Sunday Adventures #6

Sundays are wine adventure days for us. We typically invite a few friends to join us as we expand their horizons of the NC wine scene. Since we haven’t been out wining in several weeks, we decided to go it alone and take our time. Our options were nearly limitless, but we decided on three wineries in the Yadkin Valley and Swan Creek regions.  Read on for an account of the day and our tasting notes for each stop.

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Our first stop was Raffaldini Vineyards. Their main stake in the wine game is bold Italian red wines bringing a taste of Chianti to the Carolinas. It had been a while since our last visit and there were several new releases on the tasting menu. So, we decided that a tasting was in order (see tasting notes below). Denise was our guide and served as a great wealth of information about the wines and how they were made. We sipped on for a while, picked up a bottle of the 2013 Montepulciano Riserva (they’re almost out!), and made our way back to the car to head off to our next stop.

Stop number two brought us to Elkin Creek Vineyards where we enjoyed a delightful lunch. Elkin Creek offers homemade sourdough bread, cooked in their wood-fired oven. Sunday’s are special as they also offer spectacular pizzas. We ordered the pesto pizza and enjoyed a wine tasting while we waited. We took our time with the tasting so we could enjoy a little wine with our pizza. As we ate and drank in that relaxing atmosphere, we were able to forget about the pouring rain outside and enjoy the moment. We finished right as the sun broke through, so we picked up a few bottles and headed on our way.

Our final stop for the day was at McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks. The clouds were barely spitting the rain as we made our way inside. We happened to arrive right at a time when the tasting room was clearing out, so we had it to ourselves. On the tasting menu, we found a few familiar vintages, but also several new releases. And so we tasted on. We were relieved to find they had two of our favorite ciders available for growler fills. The Perry (pear cider) and the Apple Cranberry were both on tap, so we filled up, settled up, and packed up the car for the journey back home.

It was another successful day in the North Carolina wine country. Our tasting notes are below. If you’ve had these wines, let us know what you think!



–Tasting Notes–


Raffaldini Vineyards

2014 Pinot Grigio – A bright and acidic vintage ripe with pears and honey on the nose. Bold citrus flavors appear throughout and it finishes nicely.

2015 Vermentino Riserva – This vintage had 2/3 of the fruit being dried with a longer skin contact and 8 months of barrel aging. Big honey on the nose with a more refined flavor profile. A soft buttery finish lingers on with a delicate fruit balance.

2013 Girasole – A gentle rosé with plenty of strawberries on the nose and flavor.

2014 Bella Misto – Montepulciano, Malbec, and Petit Verdot blend together to create a medium bodied wine showing a berry nose and lightly spicy finish.

2014 Montepulciano – A very fragrant nose of violets and purple flowers gives way to a savory flavor with delicate dried fruits. An herbaceous finish ends on a light sage note.

2013 Sangiovese Riserva – Bold and flavorful, this robust red is evenly rounded from start to finish. A delicate acidity is balanced with dark red fruits adding to the lingering finish.

2013 Montepulciano Riserva – Dark and flavorful, the nose is big on plums and oak with black cherries on the flavor profile.

Elkin Creek Vineyards

2014 Soft White – Made from the Niagara grape, this gentle white wine has a delightfully grapey profile with a soft acidic framework. Starting off fruity, this wine mellows out to an even finish.

2014 Mistella – A white blend of Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Viognier it is off-dry with bold tropical flavors and a soft caramel mid-palate.

2013 Sangiovese – Light and floral on the nose, this red is made in the a classic Elkin Creek style. Cherries abound throughout the flavors with a light and woody finish.

Adequate Red – The current vintage is made of Merlot and Syrah. Delightfully fruity on the nose, there’s a slight hint of pepper in the background. The flavors are evenly rounded with a spicy finish.

2013 Rossa – A Bordeaux style blend, this wine has a wonderful cherry nose with a delicate finish.

2011 Vin Doux – Cabernet Sauvignon aged for over 3 years in French oak and fortified with brandy make for a toasty and warming port style wine.

Vino Limone – Made with a base of lemon juice fermented into wine, this fortified dessert wine is zippy and lemony with a delicious warming finish.


McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks 

2013 Traminette – A mellow aroma of apricots and a subtle spice. The flavors are mild and floral with a mineral finish.

2013 Chardonnay – The stainless steel version of their Chardonnay offers a mildly acidic front with a delicate citrus finish.

2013 Barrel Chardonnay – The oaked sister to the previous wine offers mellow oak and a lightly buttery finish.

2013 Sapre Aude – A limited release red blend of Merlot, Sangiovese, and Cabernet Franc, this wine has a lot of red fruits on the nose. Mild oak shows on the mid-palate with a toasty fruity finish.

2012 Ring of Fire – A lively red blend with mild cherries and plums, it provides a mellow and well-rounded profile with a woody finish.

2013 AdHoc – Their take on a nouveau style red wine. It’s light and fruity with bright cherries and a light finish.

Perry Cider – An intensely pear nose gives way to a delightfully toasty flavor of caramel and dried apples.

Dry Cider – Boldly dry apple flavors are intensified by delicate bubbles and a subtle vanilla finish.



Raffaldini Vineyards, Elkin Creek Vineyards and McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks are all located within a 20 minute drive outside Elkin, NC.

Posted by Matt Kemberling

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