Organizers billed it as the biggest and best yet with some of the finest weather displaying itself for the outdoor event just south of Yadkinville's Courthouse square.
The event held to promote the growing wine industry featured 19 vineyards stretching from Mount Airy to Lexington. Most of the vineyards in the Yadkin Valley were represented.
Vineyard participation is up from last year's 17, a reflection of the growth in the industry, the festival committee's chairman, Jim Drum said near the close of the event.
"We want to focus just on the wine industry. It is what this is about, promoting it," Drum said.
Other vendor's were in attendance as a spin off. Their numbers grew also, indicating an increased awareness of the relatively young festival. The ancillary exhibitors included jewelers, food vendors and sellers of food and wine-related goods.
A larger field was ringed by tents bearing names of the wineries. Lines were moderate but steady at the tasting tables from 11 a.m. till 5 p.m. A line a block long was waiting to check in at the opening to the event.
The greatest number seemed to gather around 2 p.m. Drum hesitated to estimate the number of people in attendance until committee members had a chance to count the tasting glasses distributed. Several others on the committee and among the vineyard owners estimated the crowd at about the same or a little more than last year. Police Chief Tim Parks agreed, adding that he thought approximately 4,000 people came through the grounds during the day.
That would include tasters and those who turned out to enjoy the music and other events surrounding the tasting.
The other events included a chili cook-off in which six entrants competed for the people's choice chili recipe.
Most turned their tastes toward the wine however.
Tim Doub of Flint Hill Vineyards in East Bend was happy with the crowd. He found out about the backgrounds of the some of his tasters. "We always ask. We had people from Charlotte and Raleigh and a few from out of state," Doub said.
There was also a good collection of local people. Yadkin County Commissioner Joel Cornelius was hanging around Doub's tent. They grew up together.
Cornelius was also happy with the crowd. "We have perfect weather and a good crowd. We like to see a good crowd out supporting our local economy."
Stephen Lyons of Raffaldini Vineyards liked the crowd. "We seeing a lot of the same people come back from last year. They are learning more about the wine," he said.
The questions from tasters were numerous covering the gamut of explanations of the various tastes of wine and how they came to be, whether the grapes were local and what wine works best with what food.
Sean McRitchie explained a lot of details about the wines from his McRitchie Winery & Ciderwordks like how the fiz gets in the cider, a second fermentation in a seal bottle, like Champagne.
Others were out just for the fun and found an interest in wine. One traveler from Charlotte found the event several weeks ago while surfing the Internet for outside events he could enjoy with his pre-teen daughter and girlfriend. It was their first time in Yadkinville for a wine festival. They planned to move on in the afternoon to another event for the girl and a night at his cabin in Big Gap.
The girl enjoyed the music and the chili along with her father. His favorite was Hanover Park Vineyard.