Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Yadkin Valley Launches Unique Golf and Wine Packages

(DOBSON, N.C.) - Fairways, chardonnays and cabernets are coming together to form a new golfing destination in North Carolina.

The Yadkin Valley Golf Experience launches this March with unique packages combining golf, lodging, and winery visits in North Carolina's burgeoning wine country. The Yadkin Valley, located about 45 minutes northwest of Winston-Salem, features more than 30 wineries and a number of highly-regarded golf courses.

"When people think of this area, they think of fine wines and lush vineyards, but really it's a great destination for golf, too," said Surry County tourism director Chris Knopf.

In its first year, the Yadkin Valley Golf Experience will be anchored by three courses: Cedarbrook Country Club in Elkin, Cross Creek Country Club in Mount Airy, and Olde Beau Golf & Country Club in Roaring Gap.

The idea behind this distinct type of packaging is that traveling golfers and wine lovers are often one and the same. And even when they're not, those golfers probably have a spouse or significant other who is a wine enthusiast.

Typical golf industry packages include lodging and daily golf. In the Yadkin Valley, golfers receive those staples, plus a voucher for a complimentary winery tour/tasting at one of the participating wineries. Additional winery tours - or a pass to the iconic Andy Griffith Museum in the actor's hometown of Mount Airy - can be added for a nominal fee.

"We've actually seen quite a bit of interest from couples, where one is interested in golf and the other is interested in the Yadkin Valley wine region. And maybe they're interested in the Mayberry attractions, too," Knopf said. "It's a well-rounded trip for everyone in your group."

Olde Beau general manager Tommy Maines believes the timing is perfect for this type of golf packaging service.

"I like that we're getting the jump on this," Maines said. "We feel this is something really unique that will draw the type of golf clientele that is also interested in the wine country."

On the wine side, Shelton Vineyards in Dobson headlines a quartet of participating wineries, with more expected to come on board. Shelton features the largest family-owned estate winery in North Carolina.

Grassy Creek Vineyards of Elkin is also in the rotation, along with Old North State Winery in Mount Airy, and Round Peak Vineyards in Mount Airy.

Lodging comes in a range of options. There are two-bedroom villas and cottage homes at Olde Beau; the award-winning Hampton Inn & Suites Shelton Vineyards; the Fairfield Inn & Suites Elkin; and the Hampton Inn Mount Airy.

"We also have a lot of great restaurants in this area that are a direct result of the wine industry," Knopf said.

The Tourism Partnership of Surry County is handling all calls and requests for the golf packages in conjunction with a state-of-the-art website:

Golfers have the option of choosing one of two pre-planned packages, or creating custom packages tailored to their particular desires.

The pre-planned packages start at $305 per person, based on double occupancy. They include three rounds of golf (with cart), two nights lodging, winery tour, gratuity and tax.

"We've talked often about the potential from wine country visitors," said Zim Zimmerman, Cedarbrook's head golf professional. "A lot of people who are into the wine industry also have a set of clubs. We want more of them playing golf in the Yadkin Valley."

For information on the Yadkin Valley Golf Experience, call toll-free (855) 398-4653, or visit


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