"The Raffaldini family dates back to the year 1348 in the town of Mantua, located in the Northern Province of Lombardy, Italy. Since that time, our family has owned and continues to live on the farm where the great classical poet-philosopher Virgil spent his youth. The romantic town of Verona, home to the ill-fated lovers Romeo and Juliet, lies just to the east.
The Raffaldini family motto, “Audentes Fortuna Iuvat” means, “Fortune favors he who dares.” This Latin phrase originates from the Aeneid, Virgil’s most famous work. Born in 70 BC during the reign of Julius Caesar, Virgil is best known as the author of this epic poem that links the birth of Rome to the Trojan War.
The fusion of family, food and wine is an integral part of our daily life. For more than six hundred and fifty years, the Raffaldini family has witnessed many historic events and has often marked such occasions with special family dinners and homemade Italian wine.
The Raffaldini family made a decision to share our centuries-old winemaking experience with the New World. After a long and exhaustive search for land that would reflect this experience, Raffaldini Vineyards was established in the Swan Creek area of the Yadkin Valley. From this vineyard, we handcraft our Italian wines; wines that express not only their “sense of place”, but also utilize winemaking skills that have been refined throughout the ages.
As you enter our tasting room, let the spirit of the Raffaldini family history, importance of family and celebration of life transport you to our ancestral home. The wine, food and artwork within hold deep meaning for the Raffaldini family and we are delighted to share them with you. Close your eyes as you taste our wine and imagine what it would have been like to celebrate life so long ago…Salute!"
From the Heritage Page:
"Virgil, the poet, born of Mantua
"The great poet Publius Vergilius Maro ("Virgil") was born to a middle class family in October of 70 BC in the town of Mantua during the reign of Julius Caesar. Mantua was a Roman city in the province of Cisapline Gaul (now Lombardy). The province extended to the Alps and covered the most fertile part of the Po valley. Mantua traces its founding to the Etruscan civilization that ruled most of Italy but quietly disappeared leaving little known of it. In the time of Virgil, Mantua was a quiet agrarian community dominated by farming and shepherding. The beauty of the area so transfixed Virgil that he once wrote, 'dove il Po discende per aver pace con sequcai sui': 'where the Po runs down among its followers to find peace'. Not far to the east of Mantua lies the town of Verona, home to Romeo and Juliet.
"According to legend, while Virgil was in his mother's womb, she dreamt that she gave birth to a laurel branch. Upon touching the earth the laurel branch took root and at once grew to the size of an adult tree, covered with fruits and flowers of various kinds. The following day, whilst traveling to a neighboring part of the country with her husband, Virgil's mother turned aside and gave birth to her child in a ditch beside the road. Legend has it the infant did not cry at its birth, and had such a gentle expression as even then to give assurance of an unusually happy and fertile destiny.
"There was yet a further symbol of Virgil's exceptionally rich contribution to the future land and its people. Traditional to that region on such occasions, a poplar branch is planted where birth occurs. The branch planted where Virgil was born grew so fast that it was equal in size to others planted long before. The poplar branch became known as "Virgil's Tree", and was worshipped with great veneration by women about to give birth, who made their vows beneath it.
"Mantua's history continues
"The history of the Raffaldini Family can be traced back to 1348. The Raffaldini heritage is centered in Mantua where they were extensive landholders, together with the Gonzaga and Bonacolsi families. The Raffaldini Family has for centuries owned and continues to live on the farm where Virgil lived during his youth. The influence of this great poet and philosopher upon the Raffaldini Family has been profound over the multitude of generations.
"The founding principles of Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery are deeply rooted in much of Virgil's philosophy: the belief that by working with the land and understanding its life essence, rather than trying to change it, enables the vineyard to produce grapes of exceptional quality. This harmonious relationship is the cornerstone for the making of great wines. The Raffaldini Family has always believed that the miracle of winemaking does not happen in the winery, but rather in the vineyards. A deep respect for the land, a long sense of history and centuries of aspiring for high achievement all combine to produce a single expression of wine that captures the heritage of the Raffaldini Family - 'Audentes Fortuna Iuvat': Fortune Favors the Daring."
Tasting Room Hours
Wednesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm; Sunday 1pm – 5pm and by appointment
Tours: Wed-Sun 1pm & 3pm