Friday, September 13, 2013

Do you need a reason to take a drive on Saturday?

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Clear skies? Low humidity? Mild temperatures? Check, check and check.

Agenda in the Brushy Mountains: Check, if you check out Raffaldini Vineyards for the 8th annual Festa Italiana, a daylong celebration of Italian food, Italian music and Italian wine, as produced in the N.C. Piedmont.

With its hillside vineyard and Italian-style villa, Raffaldini is a beautiful spot, and it's about as easy as it gets to reach it: 1 hour 15 minutes, straight north of Charlotte.

Admission is $15 and gets you a tasting of three wines, a commemorative glass and music. There will be vendors with Italian-inspired food for sale. Raffaldini is currently making five varietal wine and several blends, including Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Sangiovese Riserva and Montepulciano.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., leaving plenty of time to get home in time to cook something lovely to go with that Italian red you brought. If you need directions or details, go to