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RagApple Lassie
by
Kathy and Terry Sullivan

RagApple Lassie Vineyards and WinerySummary: RagApple Lassie offers visitors a view of the winemaking facility before reaching the tasting room. This opportunity has a unique affect upon visitors, creating a sense of a journey into the world of winemaking. Lenna and Frank Hobson, owners, created this unique opportunity for visitors. Lenna said, “A lot of people choose to come here because of its name – it’s unique.”

RagApple Lassie is easy to find, as there are plenty of road signs. Just outside of the winery, a silo-style structure has the black and white spots frequently seen on cows.

Upon entering the tall metal building, you have a wonderful view of the tank room from the upper level. Along the walkway you pass stainless steel tanks and a few oak barrels. Do you ever wonder what takes place in a vineyard for 12 months? At the end of the walkway, the wall displays large signs with a list for each month of what is done in the vineyard during that month. A stairway leads down to the tasting area and barrel storage area.

RagApple Lassie Vineyards and Winery     RagApple Lassie Vineyards and Winery

Most likely the first question asked at the winery is “Where did the name come from?” According to Lenna, RagApple Lassie was the name of Frank Hobson’s calf when he was a youngster. As a member of 4H, Frank had a calf for a project with the club and RagApple Lassie became his pet. Frank recalls even swimming with the calf. Cows are a definite theme at this winery. Cases of wine have the black and white markings common to Holsteins.

Frank Hobson Jr. always loved wines and decided to plant 30 acres of grapevines on land that had previously been tobacco fields. Frank and Lenna Hobson are the owners of the winery. Frank is the vineyard manager. Lenna handles the business end of the winery. Linda King is the winemaker. Today the winery produces 6500 cases.

RagApple Lassie Vineyards and WineryThe tasting room and winery are located on the ground level. The tasting room has two tasting counters and Frank, Lenna or staff members quickly greet visitors. A sign in the tasting room quotes a Granny Hobson proverb, “Wine is good for your ‘Spliz-a-Dinktum.’” Items available for purchase include goat milk soap, cigars, paper napkins with the RagApple logo, logo hats and carry bags.

Nearby, a display case offers handmade crafts by local artisans. Members of the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild display several items including a quilted table topper or throw, stoneware, pottery and a basket. It is always a delight to find local artists work available in winery tasting rooms.

RagApple Lassie Vineyards and WineryThe Hobsons’ niece, a trained winemaker, facilitated our tasting. Dump buckets are blue glass vases. Visitors will quickly realize that all of the wine is bottled in elegant, sexy dark bottles. All of the labels have a personified cow's image. Pinot Gris 2006 had a fruit and vanilla nose. The taste had pineapple notes and was smooth while the finish was long with fruit. The aftertaste was fruit moving to honey. Chardonnay 2004 was a golden/yellow color with a butterscotch and oak aroma. The taste was silky with an apple and butter taste. The finish was crisp and fruity with butter. Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 had a dark red barely translucent color. The aroma had notes of red cherries and blackberries. The taste was fruit forward of red cherries with a crisp finish and light tannins. The 2006 Syrah aroma had peppery and black cherry notes. Zinfandel 2005 offered a perfume nose and a taste of fruit with mild spices and tannins on the finish. The non-vintage Kaleidoscope Red had a black cherry aroma. The taste was velvety and very fruit forward. The finish had fruit with tannins. It was delicious.

Enjoy a visit to RagApple Lassie Vineyards. You will get a good sense of a winery and a chance to sample some good wines.

RagApple Lassie Vineyard and Winery
NC Highway 67 East and Rockford Road
Boonville, North Carolina

GPS: N 36 22.183’ W080 65.499’

 


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