Nestled in the Yadkin Valley at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains sits a winery you should know about. I was blown away by the taste and quality of their wines. You will swear that you’re drinking wines from Napa or Sonoma. After a visit and wine tasting, I can tell you that the people at Jones von Drehle Vineyards & Winery are doing things right.
Their wines are fantastic! I’d love to just jump in right here and start telling you all about each of them. In fact, I’m sipping on a glass of their Merlot right now. But first, a little about the owners. Chuck and Diana Jones moved back to North Carolina, after living many years in California, intent on starting a vineyard and winery. While spending years in the San Francisco Bay Area, they developed an appreciation for all things wine; from the viticulture to the wine-making.
After finding what they called, “just beautiful land” in NC, Diana called her sister Ronnie about working with them. After some discussions, Ronnie and Raymond von Drehle signed on and Jones von Drehle Vineyards & Winery was born. That was back in 2008. Then came many years of working the land and planting. Finally their efforts were rewarded in 2012 with the production of their first vintage.
Their first vintage has received over 100 major awards. Not just North Carolina awards, but awards from all over the country. They won many of them right in California. I have to tell you, they do make good wine. Their wines are so good that you’ll find them in many shops and restaurants all over Charlotte, as well as places all around NC. Places like Sullivan’s, Bond Street Wines, Dogwood Southern Table, The Wooden Vine Wine Bar & Bistro and Heirloom Restaurant, all proudly serve Jones von Drehle wines.
OK, now let me tell you a little about each wine. No wait, I almost forgot about Dan! We can’t forget Dan, he’s the one that whips up the magic in the backroom. Dan Tallman is their winemaker and he comes to NC with over 30 years of experience working with California wineries like Simi, Mantanzas Creek and Clos de Bois. He first hit the East Coast in Virginia, making wines at Chateau Morissette. There Dan learned first-hand the nuances and challenges in wine making on this side of the country. After hearing of the emerging quality of North Carolina wines, he headed to Yadkin Valley and ran straight into Chuck Jones. Bam! Dan was hired just in time for the first crush.
I got to spend a lot of time with Dan and he and I are kindred spirits when it comes to being total wineauxs. He gave me the grand tour and then let me in on a little secret. At Jones von Drehle, they have a “mystery wine”. They don’t have much of it, but I did get a little taste. Delicious! So you may be wondering where mystery wine comes from. It comes from “mystery grapes”. No honest, I’m not kidding. Really. One day while harvesting they came across a section of grapes that were not supposed to be there. It was just a small section and no one knew what kind of grapes they were. So Dan did what Dan does, he made wine out of them. Really good wine. When you visit the winery ask them about it. One day they’ll figure out that grape and I’ll be back for the first bottling of Jones von Drehle Mystery Reserve. I can’t wait.
There’s a whole lot going on at Jones von Drehle. There’s the wines of course, the vineyards, the tour, the tastings, the events, the people – great people, the dog – yes a dog, and even a par 3 with a green beside the lake. Check out their web site and go see them. www.jonesvondrehle.com If you can’t go soon, at least pick up a few of bottles of their wine or taste them at one of the restaurants around Charlotte. You’ll be glad you did.