Some Virginia Wine History

Virginia's has one of the longer histories of viticulture in the country. Thomas Jefferson tried to grow wine grapes in Monticello, but the environment proved to be a difficult one. In the 1970s, European winemakers began bringing grape varietals to Virginia and experimenting with them, but it wasn't until the 1990s that the industry started to take off. Now the number of wineries in Virginia is approaching 300 and, as the fifth largest wine producer in the country, some of the wine is beginning to be noticed outside the commonwealth.

Fox News published an article, "Why the hype about Virginia wine?" (2 October 2015) which provides a review of some of Virginia's history with wine. It is a short article and may be worth your time to read. (All quotes are from this article.)

The article states, as we have previously described, that "Virginia now has seven AVAs (American Viticultural Areas), giving regions their own wine growing identity similar to California’s Napa and Sonoma regions. It’s a sign of the state's growing maturity as a wine region." AVAs are an important indicator of both industry and federal recognition of an area's uniqueness in relation to viticulture.

Virginia is not a place for the most inexpensive of wines. "The relatively small size of most Virginia vineyards and higher land and labor costs mean Virginia will never really be able to compete in the $10 and under category, Virginia Wine Board director Annette Boyd says, but 'Virginia wines compete and they compete extraordinarily well' in the $15 to $20 category." This is not a lot of money per bottle and a case, with typical volume discounts, will bring the price down even more. Remember that the price of the wine is unlikely to have a correlation to its taste. It is your palate that matters.