It may be the newest winery on the block in the Yadkin Valley, but Piccione is quickly gaining a group of following. Located at 2364 Cedar Forest Road, Ronda, the winery is owned by Dr. William Piccione. Tasting Room Manager Hailey Klepcyk said that though Piccione resides in Chicago, he frequently visits the vineyard.
On a Wednesday afternoon in March, one of the first lovely days of spring, the tasting bar was nearly full. Sue and Mark Phillips, of Greensboro, were among the visitors enjoying a mid-week wine tasting. The couple has visited 91 of the wineries in the state. They said that Piccione is quickly rising to the top of their list of favorite wineries to visit.
The winery tasting room is in a temporary building that much resembles a house, but Klepcyk said eventually a more permanent building will be built on the site. Piccione owns 100 acres and has 15 acres planted with eight different grape varietals.
The owner is of Italian descent and remembers watching the wine making process as a youngster.
“His grandfather came over from Italy through Ellis Island and he remembers him making wine as a child,” Klepcyk explained. “It’s always been a part of his family and heritage.”
The vines were planted in 2010 and Piccione got its first harvest in 2013. The wines are being produced by the Yadkin Valley Wine Company, though in the future they hope to have the wine making done on site.
Like it’s next door neighbor Raffaldini, Piccione also produces some Italian wines. The winery makes some French style wines as well.
“We’re not limiting ourselves to just the Italian varietals and the French varietals grow so well around here,” Klepcyk said.
The winery features both an oaked and unoaked Chardonnay which Klepcyk describes as “crisp and clean” and a great wine for sipping in the summer months.
An Italian style wine known as Vermentino has nice citrus notes with a hint of white pepper and a smooth finish.
In the red category, Piccione has a L’ottimo, which is a super Tuscan blend with a base of Sangiovese as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
One of their most unique wines is called Nero, made from the negroamaro grape that flourishes in Southern Italy. Klepcyk said that when the owner visits Italy this is always the wine he drinks and he wanted to try to grow it in North Carolina. That decision has proved to be a good one as it’s already one of the most popular and biggest sellers at Piccione.
Sue Phillips said simply, “It’s got a nice flavor.” She also said it was dry without being too dry.
Klepcyk describes Nero as “spicy on the front end with bright tart cherry and red fruits flavor on back end.”
Piccione has a Montepulciano which is deep in color, with strawberry and black currant flavors. Theresa Byram, who was at Piccione doing a girls outing with her daughter and friend, said this wine was her favorite. Overall she said her experience at Piccione and in the Yadkin Valley was “just lovely.”
Rounding out the reds is a Cabernet Sauvignon with earthy notes of cedar and a little bit of raisin.
In late March, Piccione also released a sparking Moscato.
Piccione also has joined the Vineyards of Swan Creek Association and will be participating in joint events with the other five wineries nearby. Their next big event, the annual herb festival, is scheduled for April 29 through May 1.
There will be plenty to do this summer and fall at Piccione as well, Klepcyk said. They plan to have food trucks on site and local musicians performing on Saturdays. In addition to the food trucks, the winery also has a selection of meat and cheese trays, crackers and chocolates available for purchase. They also welcome visitors to bring along a picnic.
“We just hope to have people come out and enjoy the patio and the view, I think it’s one of the best in the valley,” Klepcyk said.
Klepcyk also said she is proud to be a part of the wine industry in the Yadkin Valley.
“It’s great to be in an industry that’s growing,” she said. “It’s just a very exciting time to be in the Yadkin Valley.”
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.