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Life In the Carolina's Podcast

Sep 24, 2019

Our guest on this episode of the Life in the Carolinas podcast, is Thomas Salley, the newest director of the Wilkesboro Tourism Development Authority. Thomas was born in Albany, Georgia, and lived in Orangeburg, South Carolina, before attending the University of South Carolina where he majored in Public Relations. He soon realized his interest in the history and geography pertaining to wine in the Carolinas, prompting him to email all 30 wineries in North Carolina to inquire about any job openings. He heard back from Raffaldini Vineyards and he was offered a position on the staff, of which he was a part for 12 years.

Since Thomas sent out those emails more than 12 years ago, the number of wineries in North Carolina has skyrocketed to more than 200, garnering national attention and driving significant viticulture tourism to the state. The industry impacts North Carolina as a whole and particularly the Wilkes County region by attracting people who had never considered visiting the area, providing an opportunity for the local attractions to shine.

Wilkesboro is home to many noteworthy musical and artistic events such as the concerts at the Carolina West Commons, Carolina in the Fall, and MerleFest as well as outdoor recreation opportunities such as tubbing, tubing, mountain biking, and lake activities. When new or returning visitors come to Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro, the community welcomes them and introduces them to the warm and creative environment that they call home.


For more information:

Tubbing – Foothills Outdoor Adventures:

Wilco Berms and Brews:

Wilkesboro TDA:

Raffaldini Vineyards:

Stone Mountain State Park:


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