But, there I was, roaming around taking pictures and getting comments about the wines from folks. I remember two people who stood out. The first was a man who hailed from New Zealand, but worked at a winery in northern Italy. How he found his way to our little festival in Elkin, I can’t recall. It was a fledgling industry at that point and I’m sure a hard comparison to the wines he was used to, but he gave a very diplomatic comment about everyone having a lot of enthusiasm for the new viticulture industry here. He was also intrigued by the sweeter wines made from our native muscadine and scuppernong grapes.
The second person I remember was a little lady who brought up the fact that some in the area were against the wine industry. She quickly reminded me that wine is mentioned in the Bible, quoting specifically the passage from I Timothy that says “use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake…” She said she thought the new up and coming wine region was a good thing.After I finished with my work that day, I decided to try a little wine myself. Needless to say, by the end of the afternoon I was no longer so grumpy about having had to work that day.I have attended the festival every year since then and have become a huge proponent of our wine region. I tell everyone I meet about it. Wine may not be the beverage of choice for everyone, but as a Yadkin County native, it thrills me that we have found such a unique way to continue the agricultural tradition of our region and bring visitors here.As our wine region has grown and matured, so has my palette expanded greatly since taking those first sips of wine more than 10 years ago. I began drinking the very sweetest wines made from muscadine or similar varietals. Now, I prefer the deep dry reds, with the occasional chilled dry white wine for nice summer days.
I think each of our area wineries have such lovely and distinct venues and all boast wonderful wines. While I know some who are wine snobs and prefer vintages that hail from Italy or California, I have become a Yadkin Valley wine snob. I prefer to drink wines that hail from my hometown area.I am an even bigger snob about our area wine festival. I turn up my nose and frown if anyone suggests attending other wine festivals, which seem to be bigger and crowded and just not as much fun or as relaxing and enjoyable as our Yadkin Valley Wine Festival.
This year’s festival was extremely special as many of my friends came with me as a celebration of my upcoming nuptials. I was so proud to show off the Yadkin Valley Wine region to friends who had never been. We had a wonderful day sampling wines, enjoying food from the vendors and dancing to the great music.