence” in English, this blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot had a lot of offer. The dark nose has hints of violets and blackberries with a hint of oak. The dry cherries are present throughout the flavors from start to finish. This was quite nice and easy to appreciate.

2013 Nero – Made from the Negroamaro grape (also called Nero Amaro), this wine was incredibly inky and almost black in color. A dried berry nose was the first indicator that this wine had more than met the eyes. At first glance, one would think this wine would be heavily tannic and over the top. In truth. This wine presented itself on the lighter side of the spectrum. It was very fruit forward with black raspberries and elderberries showing through. A light spice on the finish lingered before fading out.

2013 Montepulciano – Another dark wine, this one had a nose big on black cherries and sweet tobacco. A slight coffee flavor subtly amplified the flavors of the wine. Being quite bold, it had a mild toasty mid-palate and a light caramel sweetness. It finished on a note of toffee with a delightful ending.

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – A classic example of what Cabernet Sauvignon in North Carolina is all about. This wine had a vibrant nose, playing to all the classic Cabernet essentials. The flavors were ripe with dark red fruits, plums, and chocolate. It was big and bold, yet still approachable as an everyday wine. The nice lingering finish was pleasant and kept you wanting more.


Piccione Vineyards is located in Rhonda, NC.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling

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