Midwesterners tend to view North Carolina through one of two lenses: the shoreline to the east, or the mountains to the west.
But tucked in the middle are plenty of hidden gems, especially for wine enthusiasts. And this year, the new Surry County Wine Trail makes it easier for visitors to find those gems, and to navigate their way through the heart of North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley wine country
Located northwest of Winston-Salem on North Carolina’s border with Virginia, Surry County encompasses the towns of Dobson, Mount Airy, Elkin and Pilot Mountain. And it’s easily accessible, since I-77 bisects the region.
Surry County is the birthplace of the Yadkin Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA), and the wine trail spotlights 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, which grow grape varietals that you know and love, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Sangiovese, Vidal Blanc and Merlot, among others.
“We’ve heard for years there is not one brochure or map that provides a comprehensive list of wineries in and around our county,” says Jessica Roberts, executive director of the Tourism Partnership of Surry County. “That was the main reason for creating the trail.” The trail brochure also contains information about lodging
This year marks a milestone for the Yadkin Valley. It became North Carolina’s first federally designated AVA 15 years ago thanks to the efforts of owners Charlie and Ed Shelton of Shelton Vineyards in Surry County.
“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,” Roberts says.
To request a free map by mail, or to download a copy, visit www.YadkinValleyNC.com.