Jones von Drehle Grows Brilliant Grapes on the Slopes of North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains

Thurmond, North Carolina

© Ben Herrmann, Fuquay Varina, NC

By Charles Antin Posted July 15, 2015

When Chuck and Diana Jones’s youngest son went off to college, they took on a mission: figure out how to make high-quality wine in their home state of North Carolina.

Jones von Drehle; Thurmond, North Carolina

When Chuck and Diana Jones’s youngest son went off to college, they took on a mission: figure out how to make high-quality wine in their home state of North Carolina. Chuck found a spot on the slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with a cooling breeze that came down the hill at night—promising conditions for growing high-quality grapes. The next find was a partner—or rather, a family of partners: Georgia, Raymond and Ronnie von Drehle (Ronnie and Diana are sisters). In 2007, Jones von Drehle was born with the help of viticulturist Randy Ramey and winemaker Dan Tallman, who had worked at the iconic Sonoma winery Williams Selyem. It was a combination that worked: "Jones von Drehle is the best winery in North Carolina," says Shawn Paul, general manager of Corkbuzz Wine Studio in Charlotte. His favorite bottling is the Chardonnay Steel, which is unoaked and cold-fermented for thirty days. His description: “It’s mineral and lean but also tropical, and very vibrant.”

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