The Yadkin Valley American Viticultural Area was the first AVA approved in North Carolina. It is 1.4 million acres of wine region, covering seven counties located near the Yadkin River. This North Carolina wine region produces Riesling, Merlot and Chardonnay wines, among others. Originally a key tobacco growing region, parts of this land are now devoted to wine making. Muscadine and Scuppernong grapes are native to this North Carolina wine region, and in the past thirty years research has helped European grapes to also grow successfully in the Yadkin Valley. This AVA was approved in 2003. For more on this North Carolina AVA and its vineyards, wineries and wines, see below.
Raffaldini Vineyards is located in the Swan Creek area of the Yadkin Valley in North Carolina, near the Blue Ridge Mountains. All of their wines are crafted by hand. Striving for sustainability in their Yadkin Valley vineyards, they use a holistic spray program and hand turn their clusters. This North Carolina vineyard also sorts its clusters by hand and recycles the sorted out material for organic compost. Raffaldini does not oak its Yadkin Valley white wines, making for some outstanding Chardonnay. Be sure to try their Raffaldini Vineyards Vermintino 2008. This Vermintino wine, which is known as Rolle in France, is a light white wine with aromas of green apple followed by flavors of lemon and other citrus fruits. For more information on this North Carolina vineyard and its wines, click here.
Shelton Vineyards. Founded in 1999, this North Carolina vineyard is the largest family owned estate vineyard in the state. Twelve varieties of grapes are grown on this Yadkin Valley vineyard, including Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Chardonnay, and all of the grapes are harvested by hand. Their award-winning Yadkin Valley Riesling has aromas of lime and apple, followed by flavors that include honey and peach. Also try their 2005 Family Reserve Claret, Yadkin Valley, a Meritage-style blend that has aromas of lavender and cherry, and flavors that include black currant. For more information on this North Carolina vineyard and its wines, click here.
McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks. Nearly 30 acres make up the winery and vineyards of this North Carolina family owned and operated business. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this Yadkin Valley winery is dedicated to sustainable growing and low intervention winemaking, in addition to creating outstanding wines. They planted their first five acres of vines in 2004, and opened the doors of their winery after the 2006 harvest. Their McRitchie Fallingwater White, part of this winery’s American Classic series, is a medium-bodied wine with aromas of floral, and flavors that include tropical fruits and spice. Also try their 2009 Viognier, a crisp wine with aromas that include honey and peach, followed by flavors of more fruit and vanilla. For more information on this North Carolina winery and its wines, click here.