Ask a Farmer: Why Did You Decide to Turn Your Farm Into a Vineyard?

Lenna Hobson, RagApple Lassie Vineyard

Photo by John Lambeth/NCFB

Lenna Hobson and her husband Frank, a third-generation farmer, own and operate RagApple Lassie Vineyards in the Yadkin County town of Boonville, where they grow 35 acres of vinifera grapes. We asked them why they converted their tobacco farm into a vineyard. Read below for their answer, and watch the video to learn more about why they made this transition.

Why did you decide to turn your farm into a vineyard?

Simply put, we wanted the farm to remain agricultural and profitable. My husband, Frank, and I grew 125 acres of tobacco. We rotated the land with crops of corn, wheat and soybeans and hoped to continue for years to come. But then the tobacco buyout happened, giving rise to my husband’s worst nightmare! He worried his beloved 114-year-old family farm might become a housing development, so we went to Plan B. We planted 5 acres of vinifera grapes in April 2000. After a season of watching our first grape vines take root, grow and thrive, we decided to jump in with both feet. We hired a professional winemaker, built a winery and became real vintners! – Lenna Hobson, Yadkin County farmer and vintner 

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