After just six short years of operating a tasting room — out of a quaint doublewide trailer — Piccione Vineyards in Ronda, not far from the Yadkin County line, will open a grand 7,000-square foot tasting room and events complex in 2023 that will be as sophisticated as its wines.
The vineyard held a wine club members-only groundbreaking in March.
“I was so excited when I first saw the plans … it was like a Monday four years ago,” said wine club member Ginger Lehman of Traphill, adding that Piccione is one of the few wineries open on Mondays and she enjoys visiting on that day when the place is especially quiet.
“The doublewide has been great and it’s not crowded [on Mondays],” Lehman said of Piccione’s current indoor space.
Like other wine club members attending the groundbreaking, Lehman said the quality of the Piccione wine surpasses that of other area offerings. “Someone who knows a lot more about wine than me said these people are making the best Italian wine in the area,” she explained, adding it was the reason she was a wine club member.
Many attendees were sipping the Nero (NV), which Piccione’s tasting notes describe as having “a fragrant nose of floral and black pepper with wild cherry and black cherry on the palate with a subtle butterscotch finish.” It’s so preferred among wine club members that a few red wine drinkers turned down a complimentary glass of sparkling wine for the groundbreaking toast.
As winery owner Dr. William Piccione, of Chicago, prepared to lift his glass to his supporters, he jokingly called the process leading up to the groundbreaking “painful” and “expensive.”
“As wine club members, you’ve been supportive of us for six years in a 1,200-square foot whatever it is up there,” Dr. Piccione said, motioning toward the doublewide trailer that has served as the tasting room. “It’s cute as hell, but we’re getting ready for the next level.”
The new tasting room will be called “La Collina,” which is Italian for “hilltop,” and will include two tasting bars, retail space, a small market. and an event room large enough for weddings and corporate events. The east wing of the complex will include office space and a wine library, which will be available for small gatherings and private tastings. The lower level will house a barrel room, which will not be open to the general public.
The building was designed by MKB Architects, of Charlotte, and is being built by Simcon Co., of Mt. Airy.
Piccione Vineyards currently has 30 acres under vine and is expanding planted acreage every year to keep up with production and growth. All wines are made with all estate-grown fruit, currently featuring 11 different varietals.
“We are starting to tip the scale of a boutique winery in terms of wine produced and sold. Our latest year saw us produce and sell 2,000-plus cases of wine with projected production and growth moving to 3,000-plus cases in 2022 and 2023,” manager Hailey Klepcyk reported.
Dr. Piccione, who is a Harvard-trained surgeon, said in addition to looking forward to La Collina’s opening in early 2023, the upcoming release of the 2021 vintages has the team excited.
“This 2021 was an exceptional year,” Piccione said.
Wine club members took the groundbreaking for the expansion somewhat in stride, many saying it simply fit with what the winery has quickly become.
“We came right after this opened. The main thing that caught our attention was that their wine was exceptional,” said wine club member Patricia Lassiter, a retired parole officer from Winston-Salem who has been a wine club member for five years. “Also, people are much nicer here.”
Lassiter said the Piccione staff remember patrons and clearly make an effort — and enjoy — spending time with visitors.
Glenn Yarnell, of Lewisville, brought a golden shovel, which he and his wife had previously used when the vineyard offered wine club members a chance to plant “their own” vine and name it in a front section of the vineyard. The Yarnells planted a petit verdot and and named it Adaline after their granddaughter. It’s the first vine in the fourth row.
The golden shovel is a “working shovel” — his wife Sylvia Yarnell, 54, uses it in her garden at home. Glenn Yarnell has already had to reweld the shovel to repair it.
“One day she pried the shovel so hard,” he recalled, “so now I’ve already had to reinforce and retemper it.”
It was sparkling like new ready for the groundbreaking.
Lisa Michals is a freelance writer based out of her hobby farm in Alleghany County. She is a regular contributor.