DOBSON — Most people are aware that this area boasts an array of wineries, but those facilities can be hard to locate for visitors — who now have a handy resource to guide them.
A newly designated trail is making it easier for visitors to navigate their way through the heart of North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley wine country, aided by a map charting its attractions.
The full-color brochure map that recently debuted highlights 15 wineries in and around Surry County, along with five breweries and distilleries. The map simplifies the experience of spending a day or two tasting wines and touring vineyards.
“We’ve heard for years there is not one brochure or map that provides a comprehensive list of wineries in and around our county,” explained Jessica Roberts, executive director of the Tourism Partnership of Surry County.
“That was the main reason for creating the trail,” Roberts added. “Visitors still want a hand-held brochure as a navigational guide to give them a general idea of where they’re going.”
The map provides a geographical overview of all 13 wineries in Surry, as well as two others just outside the county that work closely with their Surry counterparts. It has addresses for use in GPS devices, telephone numbers and websites for all stops along the trail.
In addition, the trail brochure details the varieties of grapes grown in the Yadkin Valley, along with information about lodging in wine country and a listing of annual events.
“Our tourism partners, including wineries, breweries, distilleries and lodging partners, like having a brochure to give visitors to help them navigate,” Roberts mentioned. “Sometimes it is hard to find all the wineries – or even realize all the wineries – we have in the county.”
Surry wineries have a tradition of sending visitors to neighboring ones, which is now much easier thanks to the trail map.
“Maybe people come to see us because of a recommendation from one of our neighbors, and then we’ll recommend another neighbor,” said Tim Wahl, winemaker and co-owner of Adagio Vineyards in Elkin.
“That’s something you don’t always get in other states, where there can be an hour between wineries. People really like to visit three or four within a day.”
Wahl appreciates the fact that visitors receive an up-close-and-personal experience while at wineries in Surry County.
“The personal stories behind the wineries are interesting,” he observed. “We try to be there in person to give them a tour of the production facility and go through, step by step, how we make the wines and let them know why our wineries are unique.”
A 15-year milestone for the Yadkin Valley is being reached in 2018. It became North Carolina’s first federally designated American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 2003 due to the efforts of owners Charlie and Ed Shelton of Shelton Vineyards near Dobson.
“We are proud to be the birthplace of the Yadkin Valley AVA, and this is an exciting time to launch the wine trail and have this brochure available,” said Roberts, the local tourism official.
Interested persons may request a free map by mail or download a copy by visiting www.YadkinValleyNC.com.