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Wilkes County, From NASCAR to White Lightning

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Distillers, legal or not, have long called North Carolina home. If you’re traveling through western NC, make sure to explore the Wilkes County connection between moonshine and NASCAR.

Junior Johnson, NASCAR great and Wilkes County native, perfected his driving skills while hauling “white lightning” through the Brushy Mountains, inventing the “bootleg turn” in the process.

Today, you can visit two legal distilleries, Copper Barrel Distillery, Wilkes County’s first legal moonshine distillery, and Call Family Distillers, whose founders’ family tree includes Reverend Dan Call, who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey, and Willie Clay Call, a legendary moonshiner deemed “uncatchable.”

Chuck Norman, APR, S&A Communications

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