Open main menu

The Yadkin Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area that includes land in eight counties of northwestern North Carolina. The AVA encompasses an area of approximately 1,400,000 acres (5,666 km2) in the Yadkin River valley. The Yadkin Valley AVA includes all of Wilkes, Surry, and Yadkin counties, and parts of Davie, Davidson, Forsyth, Iredell, and Stokes counties. Yadkin Valley is home to more than three dozen wineries.[4]

Yadkin Valley AVA
Wine region
Vineyard in Swan Creek, Yadkin Valley
TypeAmerican Viticultural Area
Year established2002[1]
CountryUnited States
Part ofNorth Carolina
Other regions in North CarolinaHaw River Valley AVA
Sub-regionsSwan Creek AVA
Climate regionHumid subtropical/maritime in highlands
Total area1,400,000 acres (5,666 km2)[2]
Size of planted vineyards400 acres (162 ha)[citation needed]
Grapes producedAleatico, Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Malbec, Malvasia, Merlot, Montepulciano, Muscat Canelli, Nebbiolo, Niagara, Petit Verdot, Pinot gris, Pinot noir, Riesling, Sangiovese, Vidal Blanc, Traminette, Cynthiana/Norton, Sauvignon blanc, Seyval blanc, Syrah, Vermentino, Viognier[2]
No. of wineries38[3]


For decades, the area was a key tobacco-growing region. However, as tobacco farming and cigarette manufacturing in the area declined, some entrepreneurs, including tobacco farmers, have turned to winemaking. The native grapes of this region of the southeastern United States include Vitis cordifolia, Vitis labrusca, Vitis aestivalis, Vitis cinerea, and Vitis rotundifolia (muscadine and scuppernong). Early attempts to grow the European wine grape, Vitis vinifera, in the southeastern United States, including 18th century efforts by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, Virginia, had mixed success. But in the past two to three decades, viticultural research has helped these grapes to survive the climate, soil, and pests of the region.[citation needed] Additionally, Surry Community College, located in Dobson, North Carolina, has served as a valuable community resource for this growing industry by offering certificate and degree programs in viticulture and enology.[5] In 2005, Davidson County Community College formed a partnership with Surry Community College for the delivery of the viticulture and enology program/certifications in Davidson and Davie counties.[citation needed]

In 2003, in an effort led by Charlie and Ed Shelton of Shelton Vineyards, the United States' Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives approved the new appellation for the region with the name Yadkin Valley AVA, allowing winemakers to bottle wines with a label indicating that the wine came from the Yadkin Valley. In 2005, there were 14 wineries and 400 acres (162 ha) of vineyards in the region. By 2005, the number of wine producers had increased to 23. By 2013, there were 38 wineries operating in the Yadkin Valley.[3]


The Yadkin Valley area is in the piedmont and foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. One of the most recognizable landmarks in the AVA is Pilot Mountain. The hardiness zone is mostly 7a and 7b, with 6b in some higher areas. [1]


Southern Living Magazine published a feature story about the Yadkin Valley region in November 2007.[6]

Local wine festivalsEdit

The Yadkin Valley Wine Festival is held the third Saturday in May at the Municipal Park in Elkin. The Yadkin Valley Grape Festival is held the third Saturday in October in Yadkinville. The 'Shine to Wine Festival is held in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina the first Saturday in May. Prior to 2005, these wineries also participated in the North Carolina Wine Festival.[citation needed] The Budbreak Wine and Craft Beer Festival is held the 1st Saturday in May in downtown Mount Airy, North Carolina.[7][failed verification]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Code of Federal Regulations. "§ 9.174 Yadkin Valley." Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Part 9 — American Viticultural Areas; Subpart C — Approved American Viticultural Areas. Retrieved Nov. 16, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Appellation America (2007). "Yadkin Valley (AVA): Appellation Description". Retrieved Nov. 16, 2007.
  3. ^ a b Hobson, Lenna. Phone interview. 26 April 2013.
  4. ^ S. Philbrick, Hope S. (2016-07-15). "Uncork Yadkin Valley, North Carolina". Getaways for Grownups.
  5. ^ "Agricultural Science". Surry Community College. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  6. ^ Thompson, Annette (November 2007). "Carolina's Wine Country". Southern Living. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  7. ^ "Budbreak Festival".

External linksEdit