At an auction sale in 1994, brothers Charlie and Ed Shelton purchased the land Shelton Vineyards sits upon without firm plans for its future. This land is located just a few miles from the home place of the Shelton's grandparents. Both brothers had a keen interest in vineyards and wineries. This, coupled with the area's ideal climate of mild winters and moderate summers, led the two to consider developing a vineyard as a personal hobby. After much study and consultation, the Sheltons’ hobby quickly became a full-fledged business operation. "We saw the impact these vineyards - and others in the area - could have 20 to 30 years down the road," says Charlie Shelton. "With tobacco farming on the decline, we saw it as a great way to diversify the farming industry and open doors to new industries in the area, such as tourism. People love to tour vineyards, taste the wine and hear the story of winemaking. And, at Shelton Vineyards, we believed we could create a great story to tell."
The Sheltons hoped that this endeavor and the agri-tourism that it spawned would help the local economy and give local farmers an alternative crop to tobacco whose sales have declined in recent years. Their vision is now being realized.
Shelton Vineyards is North Carolina’s largest family-owned Estate winery located in the state’s first approved American Viticultural Area, the Yadkin Valley. The estate is comprised of 72 acres of vineyard and a 33,000 square-foot winery.
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