At a VIP wine tasting in Old North State Winery’s barrel room, 28 winners were announced. Tom Webb, host of the event, said the Budbreak Wine Festival is a dream come true. The event officially starts today at 11 a.m. on Main Street.
“This has been a dream we have been working on for a year. When you see the wine makers, thank them for all of their hard work,” said Webb.
Four judges spent most of the day Friday in a blind judging at the Mount Airy Museum’s Annex building. Judges included head judge Pierre-Louis Teissedre, who is professor of Enology at the University of Bordeaux 2, in Bordeaux, France; Grant Holder, a professor at Appalachian State University; Ed Williams, a freelance writer specializing in wines; and Catherine Raab, a certified sommelier.
“It was hard work judging 70 wines. We are glad you have such a wonderful variety of wines. I hope you like the wines we have selected,” said Teissedre.
“I’m very impressed with North Carolina wines,” said Raab. “We tasted some really amazing wines.”
Referring to the judging, Williams said, “This is about as much as you can have with your clothes on.”
Holder gave the crowd a chuckle when he said he couldn’t do a wine judging more than once a day.
“I’ve been following North Carolina wines for the last six or seven years. Every year gets a little better. These are all excellent wines — best of class,” said Holder.
Surry Community College President Dr. Deborah Friedman was in attendance at the event. From the humble beginnings of the viticulture and enology program at the college, she is proud to see the industry advance to the point of having a festival featuring local wines.
“We are very grateful for the opportunity to offer such a valuable teaching experience that is proving to be beneficial to this area and to have such a sustainable economic impact,” Friedman said.
Brandt Scholz, owner of B & L Custom Jewelers, which is in the area of downtown that will be blocked off for the wine festival, said he is excited to see the event come to fruition.
“We are expecting to have a great crowd for the festival. This will bring people to our downtown area, and while they are here, they can see what else we have to offer.”
Contact Mondee Tilley at email@example.com or at 719-1930.