Ok so we are going to take this concept of starting a vineyard and winery, but where? My wife Elizabeth is a born and raised Floridian. I was born and raised in Rochester, NY right next door to the finger lakes. While my wife enjoys visiting NY there was no way I could talk her into moving there, the winters are just too cold for her. Neither one of us cared to move to California it is way too liberal for us. So we narrowed it down to the east coast and with a little research, we landed in either Virginia or North Carolina.
Both states produced some good wines as well as had good relations with the State and Local Governments. We made numerous trips to both states, spoke with a lot of vineyard owners, and naturally tasted a lot of wine. I think we found the area we were going to settle in, the Yadkin Valley. We made arrangements to visit one of the wineries there and meet with the winemaker. We spent the good part of the day with him, walking the vineyard, barrel tasting, and asking a lot of questions.
After the day we went back to our bed and breakfast and smiled. Back home to Florida, lots of discussion and decision making. Back to North Carolina and meet with a realtor. Looked at lots of properties but didn’t find the spot. Along the way, we became friends with Jay Raffaldini of Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery.
On one of the trips back up to look at a property I called Jay and asked him about an area we were going to look at to get his advice on it. He asked me to remind him how much property we were looking for and I told him. With that, he said I think I have the parcel for you stop by Raffaldini before looking further.
The rest is history, we ended up purchasing what is now called Castello Barone Vineyards and Winery.