Here in Yadkin County, North Carolina, casually draped over gently rolling land, lies a farm that is home to RagApple Lassie Vineyards. RagApple Lassie’s old world grapes are important pieces of the lush green patchwork quilt that makes up the Hobson Farm, but the quilt is enhanced by beautiful fields of soybeans, wheat, corn, and tobacco, outlined with stands of both hardwood and evergreen trees.
Aside from all the natural green surroundings, RagApple Lassie Vineyards, diligently weighs its business decisions against the need to protect our planet. Hence, our crops are rotated regularly to protect the soils nutrients and to prevent the spread of any disease. Plus, whenever possible we use no-till farming to reduce carbon emissions, protect against erosion and to utilize the natural decay of an earlier crop’s roots to feed the soil. As grandparents of four wonderful boys – ages 7, 9, 11 & 11.5 - taking care of our planet is our gift to them!
Upon visiting us, you will immediately notice that our parking lot is gravel as opposed to pavement. This allows rainwater to soak into the ground, rather than running into storm drains, so that, one: it nourishes the earth, and two, all extra rain can find its way into the earth’s core thus adding to the all important water table.
As a part of our “Green” Commitment and to insure that our wine bottles are actually recycled rather than being crushed and buried in a landfill, printed on the back of every RagApple Lassie Wine Bottle are the words: “Save our landfills - return this bottle for a 25 cent ‘bottle for bottle’ credit on your next RagApple Lassie wine purchase in the vineyards tasting room”. FYI: RagApple Lassie receives, on average, twenty cases per month!
No brainers, but just in case you’re not sure, please know that every inch of cardboard at RagApple Lassie is either reused or recycled. And all plastic bags, shrink wrapping, containers, bottles, packing peanuts, etc. are all appropriately recycled. And all plastic cups purchased and used at RagApple Lassie, such as those big 16 oz. sangria cups, are the biodegradable green line plastics made from corn products.
Corks popped from tasting bottles or returned by customers are given to the School for the Educable Mentally Handicapped in Roxboro who, in turn, make Cork Ornaments, Cork Garlands, Cork Trivettes, and Cork Bulletin Boards – all of which are purchased by us for sale to you in our tasting room.
And how about all those stems, skins and seeds that are leftover after harvest????? Being natural compostable waste, this refuse is broadcast over fields and pastures thereby providing some natural fertilizer for the growth of the next crop. However, they are not used in the vineyard, per se, so as to not spread any lurking diseases.
But another recycling tradition is our early spring wreath making day. After all the vineyards have been pruned in preparation for the new year’s growth, huge piles of the vine prunings are delivered to the winery and everyone is invited to come make as many grapevine wreaths as they want. Once dried, grapevine wreaths last a long time – many in the winery were made by Lenna several years ago – and provide not only decorating touches but a special memory.
As sanitation is an important part of making good wine it follows that wineries are big users of water with large amounts of waste water. However, the definition of winery waste water is “slightly used with a tinge of wine color and taste”. Not anything that would harm anyone or thing, but nevertheless ‘waste’ so all Ragapple Lassie waste water is evaporated. Our life giving sun makes short work of absorbing this water back into the atmosphere but in the meantime, the frogs at RagApple Lassie was particularly happy! Every day at dusk, a frog symphony is playing and a few particularly outstanding soloists are showcased!
At any time RagApple Lassie hosts band concerts, a part of the admission price is always 24 oz. of peanut butter which goes immediately to the Yadkin Food Closet. Additionally, several times each year, one can taste RagApple Lassie wines at NO cost IF a donation equal to or greater than the tasting fee is made to the Food Closet. FYI: More than 6000 pounds of peanut butter and more than $2500.00 cash has been collected and donated on the behalf of our customers.
Coming soon! RagApple Lassie Solar Power. Frank and Lenna have been diligently working on a plan to harness the power of the sun to provide for the electricity needs of RagApple Lassie Vineyards and Frank Hobson Farms, and still have power left over to share!
Stay tuned! This is exciting!