Wines

RayLen Vineyards & Winery features 16 award-winning wines available for tasting and purchase.

 

wines-awards


Whites


Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio :: RayLen's popular white wine.  Bronze Medal Winner - 2010 Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition

Pinot Grigio is gaining popularity as a favorite white wine in the United States. No exception at RayLen, this Pinot Grigio is a well-balanced, Italian-style white wine. Notes of lime zest, Meyer lemon, and a touch of grapefruit give this wine a crisp finish. Pairs well with a sidewalk café and light entrées.   Buy Now!

 

 

 


Chardonnay

Chardonnay :: RayLen's Stainless version.  Bronze Medal Winner - 2010 NC State Fair Commercial Wine Competition

The crisp, clean finish and its beautiful golden color make this stainless-steel Chardonnay like drinking autumn in a bottle. Medium bodied characteristics are captured in this wine by utilizing slow, cool fermentation. On the palate, apple essence shines through along with fig, almond, and touch of lemon. Pairs well with a hot summer day and a RayLen rocking chair.   Buy Now!

 


Barrel Chardonnay

Barrel Chardonnay :: RayLen's BEST Selling white wine

The Barrel Chardonnay is RayLen's best-selling white wine. It is a barrel-fermented wine with subtle pear and green apple with hints of mineral and herbal flavors on the nose. On the palate, the Barrel Chardonnay is perfection: Toasty oak, creamy textures, and warm vanilla. Pairs well with a lobster dinner on your birthday.   Buy Now!

 


Viognier

Viognier :: RayLen's fruit forward exotic white wine

This rare French Rhone grape is used in California mostly as a blending grape to bring out the floral tones of a Chardonnay. It does so well in North Carolina that it is produced as a stand-alone. Fruit-forward with peaches, apricots, and candied lemon makes the finish on this Viognier exotic and elegant. Pairs well with a sunset on a beach-front restaurant and fresh tuna steak.   Buy Now!

 


South Mountain’s Vineyard Chardonnay

South Mountains Vineyard - Chardonnay :: RayLen's biggest white wine.  Bronze Medal Winner - 2010 Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition; Bronze Medal Winner - 2010 NC State Fair Commercial Wine Competition; Gold Medal Winner - 2009 Beaufort International Wine Competition; Bronze Medal Winner - 2009 NC State Fair Commercial Wine Competition

Located on the South Mountains in Burke County, North Carolina, this vineyard's prime location offers higher elevation, cooler mornings and evenings that ripen this Chardonnay to perfection. This Reserve wine is aged in French oak and has creamy, buttery aromas that are delightfully followed by a soft vanilla and oak flavor and is a popular white among red-wine drinkers. Pairs well with a thick, cream-based pasta and a table full of friends.   Buy Now!

 


Yadkin Gold

Yadkin Gold :: RayLen's proprietor's white blend. Silver Medal Winner - 2010 Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition

A semi-sweet proprietor’s blend of Riesling, Viognier, Chardonnay, and Pinot Grigio make this an easy-drinking wine. Selected by Southern Living and USA Today as RayLen’s best white wine, the Yadkin Gold has an explosion of pineapple and melon on the palate. Pairs well with your sweetie and a picnic at RayLen’s pond.   Buy Now!

 


Riesling

Riesling :: RayLen's riesling is unlike any other

Quite unlike the Riesling you're used to drinking, this is a semi-sweet wine with a bomb of honeysuckle dancing on your palate and a crisp, bright finish. A tough grape to grow in the South because of its delicate flowers, Riesling is in limited production. Pairs well with an open mind and spicy Thai food.   Buy Now!

 



RayLen Red Wines follow

Reds


Carolinius

Carolinius :: RayLen's classic vintner's blend.  Silver Medal Winner - 2010 Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition; Bronze Medal Winner - 2010 NC State Fair Commercial Wine Competition; Silver Medal Winner - 2009 NC State Fair Commercial Wine Competition

Classic red varietals selected in this harmonious blend include Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petite Verdot. Its light body and flavors of raspberry and current make this a perfect table wine for your everyday food from spaghetti to steak. Pairs well with a white wine drinker looking to convert to reds.   Buy Now!

 


Shiraz

Shiraz :: Shiraz or Syrah this wine is a classic!  Silver Medal Winner - 2010 NC State Fair Commercial Wine Competition; Silver Medal Winner - 2009 Beaufort International Wine Competition; Gold Medal Winner - 2009 NC State Fair Commercial Wine Competition

Whether you call it Syrah or Shiraz, this round and open textured Shiraz is balanced with ripe cherry and pomegranate. The finish is firm in texture with spicy yet silky tannins and hints of bittersweet chocolate. Pairs well with friends, a picnic table, and plates full of North Carolina style barbeque.   Buy Now!

 


Merlot

Merlot :: A traditional oak-infused red.  Bronze Medal Winner - 2010 Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition; Bronze Medal Winner - 2010 NC State Fair Commercial Wine Competition; Silver Medal Winner - 2009 NC State Fair Commercial Wine Competition

French oak aging concentrates the flavors and softens the tannins on this traditional-style Merlot. This Merlot is a deep, smoky wine supple with ripe black cherry and toasty vanilla aromas. As the wine lingers on the palate, layers of blueberry and cassis follow with mature tannins. Pairs well with roast beef and people who have never seen Sideways.   Buy Now!

