Bottled Sunshine

BEVERLY EAVES PERDUE, Governor of the State of North Carolina, hereby proclaims September 2011, as “NORTH CAROLINA WINE APPRECIATION MONTH” in North Carolina and commends its observance to all citizens.

Well OK then. . .

I’m more than happy to observe :-)

 Until last year, I was completely unaware there were 106 wineries and 400 commercial grape growers in my own backyard~ most within an hour & a half drive~

We recently took a day trip to appreciate some NC wines with a visit to a few wineries~

Shelton Vineyards~

Located in the Yadkin Valley American Viticultural Area, the vineyard shares a similar climate and growing season to that of some of the best wine growing regions in Europe and is one of the largest on the East Coast.


Not long after Sir Walter Raleigh landed in what would become North Carolina, the grape vine was first introduced and cultivated in the New World. In fact, by the dawn of the 20th Century, NC was the leading wine-producing region in the nation.

It seemed nothing could stop us.

But we hadn’t counted on an act of Congress.



Suddenly, products from distilleries in undisclosed locations in the Piedmont hills and dales were rather more lucrative than those from the gnarled grape orchards of yore. When we spoke of fruit, it was shriveled in white lightning.

When we packaged, it was in Mason jars rather than Chardonnay bottles.

Other pursuits followed. Often at high speeds.

The sudden professional interest of G-Men and revenuers gave rise to moonlit, midnight chases across the humble countryside, engendering a motorized pastime that became a sport that became NASCAR.

Our land is rich and many textured. The vines are wide in variety. And the people who grow them are as interesting and diverse as the state itself and, led by pioneers, farming families and glorious chance-takers, North Carolina has returned to its original roots.

Elkin Creek Vineyard ~

Inspired by one man’s passion, along the foothills of the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina, Elkin Creek Vineyard with the hand-hewed beams of the winery and the hand-tendered estate vines sits waiting for your visit.

With a glass of wine in hand,  stroll by the creek, old mill, and waterfall~ where time seems to stand still.

Raffaldini Vineyards & Winery~

Nestled in the Yadkin Valley Region of North Carolina, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas” Raffaldini currently produces both varietal wines and blends with its signature wines.

Raffaldini Vineyards Pino Vino III Rescue Dog Wine Label~ a portion of Pino Vino III to be donated to local animal shelters.

 The dog chosen for this year’s label, Chloe, is a Rough-coat Jack Russell Terrier from State Road, NC.

Chloe is the ambassador for all animals in need of rescue.

I’m a sucker for anything benefitting animals or dogs~ so add a dog named Chloe to a wine label & I’m happy to raise a glass for dogs in need of rescue and in observance of Wine Appreciation Month :-)

“Eighty years ago we bottled moonshine. Today we bottle sunshine.”

A wine map & travel guide from NC Wineries can be found here.

Thank you for your visit!

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  48 comments for “Bottled Sunshine

  1. September 10, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Great great shots:) i won’t tell you which are my favorites:) But I have some..Thank you for this tour!

  2. September 10, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Oh, my…..this is wonderful! It’s weird, too, because I have spent almost this entire day prepping for a wine tasting party I’m setting up in a neighbor friend’s yard tomorrow!!! (Yes, we’re all sinners. We drink wine on Sunday!) This gives me the extra little push I need to keep going! 106 wineries in NC??? I would never have thought! Hooray for you guys!!! It’s nice when you can buy and appreciate locally grown/produced items, and wine is no exception. Those grape clusters look so lush! Mmmmmmmmm!!! The grounds of the winery are just fabulous. Reminds me of the movie “A Walk in the Clouds” with Keanu Reeves. Mmmmmmmm….Keanu! :-) Beautiful post! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  3. September 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Beautiful post. Last time I was in Greensboro I tasted some NC wines and was impressed, but for shame, I can’t remember the name of the winery now! I am sharing this with all my NC relatives!

  4. Happier Than A Pig in Mud
    September 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Ok, just an observation here… but those AMAZING pics had to be taken before the samplings began:@) Looks like truly beautiful day trips Mary, and knowing you, I’m sure you brought home more than one bottle of the doggy wine-enjoy!

  5. Happier Than A Pig in Mud
    September 10, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Looking at that comment above… you know I meant, knowing you -and your love of dogs- … oye, rough day here:@)

  6. Annie La Vigne
    September 10, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Here, here…A

  7. September 10, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    That was so fun! On iPad so will have to be brief due to no skills… The first pic is fabulous, along with so many other great art shots! Once agai. We think alike, it’s harvest time in the vineyards on the way over I thought time to share it. Only diff with napa and nc is you are green and you have clouds, we are gold and brilliant blue.

    You are such a good citizen drinking for your state, and making chole a wino too :)

    Sorry about the typos, word press won’t expand font on this, plus I can’t move cursor back to fix the stuff up there :( I hate blogs on iPod, I can see, but darn near impossible to chat back!

    Thanks for all the beauty…

  8. September 10, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Didn’t know about all the wineries.. What lovely photos and a perfect cause.. Looks like lots of fun.. Thanks for the history lesson.. learned something new.. happy sunday.. xo marlis

  9. Pondside
    September 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    That’s something I’d never expected – but I guess if the climate is like that of European wine growing areas there’s bound to be good wine.

  10. September 10, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Hi Mary,
    Leo and I used to own a wine and liquor store in Mt. Pleasant. I knew there were some wineries in NC, but I didn’t realize there were so many! Your photos are incredible, as always.

