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Wine entrepreneurs featured on TV program

BOONE — Ed and Charlie Shelton, who turned a Surry County farm into Shelton Vineyards after retiring from a successful real estate business, are featured on the latest “Appalachian Perspective” cable television program.

The brothers have been business partners for 40 years, first in home construction, then commercial real estate. They built many of the high-rise buildings in downtown Charlotte and Winston-Salem.

They sold their commercial real estate business, Shelco Inc., to the company’s employees and opened Shelton Vineyards – the largest family-owned estate winery in North Carolina.

Located in the Yadkin Valley near Dobson and Mt. Airy, Shelton Vineyards produces 50,000 cases of wine each year. It hosts 40,000 visitors annually for tours and special events.

“We’ve never worked off a long-term plan,” Ed Shelton says of their remarkable business success. “Charlie and I have been involved in a lot of businesses and we just like to do different things, especially when someone tells us it can’t be done. We like to prove them wrong.”

To boost winemaking’s success in North Carolina, the Shelton brothers funded a two-year enology degree program at Surry Community College. They are working with Appalachian on activities to complement the community college’s degree and to assist the wine industry.

The 30-minute interview titled “Ed and Charlie Shelton: Real Estate and Vineyard Entrepreneurs” airs locally through June 9. It can be viewed in Watauga County on Charter Communication Channel 21 weekdays at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.; Channel 2 at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and on MTN’s Channel 18 at 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays and at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Fridays.

“Appalachian Perspective” is a production of Appalachian’s Office of Public Affairs and Department of Communication. For more information and to view video clips of “Appalachian Perspective” interviews, visit www.perspective.appstate.edu.

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