For years, visitors to Surry County here in the heart of the Yadkin Valley often asked: How many wineries are in Yadkin Valley? And for years, we were never quite sure of the answer.
Fortunately, that answer is now available. There are 48 wineries in North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley, as you can see in the accompanying Google Map. That number includes all 20 wineries along the Surry County Wine Trail.
This data is available because of a joint effort between several key entities in the NC wine industry. Leaders from the NC Wine & Grape Council, Visit NC, Surry County, Wilkes County and Yadkin County combined forces to put together an accurate count.
Most people assumed this would be easy. However, the Yadkin Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area) covers a large swath of land across portions of seven counties, and no single entity was ever charged with keeping a count. It took this group effort to finally yield a definitive total.
For this definition, a winery is a facility that has a tasting room open to the public, along with at least one of these two components: on-site wine production and/or on-site vineyards.
The Yadkin Valley wine region became North Carolina’s first federally designated AVA in 2003, thanks largely to the efforts of Charlie and Ed Shelton, founders of Shelton Vineyards.
There were only a handful of wineries in the valley in 2003, and making dry and off-dry wines from European vinifera and French-American hybrid grapes was fairly new to North Carolina. Since 2003, a lot has changed. Thanks to hard work by the pioneering wineries, and support from the state-of-the-art Shelton-Badgett NC Center for Viticulture and Enology at Surry Community College, vineyard managers have learned which grapes grow well in these foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and which grapes can tolerate the climate.
Some of the predominate grapes in Yadkin Valley are, in alphabetical order: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Chambourcin, Cynthiana, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Tannat, Vidal Blanc and Viognier.
Yadkin Valley’s elevations (1,100-1,600 feet above sea level) and latitude are quite similar to Napa Valley, creating a nice climate for grape production.
In addition to its climate, Yadkin Valley’s location along the North Carolina-Virginia border is another plus. It is roughly halfway between New York and Miami, and within a day’s drive of more than half the population of the United States.
Feb. 17, 2021
Surry Wine Trail Reaches Milestone with Opening of More Wineries
The Surry County Wine Trail celebrates a milestone as a flurry of openings pushes the number of wineries to 20 along this popular Yadkin Valley trail. The addition of these four wineries sets up visitors for many new experiences and return trips.
Aug. 16, 2018
Ethan Brown Brings Winemaking Full Circle at Shelton Vineyards
Nearly two decades after they invested heavily in the winemaking program at Surry Community College, Ed and Charlie Shelton hired winemaker Ethan Brown, a graduate of the college’s Shelton-Badgett NC Center for Viticulture and Enology.
July 29, 2014
Looking for a Good Summer Wine?
Tastes and aromas: honey and dried cranberry, watermelon and strawberry in the nose with hints of mandarin orange Drink it with: fruits and cheeses or as a perfect spicy fare
July 25, 2020
These 8 Yadkin Valley Wineries are Top Spots for Picnics
Along the Surry County Wine Trail, these eight Yadkin Valley wineries are ideal spots for a picnic. Options include bringing your own picnic or picking one up when you arrive.