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Celebrating 20 Years of The Yadkin Valley Wine Festival

Yadkin Valley Wine Festival

This past weekend marked the 21st Annual Yadkin Valley Wine Festival, a local celebration of the quality and abundance of wine in the Yadkin Valley. What started as a way to bring attention to and support the growth of the wineries in the region has grown to be one of the most attended and looked forward to festivals in Western North Carolina! 

In 2001, Rebel Goode had the foresight to promote what he saw as an up-and-coming wine region. He gathered a small committee of folks who believed in the possibilities for Elkin and the Yadkin Valley Wine Region and the rest is history. Despite the first two years of rain, they didn’t give up, and by the third year Brent Cornelison ran out of ice for the vendors within hours. Chairman, Mike Bovender, recounts the 2018 festival as his favorite. It was the year the Embers were the headlining band. It had rained all week and the Friday before the festival the committee was close to canceling. They decided to proceed, and it turned out to be a beautiful Saturday. They found their stride, and just four years later, the Yadkin Valley Festival won the 2022 USA Today Reader’s Choice award as the 5th Best Wine Festival in the US. 

This year, the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce had a new event coordinator, Quinn Wilkins, and she shared that she was in awe of the way the community shows up. There are volunteers that have been volunteering for over 15 years, vendors who say yes, no questions asked, and people who care deeply about the event and its impact on the community and so show their support in a variety of ways. “My role is to handle the behind-the-scenes details like permaps, maps, coordinating the vine line, VIP tent, etc. but the event falls into place because everybody shows up, year after year.” Of the nearly 100 people it takes to plan and execute the festival, only four are paid, which shows you just how much the Yadkin Valley Wine Festival means to the community. 

Whether you come to stomp grapes, taste wine, or dance the afternoon away, there is something for everyone at the Yadkin Valley Wine Festival and has become a highlight of the year in Elkin, North Carolina.

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