  11. September 11, 2011 at 12:20 am

    Hi, Mary. Your pictures are phenomenal! Thank you for sharing your day. I bet you took a lot more and had a hard time choosing the ones for your post. And some people think they have to travel to Europe to see such beautiful things! Thank you!

  12. Jackie
    September 11, 2011 at 1:55 am

    Hey, I’ll drink to that!!!

  13. September 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    What a fabulous trip you’ve allowed us to see, Mary! These photos are just spectacular!!
    I didn’t know that little tidbit about the origins Nascar…too funny.

    Thanks for your concerns about my DH. He’s home from the hospital & doing pretty good for his age. It takes longer to bounce back, that’s for sure.


  14. September 11, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Mary & Chloe, I LOVED your post. After visiting Texas & us taking her soooooooo many places including a few of our favorite vineyards, our niece (who lives in N.C.) decided to go back home & learn more about her state. She & her friend signed up for a bike tour of wineries. She said “Aunt Char I learned so much, & loved the vineyards but, I found out I had muscles I never knew I had in places I had never thought of!!!! That made me laugh so hard. Silly girl… As I looked at your beautiful photos I could picture her huffing & puffing through the same areas. I’m going to check out your link & be sure to get the info for our trip out there. THANK YOU! And I think you should print a photo of Chloe & glue it to that bottle. HUGS!

  15. September 11, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    My husband and I once traveled the Rue de Vin in France…sampling along the way. You have given me one more very good reason to visit your state! The pictures are beautiful!

  16. September 11, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Great post, it seem like local wineries are showing up everywhere. Your photos are great and I loved the winery tour.

  17. Pat
    September 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    I never knew there were so many wineries in North Carolina, Mary. They look as scenic as those in California! I love Raffaldini ‘s Jack Russel label ;)

  18. September 11, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    I never knew about all these wineries in NC! WE will ahve to look around next time we are down there! Your pics are gorgeous and I enjoyed reading all aboput nascar etc.:) XO, Pinky

  19. cat
    September 12, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Great post!
    I miss my parents place in Nc!
    and what is that song playing???
    it is beautiful!!!

  20. September 12, 2011 at 3:19 am

    Wonderful post Mary!! Of course you know my favorites are the ones of Chloe!!

  21. September 12, 2011 at 3:44 am

    What a great wonderful mosaic! Thanks for sharing!
    Have a nice week,

  22. September 12, 2011 at 5:39 am

    A delightful post! It was grand to visit. Such lovely pictures!!!!!Wishing you a grand week!

  23. September 12, 2011 at 6:00 am

    What an interesting post and delightful photos! I learned more about our state!

  24. Valerie
    September 12, 2011 at 6:55 am

    Beautiful area for wine growing and gorgeous photos. Salud. V

  25. September 12, 2011 at 9:03 am

    What great fun! I love wine, and wineries and will have to add NC on my wine tasting list!

  26. September 12, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Just breathtaking, please take me with you next time, great photographs!

  27. September 12, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Yay Governor Perdue! That’s a great idea to have a wine appreciation month. I’ll raise my glass to that. Thanks for sharing the local vineyards and wineries in NC. We’ll have to plan a trip up there to check them outl

  28. September 13, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    An excellent tour of wine country!

  29. September 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Yuu are so lucky !!!!

  30. September 14, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    I never would have guessed that there are grapes growing there and wineries to boot…wonderful!!

  31. September 16, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    What a fabulous trip through the vineyards! I don’t think I was aware that there were wine growers in NC. Actually, there are a few in NJ, too. ;) Thanks for sharing ta MM. :)

  32. Lola
    September 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Happy A-Thursday!


  33. September 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    wonderful :)

  34. Riet
    September 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    What a beautiful and interesting post. LOve the mosaics and the photos. GReat W word

  35. September 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    I love it! I am a sucker for anything at all to do with dogs, so I’m in…

  36. September 21, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Looks like what I saw when in Tuscany – had no idea N.C. was into vineyards!
    Years ago when I attended Elon College (now University) I had an introduction to Everclear – legalized white lightning…would much prefer tasting your wine!!
    Beautiful photos and the roses are gorgeous!

  37. September 21, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    That wonderful scenery! I don’t drink, but it would be wonderful to drink in the beauty of these vineyards!

  38. September 21, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    What a wonderful historical post. I applaud your governor, and I might have to become an honorary North Carolinian to raise a glass of wine this evening! Your pictures are just beautiful.

  39. Karen S.
    September 22, 2011 at 12:08 am

    I picked this year’s last large bowl of grapes two days ago from my own yard! …and thank you for bringing back my visit to Napa Valley! Lovely, extremely lovely post!

  40. September 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Lovely pictures. Here in Northern CA, I have lots of wine tasting nearby, especially the wonderful Pinots in the Santa Cruz mountains. Unfortunately, with 2 little kids I don’t get a lot of opportunity!

  41. September 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I need to move to North Carolina! ;))

  42. September 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    amazing greenness.

    way to go.

  43. September 23, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    What a great travelog! I’ll drink to that!!!!

  44. September 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I hope, hope, hope Rocky Mountain Woman gets to visit this. I’m sending a link to my husband and daughter. They will be all enthused about wine country trips. And I will go along and eat the chocolates!

    Thanks for a wonderful link this week.


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