The Yadkin Valley Wine Tours travel among the vineyard rows and through the dark cool of barrel cellars, letting guests get up close and personal with the wineries of the Blue Ridge Mountains foothills. Chauffeured excursions by van or bus roll along back-country roads and scenic highways and make stops at wineries along Swan Creek, Shallowford Trail, Yadkin River Trail, and others.
At each winery, the guide unveils a little piece of North Carolina's winemaking heritage, explaining why the area's grape-growing climate is considered similar to that of Burgundy and the Italian Piedmont, just with much, much more distant views of the Alps. Afterward, a wine tasting lets everyone drink in the local flavor and learn proper tasting technique. Tours often follow the themes of the season, combining wine tasting with mining for gems in the summer, taking in the changing foliage in the fall, and stops at toasty fireplaces in the winter.
Drawing from the more frightening pages of the area's history, Carolina History & Haunts? guides lead lantern-lit tours of eerie and haunted locales. The ?Nightmares Around Elm Street? tour sends groups through the specter-laden streets of Greensboro, while the Beyond the Grave tour braves uptown Charlotte?s paranormal avenues to learn the fates of the less fortunate and possibly even witness a prankster ghost grabbing a dog's tail as it's chased.
Carolina History & Haunts partners with local businesses to give tour goers discounts on accommodations and food, and large groups are eligible for discounted pricing and private tours.
Queen City Segway Tours offers two-hour tours of downtown Charlotte aboard easy-to-maneuver Segways. Each Segway is equipped with high-speed microprocessors, solid-state gyroscopes, and powerful electric motors that keep riders of all ages balanced as they discover their Seg-legs. Cruise past sights such as the Wells Fargo Cultural Campus, Bank of America Stadium, Frazier Park, the Irwin Creek Greenway, and the historic Fourth Ward District, or customize your own route through the city's lesser-known lava pits and leopard-infested labyrinths. Tours are led by a knowledgeable and entertaining tour guide, and with group sizes limited to a maximum of six, you'll never have to worry about lagging behind. Whether you're visiting the Queen City for a day, or you've lived in its trees all your life, an expedition from Queen City Segway Tours is an exciting way to see Charlotte.
Named one of “ten great dates” by Charlotte Magazine, VanLandingham Estate’s picnic dinner guarantees an exquisite, elegant evening. Picnic sites are available through the estate’s five-acre charming garden and grounds. Upon arrival, you and your romancee will be directed to either a private table or a cushy blanket, with food and wine prepped for romantic consumption in a large picnic basket specially designed to thwart smarter-than-average cartoon bears. This deal comes with the “Simply Southern” meal, so your basket will be overflowing with barbecue pork sandwiches, fresh fruit salad, a green bean, corn & tomato salad, and creamy banana pudding. Also included in the basket are lemonade and a bottle of the red or white house wine. While dining, you and your date can sink into the wildlife beauty of the gardens, with the waterfall’s gentle whoosh, and birds singing the score of The Barber of Seville. Couples can also share the evening with the furry friend in their life, as dogs are welcome.
Inspired by a trip to the wine-producing hills of Italy, Joe and Joyce Neely were determined to start a winery of their own once they returned to North Carolina. Since 2000, they've worked with winemaker Steve Shepard to produce RayLen Vineyards & Winery's impressive roster of award-winning varietals. Visits to the winery typically start with a tour that explains the process from start to finish and includes some surprising revelations, such as the fact that wine is made from grapes. The finish, of course, is the best part; inside RayLen's tasting room, guests can sample up to 16 wines.
The Raffaldini family has been making wine since before Shakespeare started writing plays. Centuries later, their North Carolina vineyard carries on tradition, hosting more than 8 grape varieties on highly specialized soil.?
In fact, the location is so key to the wine's flavor that the family looked at more than 60 prospects before deciding on the Swan Creek AVA in the Yadkin Valley. Its microclimate produces unique grape clusters that are then sorted by hand, macerated, and aged. But the wines aren't the only remnant of Italy that the Raffaldinis brought with them: they also built a Tuscan-style villa, complete with Italian art and a tasting room with mountain views.
Guests to the vineyard can explore this remarkable building during tours and events, such as seasonal tasting dinners. The outdoors are just as welcoming, and the villa's spread of picnic-ready food encourages visitors to snack and drink on the grounds. The vineyard also houses its own certified wildlife habitat, so be on the lookout for butterflies, birds, and herds of migrant corks.