Virginia Wine: An Introduction
Virginia has had a long tradition of winemaking for almost four hundred years. Founders such as Thomas Jefferson dreamed of making fine wine to rival that produced in the Old World. Winemaking in Virginia has undergone something of a renaissance in the last decade, and Virginia is now the sixth largest wine producer in the United States. With only three wineries in 1975, Virginia is now home to over 200 wineries. The recent growth of Virginia’s wine country cannot be measured by production numbers alone. Virginia wines are now being noticed by wine connoisseurs, winning awards and delighting wine lovers everywhere. Forbes Magazine and the Washington Post both recently mentioned the Virginia wine country as one of the East Coast’s hottest wine destinations.
Explore Virginia Wine Country
Virginia’s wine country offers not only pastoral beauty, but also prime grape-growing conditions. The wine country of Virginia has long beckoned adventurous winemakers with the delicious possibilities of world class wine. Although every area of the state now boasts vineyards and wineries, five major regions offer distinct advantages for wine production. These include the Appalachian plateau area, the Appalachian Ridge, the coastal area of the Atlantic, the Piedmont area, and the Blue Ridge. All areas of Virginia’s wine country feature the needed temperate climate that gets neither too hot nor too cold for the production of grapes. The soil of Virginia’s wine region offers adequate nutrient support for the growth of grapes. The distinctive geography of each region greatly influences the types of wine produced as well as the distinctive characteristics of each wine. Since Virginia’s wine country is one of the most popular wine destinations of the East Coast, it attracts tourism, many wine festivals and other exciting events each year.
Discover Virginia Wine
Virginia’s soil and temperate climate feature conditions hospitable to the growth of several wine grape varietals. Today’s Virginia winemakers have come to intimately understand Virginia’s unique growing conditions and climate. Virginia winemakers sometimes eschew popular varietals such as reisling and pinot noir, since they favor cooler temperatures. Instead, Virginia’s most successful winemakers focus on the varietals that thrive in Virginia’s growing regions and hot, humid summers. Virginia’s winemakers have garnered acclaim for varietals such as viognier, cabernet franc, chardonnay and petit verdot. Virginia’s wineries produce wines in many styles, including red and white wines, sparkling wines and fruit wines.
Meet Virginia’s Winemakers
Virginia’s winemakers are a unique collection of pioneers, savants and mavericks with a fervent love of Virginia’s distinctive landscape and a passion for world class wine. Although Virginia’s wine country offers a climate largely hospitable to the production of wine, it is susceptible to unpredictable growing seasons, heat waves, heavy rainfall and hail. Successful wineries such as Barboursville, producer of some of the state’s most recognizable and highly acclaimed wines, produce only a few varietals suitable to the region’s unique growing conditions. The winemakers of Virginia have built a supportive community, focused on common goals of producing world class wine and promoting Virginia’s wine country.