As we stood line to get into the 2013 Yadkin Valley Wine Festival in Elkin in May, the rain went from drizzle to down pour, and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t last more than an hour.
But once inside the Elkin Municipal Park, we found room under a picnic shelter to park the chairs and headed out with wine glasses and the umbrella. At 11 a.m., eager wine lovers lined up at vendor tents, trying to keep dry.
Most of the featured wineries were from the Yadkin Valley, among North Carolina’s best. For me, the festival was about the search for the perfect Yadkin Valley Chambourcin, and there were quite a few good ones to try.
Throughout the day, visitors checked the forecast on cell phones and sought shelter any place dry, including the dugouts of the Little League baseball field. Finally, the rain moved out, and we moved our chairs to the lawn to hear the bands playing for the festival.
- Junius Lindsay Vineyard of Lexington had a very good Petite Sirah, said to be the only Petite Sirah grown in North Carolina. The Second Leaf Viognier –Roussanne was also good.
- Monica’s Malbec of Herrera Vineyards in Dobson was good. Who knew this South American standard was grown here?
- Surry Cellars, produced by the Surry Community College viticulture program, had some good wines, especially the Reserve Traminette and Chambourcin. The college in Dobson is offering special programs in June and July, including a home brewing short course and make wine at home short course. Call 336.386.3229 for information.
- Several wineries served “chocolate wines,” mostly reds flavored with chocolate. The best one we tried was Laurel Gray Vineyards’ Encore, “winner of the ‘Best Dessert Wine’ in NC.”
- Grassy Creek Vineyard and Winery, located on an old dairy farm near Elkin, bottles some of its wines in milk bottles.
Finally, hats off to the local chamber of commerce for keeping folks safe by providing shuttles to hotels and other lodging establishments. Holly Ridge Campground of Boonville more than filled a 20-passenger school bus that ran back and forth to the festival throughout the day. All “happy campers” returned from the festival to a spaghetti dinner prepared for us by our campground hosts. Thanks again, Holly Ridge Campground, for the hospitality!