Help us celebrate North Carolina's Wine Month by sharing this blog with your friends. We'll be featuring a vineyard every day this month, and all of them are members of the North Carolina Fine Wines Society.
Back in early 2014, my wife Cathy and I were looking for some wine at the Caviste Wine Shop in Winston-Salem. Russ has always steered us right for when we were having to choose a wine for an event. His taste profiles are spot on, and we know he knows his wine. So we asked Russ if he had any suggestions for dry French Style wines in North Carolina, and he suggested Jones von Drehle in Thurmond. While we had been there before, we were glad to hear that Russ was also recognizing that they were doing something special in the region.
Jones Von Drehle is a family business where two sisters, Diana and Ronnie, and their husbands Chuck & Raymond, created the business together. After a year of prepping the land for the vines, their vineyards were planted in 2009. The vineyards are producing some fantastic varieties. They have award winning varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Chardonnay and Viognier. They were also the first vineyard in North Carolina where we tasted Petit Manseng. This wonderful white wine will be a great surprise for those that prefer red wines because dry, yet it's got flavor to spare.
An important aspect about their wine is that all of their grapes are grown on their estate. No other grapes are brought in to make their wines. You'll see a large portion of the vineyards as you drive (slowly please) up to their tasting room. If you get a chance to visit the vineyard, ask them about their milage on their vehicles. In fact, they've put more mileage on their vehicles than almost anyone I know. Chuck and Diana crisscross the state making deliveries and have really made inroads to getting their wines on menus at some of the finest restaurants in the state. Their winery strongly supports local foods, and they can put on a great spread like this one at their vineyard and pair it with great local wines too. Don't miss their food events at the Winery!
We first met with Chuck on December 30th 2015 to discuss what we, collectively could do to increase the people's knowledge of North Carolina Wines. In that meeting at JvD, Chuck Jones, Jay and Barbara Raffaldini, Cathy McLaughlin, and myself sat down to a couple of hours of inspiration and planning. From that first meeting we had our two goals defined for the North Carolina Fine Wines Society (NCFWS): 1. Promote the quality of North Carolina Fines Wines; and 2. Create a Scholarship Program for NC students attending NC colleges pursuing wine related careers. And since that date, we've continued to figure out ways to promote our local products.
Almost every week for the past 20 months we've met by phone at 7:00 AM to discuss what we can do to help promote the quality of the NC Fine Wines members. It's on those early morning calls that we'll hear Chuck already making his way on the road for deliveries. It takes a lot of work to run a vineyard and a lot of determination.
So if you see a Jones von Drehle wine in the store or on a menu - order it and know that you've got a great North Carolina Local Wine. And if you don't know where to find them, check here for businesses who are supporting Local Foods.