By Jesse Wood
Although it wasn’t exactly planned this way, you could call the August issue of High Country Magazine, which is now on newsstands for free all across the High Country, our “Wine and Wedding” issue.
Featuring a beautiful painting by Mary Martha McKinley titled, “The High Country Through Rose Colored Glasses,” the August issue includes two major features, one on the High Country becoming a federally recognized wine grape growing region and another on the High Country being a favorite wedding destination.
It wasn’t too long ago that folks thought you were crazy to attempt to grow wine grapes in the mountains. That was only about 15 years ago. Today, the Appalachian High Country features dozens of wineries and grape growers working together to produce award-winning local wines. These wines will soon have their own American Viticultural Area designation label on the bottles – think Napa or Sonoma Valleys.
“Destination on High,” written by Jessica Isaacs, offers a behind-the-scenes look at the wedding industry in the High Country, which is both thriving and providing a significant economic impact on the area. Polling local wedding planners, Isaacs found that the average destination wedding budget in the High Country falls between $30,000 and $75,000.
“With a destination wedding, by definition, you have people traveling, and success breeds success,” Bob Whitley, owner of River Run Farm in Valle Crucis, told Isaacs. “If we do 15 weddings of 200 people at River Run Farm, that’s 3,000 people who attend a wedding in this valley and get to experience the Mast General Store, the restaurants, the hotels and the B&Bs, we’re just one of many.”
That’s just a taste of what’s packed in the 100-plus page issue. Hope you enjoy!
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