Elkin is at the heart of Yadkin Valley viticulture.
When you think of viticulture, Napa Valley wineries and California vineyards are, of course, the places that jump to mind. But long before Napa Valley was the center of wine culture the nation's wine industry began with the muscadine grape in North Carolina wineries over a hundred years ago. Today, the rolling foothills of the Yadkin Valley are home to some of the most scenic and fruitful vineyards in the country. Including Shelton vineyards and Childress vineyards located in the Yadkin Valley wine country.
The rich soil, rolling hills, and moderate climate create ideal conditions for growing grapes rich and robust in flavor. The continued emergence of small vineyards and winery projects across the state is breathing new life in the area's travel and tourism industry. Although early in its development, the Yadkin Valley is poised to become an internationally recognized region for world-class wines.
The Yadkin Valley is home to more than a dozen thriving wineries and small vineyards, many of them now producing celebrated vintages. Because most are small they usually attract fewer visitors and provide more access to the vintners themselves. That makes for a great chance to try some new wines and to learn about the winemaking process. Combine this with the Yadkin Valley's active outdoor activities and charming yet affordable turn-of-the-century bed and breakfasts, and you have the makings of a great wine country family vacation.
North Carolina's first American Viticultural Area
For decades, the Yadkin Valley was a key tobacco-growing region. However, as tobacco farming and cigarette manufacturing in the area declined, some growers, including tobacco farmers, have turned to wine-making. The native grapes of this region of the southeastern United States are the Muscadine and the Scuppernong. Early attempts to grow the European wine grape, Vitis vinifera, in the southeastern United States, including 18th century efforts by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, Virginia, had mixed success. But in the past two to three decades, viticultural research has helped adapt these grapes to the climate, soil, and pests of the region. Today, the 1.4 million‐acre Yadkin Valley, just west of Winston‐Salem, is home to exquisite vineyards and wineries and was approved as North Carolina's first American Viticultural Area (AVA). The Yadkin Valley designation appears on bottles when wine is made from 85 percent grapes grown in this region. The majority of wineries offer tours and tastings.
North Carolina ranked #10 in both grape production and wine production.
North Carolina has more than doubled the amount of land used to grow grapes to 1,300 acres since 2000, enabling the state to become the 10th largest producer of both grapes and wine in the United States.
A report released in January 2007 by our department indicates that North Carolina is now home to 350 vineyards and more than 70 wineries in 30+ counties. Statewide, the wine and grape industries account for more than 5,700 jobs with an associated payroll north of $159 million.
Winery revenue totaled more than $48 million in 2005, while vineyard revenue topped $3.7 million. The retail value of North Carolina wine in 2005 was an estimated $72.3 million. State and local tax revenue generated by North Carolina-produced wine, grapes and related industries paid approximately $38.5 million, compared to $56.2 million in federal taxes. All in all, our department estimates the total economic impact of the wine and grape industry in North Carolina in 2005 to be as much as $813 million.
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Viticulture / Wine Making (22)
Winemakers / Vintners (2)
|Slightly Askew Winery|
|Brushy Mountain Winery|
|Elkin Creek Winery|
|Grassy Creek Vineyard & Winery|
|McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks|
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