 


Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc :: Liquid velvet in a bottle!  Gold Medal Winner - 2010 Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition; Silver Winner - 2010 NC State Fair Commercial Wine Competition; Silver Medal Winner - 2009 NC State Fair Commercial Wine Competition

Liquid velvet in a bottle, the Cabernet Franc is smooth, plush, and full-bodied. A traditional Bordeaux grape varietal, Cabernet Franc is gaining in popularity as a stand-alone in North Carolina. Its rich smoky, earthy flavors and balanced acidity make this an ideal partner with lamb or duck. Pairs especially well with fireside cuddling and chocolates on a cold winter evening.   Buy Now!

 

 

Category 5

Category 5 :: A beefy big brother.  Silver Medal Winner - 2010 Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition; Double Gold Medal Winner - 2010 NC State Fair Commercial Wine Competition; Silver Medal Winner - 2009 Beaufort International Wine Competition; Double Gold Medal Winner - 2009 NC State Fair Commercial Wine Competition

The same five grapes as the Carolinius make the Category 5 the beefy older brother to the Carolinius. This full-bodied Cabernet blend is fruit-forward with concentrated layers of cassis and fig. It finishes with smooth, caramelized vanilla notes and serves best with a nice cut of beef or venison. Named after the most powerful hurricane, this wine pairs well with people who live in a coastal town.   Buy Now!

 

 

Eagle's Select

Eagle's Select :: RayLen's best red.  Silver Medal Winner - 2010 Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition; Double Gold Medal Winner - 2010 NC State Fair Commercial Wine Competition; Double Gold Medal Winner - 2009 Beaufort International Wine Competition; Double Gold Medal Winner - 2009 NC State Fair Commercial Wine Competition

This Reserve wine stands alone in strength of body and character. The best of the vineyard's Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petite Verdot create a Meritage blend of deep color, complex flavor, and intoxicating aroma. The Eagle's Select is aged for 18 months in new French oak, making it a perfect wine to sip today or to cellar gracefully for years. Pairs well with an elegant dinner and a group of people who know that North Carolina produces fine wines.   Buy Now!

 

 

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon :: Aged in oak, this wine is a 'must have'.  Silver Medal Winner - 2010 NC State Fair Commercial Wine Competition; Bronze Medal Winner - 2009 Beaufort International Wine Competition; Double Gold Medal Winner - 2009 NC State Fair Commercial Wine Competition

Aged for nine months in a blend of new and seasoned oak, give the Cabernet Sauvignon its rich flavor and body. Luscious tones of leather, tobacco, dark chocolate and brown spices make this wine a must-have. Pairs well with your favorite leather chair, a roaring fire, and a fine cigar.   Buy Now!

 

 

 

RayLen Specialty Wines follow

Specialty Wines

 

Pale Red

Pale Red :: A lively, fruity Rosé

A fresh, bright, and lively fruity Rosé wine offers hints of strawberry and sweet cherry flavors. RayLen’s only sweet wine, the Pale Red calms down hot spicy foods like gumbo or hot stuffed peppers. Pairs well with a North Carolinian raised on sweet tea and Pepsi.   Buy Now!

 

 

 

Sparkling Brut**

Sparkling Brut :: Sparkling wine notes of strawberry, honey, and raspberry

A blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Muscat Canelli, this Sparkling wine is a new favorite at RayLen. Notes of strawberry, honey, and raspberry on the nose and good acidity and balance on the palate make the Sparking a perfect compliment to oysters, berries ala crème, and brie. Pairs well with the everyday celebration of life.

** This wine is not available for shipping

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2010 Vintage

harvest2010
Steve Shepard, a pioneer in North Carolina's wine industry had this to say about the 2010 harvest:

"In all my vintages here in North Carolina, which has been over 20, the 2010 harvest has exceeded 2000, 2002, 2005, and 2007 by far."

With more than 50 days recorded over 90° F, this hot, dry summer brought on the opportunity to ripen off this spectacular harvest.
The beautiful dry September with low humidity, coupled with warm days and cool nights, extended our hang time opportunities by over three weeks. For the first time ever, we've extended our harvest into the fall.

The Cabernet Sauvignon remained on the vines until the middle of October, soaking up the sun during the unusually warm days and pleasantly cool evenings.


We look forward to offering this wonderful vintage in the next couple years.

The Case Club

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When you purchase a case of wine (12 bottles), you get all kinds of great benefits! You immediately receive a 10% discount on your first case purchase and then a 15% discount on all future case purchases. You receive free admission to all of RayLen's on-site festivals AND a 20% discount on your case purchases. Membership is good for one year and can be renewed by simply buying wine!

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Category 5

cat5 logoAlthough RayLen has a fine array of 16 different wines, there is one that nearly every guest asks for: Category 5. A powerful Bordeaux blend named after the biggest hurricane, this proprietor’s blend won “Best in Show” in the Mid-Atlantic Wine Competition for the 2005 vintage. Stop by and taste why Southern Living listed the Category 5 in their Holiday Gift Guide (November 2008).

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