Seventeen media outlets recently sent representatives to Surry County to tour and research the wine and culinary offerings in the Yadkin Valley region.
The Mount Airy Visitors Center partnered with Visit NC to bring in media members in from all across the country and Canada. The states who had representatives included Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida. The tour was put together over a year-long effort by sending out media invites, planning and working with local partners.
Suzanne Brown, media relations specialist for Economic Development Partnership, explained any time the state can work with communities to highlight them, “It’s truly a great thing.”
Brown said, “This tour is really amazing to know that the area has turned fields used to grow tobacco into a tourism industry.”
Wine tastings included visits to JOLO, Herrera, Adagio, Jones von Drehle and Brushy Mountain Winery. The group also ate lunch and dinner at the wineries and several local businesses.
Stephanie Burns, international contact for Canada, said the most interesting thing she had seen so far was the enology and viticulture school at Surry Community College. “It was really interesting and not something we were expecting at all.”
Brown said she had heard a lot of feedback from the representatives and overall, “Everyone was surprised by the difference in taste, from each winery.”
Jessica Roberts, director of tourism and marketing, said, “The importance of this tour is, locally it impacts local businesses in a positive way. We budget for this event and it brings them business and is paid for by Tourism Partnership of Surry County. We spend money locally to drive stories and generate content for media.”
Brown said, in response to Roberts, “That is why we do what we do, it’s not only a state effort but a local effort. This tour was one of the best organized I have been on, the culture is great.”
Eva Queen may be reached at 336-415-4739.