The landscape and climate of Virginia offers countless choice sites for vineyards. Each of the state’s five main land regions – the Appalachian Plateau, the Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region, the Blue Ridge, the Piedmont, and the Atlantic Coastal Plain – boasts vineyards and wineries. Granite-based soils in western areas of the state and sandy loam soil in the eastern both offer prime grape-growing ground. And good drainage can be found on all landscapes at all elevations.
Virginia’s five distinct climate regions – the Tidewater, Piedmont, Northern Virginia, Western Mountain and Southwestern Mountain – provide a temperate climate that’s not too hot or cold for extended periods. Virginia’s varying weather patterns see the mountainous southwest and Shenandoah Valley average a 160-day growing season; and east of the Blue Ridge, an average of 200 days.
Six of the United States’ 187 American Viticultural Areas, or AVAs – grape-growing regions defined by geographic features that influence the wines they produce – are in Virginia: Eastern Shore, Monticello Northern Neck, North Fork of Roanoke, Rocky Knob, and Shenandoah Valley. Given Virginia’s preponderance of well-situated grape-growing sites with ideal soil conditions, fine wines now come from all over the state.