Last year’s Yadkin Valley Grape Festival took place on the perfect sunny fall “chamber of commerce” day, said Yadkinville Mayor Eddie Norman, and organizers are hoping for just as a perfect a day this year.
The 14th annual Yadkin Valley Grape Festival will take place in Yadkinville on Oct. 21. The event, hosted by the Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce, was created to help promote the growing wine industry in the area.
“We wanted visitors to experience what great wines we have in this area,” said Jaime Johnston of the Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce. As a number of area wine festivals take place in the spring, Johnston said they chose to do a fall festival to offer something special for area visitors to come back to later in the year.
The celebration will begin at 11 a.m. with events continuing on through the evening. The festival will feature more than 20 area wineries as well as local food and craft vendors.
The festival will include live music with Phatt City from 3 to 5 p.m. and other local bands performing throughout the day.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. A military ticket is $20 at the gate with ID. Group tickets are available as well.
“This is our 14th annual Yadkin Valley Grape Festival and it’s going to be a great festival,” Johnston said. “We appreciate all the support we have received over the years from the Yadkin Valley wineries that have participated in our festival to our sponsors and volunteers.”
Though smaller in size than many of the other area wine festivals, the grape festival is the perfect fit for some, like local Brenda Flynn.
“It’s small, it’s very quaint, just enough vineyards and the weather’s always better in October,” Flynn said. “This is just like a small family gathering and we’ve tasted a lot of good wines.”
In addition to locals, a number of visitors from around the state and far beyond came to Yadkinville last fall to sample the best of the Yadkin Valley.
“Weather was great and the crowd was good, it was a great day in the Yadkin Valley,” Johnston said during last year’s festival. “We had folks from all over attend this year’s festival — talked to folks from New Zealand, Australia, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, Florida, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, Connecticut, South Carolina and all over North Carolina.”
Hailing from the city of Mandurah in western Australia were visitors Henry and Doreen Young. Their daughter Vanessa resides in Asheboro and she and friends had planned to take her parents to a few of the area wineries for a tasting. When they learned of the festival, they made plans to attend.
“We can’t believe how friendly everybody is,” Henry Young said. Young was blending in with the locals at the festival sporting a Carolina Panthers hat. The Youngs are no strangers to wine country as where they live in Australia is known for its vineyards and wineries as well.
“There are similarities,” Young said of Yadkin Valley wine country. Though much more used to the wines of their home country, the family said they had found some at the festival they liked as well.
The sweeter wines were popular requests during the day, several of the wineries reported. Stephanie and Tom Gauthier, visiting from Greensboro, said the sweet and semi-sweet wines were their personal favorites.
For more information on the 2017 Yadkin Valley Grape Festival, visit www.yvgf.com or call 336-679-2200.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.