We’d heard so many good things about Raylen, we couldn’t wait to stop by. It’s an easy stop for us as it’s on the way from Raleigh to Hickory – a trip we make a few times a year.
This was our first vineyard of the weekend so we had the kids with us. The property has a beautiful and expansive spread of grapes. We enjoyed a quick tasting where the Mrs. sipped on the Yadkin Gold (white) and I, the Carolinius (red), which resulted in our first purchase of the weekend. This will be a regular stop on our journey in the future as we quickly became Case Club members. Free glass every visit. Who can resist that? #doublefisting
This was a very pleasant surprise we ran across on our way to another vineyard.
The knowledge of our tasting guide was fantastic and overall was a great way to start the day.
The Spanish and Portuguese design of the tasting room is a unique and more intimate feel than many of the other tasting rooms we’ve seen. My wife really loved the Tempranillo so we came home with a bottle of it. We are generally not fans of the sweeter wines but they had a Peach and a Blackberry wine that was a very pleasing way to finish our tasting. So much so, we walked out with a bottle of the blackberry as well. The stemless tasting glass we received was also a nice touch.
As we were leaving, the sky opened up and it began pouring, so we chose to sit on the patio for a bit enjoying a glass. Part of the fun in tastings is the people you meet at the tables next to you. You never know what type of conversations you might hear. We had a fun exchange where we met another older couple from Raleigh. The wine tends to make others more friendly as well.
We would recommend you putting Menarick at the top of your list, early in your visit to the Yadkin Valley.
Jones von Drehle was not on our original agenda, but we made a stop on a recommendation from Menarick after our first tasting of the day. It was a fairly quick drive and in the direction of McRitchie which was next on our agenda.
Jones von Drehle Vineyard had just opened recently in Thurmond, NC and we arrived hungry for lunch. At this point, it’s tough to find criticism for any of the vineyards and tasting rooms we visited in the area. This was another great experience although quite a different feel than Menarick. This was a much larger facility with wonderful views. They also had a wonderful food truck we devoured on the patio while the rain came down. When walking in, there was a large group of forty-something couples that were riding around the area in a bus. Seems like a fun (and safe) way to spend an afternoon in the Yadkin Valley.
I wished we’d taken better notes on the wines themselves but we were so hungry we rushed through our tasting. But is a tasting ever bad? We can’t wait to make another visit here.