Located under the western gaze of Pilot Mountain at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains foothills, the Hobsons’ 100-year-old family farm grew tobacco, corn, wheat and soybeans.
The demise of tobacco had them scrambling for alternative crops to help replace lost income and prevent the farm from being turned into a housing development.
Surprisingly, transitioning tobacco to grapes was not such a stretch agriculturally as one might think~ with the profit per acre from tobacco and grapes, similar and profit per acre from grapes made into wine, significantly higher.
The silo houses a circular staircase that leads to an underground wine cellar where wine is aged in French and American oak casks.
The first vines, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon were planted in April of 2000. Twelve years later, RagApple Lassie happily sips on bottles of Pinot Gris, Viognier, Kaleidoscope Gold, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Kaleidoscope Red and three off dry wines: Boonville Blanc, First Blush, and Rockford Red.
All wines are made from 100% estate grown grapes.
We had fun meeting & making
RagApple Lassie’s acquaintance :)
And had a light lunch at the winery
at The Back Door Cafe~
Udderly :) charmed by our visit,
I had a little bovine fun at the table courtesy
of RagApple Lassie Cafe placemats~
And rounded up a set of four heifers in the form of
napkin rings from a consignment store~
After harvesting some wine during our visit, I harvested some grapes and apples from the market in deference to RagApple Lassie~ adding a few daisies to the centerpiece to complement the flowers sprouting on the coverlet.
A wine bottle candelabra converts an empty bottle into a candleholder~ you can find several varieties here.
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.
RagApple Lassie Herd Starter Kit~
Plant seeds in a green pasture, right side up.
“Moo” softly while watering and wait for your herd :)