Celebrating the Grape

Our celebration of the grape continued in observance of  “NORTH CAROLINA WINE APPRECIATION MONTH” as decreed by the governor of North Carolina.

We were more than happy to  guzzle taste wines in appreciation & compliance~ making our way to visit a few wineries from the Yadkin Valley area. You can see the other wineries we visited~ Shelton, Raffaldini & Elkin Creek here.


RayLen Vineyards & Winery~

The Yadkin Valley was designated as an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in February 2003, the first in North Carolina. A true river valley, it covers over 1.4 million acres of rolling foothills in northwestern NC and reaches from the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the eastern edge of North Carolina’s piedmont. The clay-loam soils and temperate climate provide excellent conditions for growing European varietals such as Chardonnay, Viognier, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc.

Childress Vineyards~

 The 35,000-square-foot facility at Childress Vineyards brings a taste of the Old World to the heart of the Piedmont in North Carolina. Richard Childress’s passion for fine wine is as genuine as his passion for auto racing.

While auto racing & fine wine seem like unlikely dinner companions, there is a connection between the two in North Carolina’s history.

From VisitNCWine.com:

By the dawn of the 20th Century, North Carolina 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.

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

You can read an article on “Moonshine Memories” here.

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

  36 comments for “Celebrating the Grape

  1. October 3, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    A few years ago, while visiting family in the Piedmont area of NC, I took a day trip to Asheville to meet friends who live in Hendersonville and Brevard and spend the day with them….I noticed several vineyard signs along the way and would have loved to have had the time to stop and meander around… Maybe on my next trip. My sister and I did visit a couple of NC winery on another trip…but it would be fun to follow the wine trail along the river valley.

  2. October 3, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Mary, I would love to take a short trip to NC to see these wineries. They look as though they could rival the ones I’ve visited in California. You probably don’t realize that we live only 8 miles from the Darlington Speedway, and the blue water tower that says Darlington-Too Tough to Tame is right at our exit!

  3. October 3, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Beautiful!!! I would love to visit some of these places you shared with us! I am so glad you listened to the Govenor! Thanks for sharing & as always your photos are stunning. Have a great week.

  4. October 3, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Oh, my goodness!!! Must….get…..glass….of wine!!! I think I want to LIVE there!!!

  5. Happier Than A Pig in Mud
    October 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Looks like another great day trip Mary! Does the Childress winery have a bunch of Nascar memorabilia? That would be fun:@)

  6. October 3, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    that was refreshing, i drive thru napa/sonoma on the way to sea dream, i am always enchanted with the sights, i never tire of seeing beautiful things. did you see the grape dishes at hg? since i am not a wine drinker i passed, but they would be perfect for you… i can already see your going grapes over them :)

  7. Pat
    October 4, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Beautiful! The North Carolina vineyards can rival any found in Sonoma or Napa Valley, Mary I see they leave some grapes on the vine until they are very mature for a late harvest dessert wine.

  8. October 4, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    What a fantastic pics! Love them…

  9. Carolyn
    October 4, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    In the picture with the wine barrel and mums on top, I wonder if there is a mason jar of moonshine behind that large stone on the wall?
    Pretty, Pretty grapes and vines. I wonder how the NC Reisling would taste.
    Carolyn NC

  10. October 4, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Oh yeah! I’d be happy to help North Carolina celebrate wine appreciation month. :)

  11. October 4, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    so nice to meet you Mary. Thanks for visiting me. The photos of the vineyards and wineries are just stunning. I had now idea how beautiful N.C. vineyards are. Love your blog!!!!!!!

  12. October 4, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    That was a wonderful tour of the wineries! Gorgeous pictures of the grape clusters.

  13. October 5, 2011 at 1:03 am

    Such an intersting series of shots…and I will celebrate the grape any day!

  14. Riet
    October 5, 2011 at 2:56 am

    What a beautifl and interesting post. I love your photo’s and also the old ones you show.
    Have a nice day

  15. October 5, 2011 at 5:43 am

    I’ve been trying to grow grapes for years but just have not lived in the climate to support them…
    lovely photos

  16. October 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Woman, I sure hope they paid you WELL in your career because I doubt they could pay you enough! YOur talent is awe inspiring!!! I haven’t had lunch yet and this is making me want to GET TO YOUR HOUSE FAST!!!!!!!! I would LOVE to sit and share a glass (or 3 ) of wine, some chese and grapes! Your ARRANGEMENT is just stunning! I so appreciate your arragements and LOVE that you use flowers AND fruits! I used to do that in my career! Now the only source nearby for flowers is my grocery, YUCK, or a pricey florist. We have gone on some wine tasting trips too and always enjoyed it alot! I so look forward to your posts, they ALWAYS make my day! XO, Pinky

  17. October 5, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    amazing post.


  18. October 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Hummm…might be time to schedule a visit to my family in Raleigh!

  19. October 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    lovely pictures :)

  20. October 5, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Beautiful! There’s something so peaceful about a winery and vineyard.

  21. October 6, 2011 at 6:52 am

    I loved the close ups of the grapes! What a variety you were able to see on your tour.

  22. Karen S.
    October 6, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Wow, these photos just want to pull me and sit and and stay away…what an amazing early morning journey…without leaving my seat! Thanks!

  23. Lola
    October 6, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Great ‘Y’ post!

    Happy Alphabe-Thursday!

    Have a great weekend too & look forward to *seeing* you again next time,



  24. October 6, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Those are wonderful photos…actually stunning photos!! I love visiting the wineries up North…now you give me another reason to visit your beautiful state!!

  25. October 9, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Mary, this is a glorious post!

    I love all the plants and the buildings and the amazing photos you have shared here. I have several friends in that area. I really, really need to come visit!

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m sending a link to my husband in the hopes he gets the idea we need to head that direction!


  26. A Garden of Threads
    October 9, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Wonderful pictures:) Have a great week.

  27. October 9, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    The photos are amazing! What beauty! I live in NC and had no idea of the governor’s “decree!” Have a great week!

  28. October 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    AHHH , wine tasting is one of my favorite things to do. Beautiful photos, have a great week!

  29. October 9, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Visiting the vineyard is one of our favorite past times. This place is lovely and oh for the opportunity to taste the wine…fantastic!

  30. Valerie
    October 9, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    I will think of your post when I have my next glass of wine. Lovely. v

  31. Ellen
    October 9, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Oh my goodness! These photos are just glorious. I’m wanting to visit this part of North Carolina now. I hope my daughter and son in law will be able to take some trips away from Camp Lejeune to see the “nice” parts of North Carolina :0)

  32. October 10, 2011 at 12:16 am

    I love vineyards, we have some great here in Germany! Thanks for sharing this wonderful mosaic.
    Have a nice week,

  33. October 10, 2011 at 6:45 am

    How wonderful to be able to live in a place that has such beautiful treasures. Thank you for the tour! Perhaps some day I’ll be able to visit this beautiful place. My best wishes! Cathy

  34. October 10, 2011 at 9:58 am

    What fun! Beautiful shots. I think I’ll sit back, relax, put my feet up and have a glass of wine!

  35. October 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm


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