There’s a movement growing in Virginia vineyards…
A community of farmers perfecting their own agricultural art. They don’t bend to trends. They listen to their land, drawing out the story in every vine and every vintage. Crafting wines that embody the grace, grit and experimental spirit of Virginia.
You can learn a lot about our wine just by looking at a map. Virginia sits halfway between Europe and California. Our wines embody this unique position in the world. They are lush but structured; aromatic, expressive and beautifully balanced—blending the subtlety of the Old World with the boldness of the new. Like perfect French spoken with a slight southern drawl.
The story of Virginia wine (like the story of Virginia itself) is, in part, a tale of secondary characters from the Old World who learned to thrive in a new environment. Grape varieties like Viognier, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot—relative obscurities and bit-players in Old World wine traditions—are taking center stage in Virginia.
Bordeaux-style red blends make up some of the most beloved and highly acclaimed wines coming out of the Commonwealth. While their blending percentages vary greatly across vineyards and vintages, the end products are consistently lush and layered—built to age but hard to resist right now.
Few people would approach a Chardonnay, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon expecting something new. Until you taste those from Virginia, which exhibit an elegance rarely seen in their West Coast counterparts.
America’s oldest wine grape was born in Virginia. Some talented Virginia winemakers are working to restore Norton to its prominence as America’s native grape.
Cider has been a Virginia tradition since the first settlers imported the craft from England as a way to stay hydrated when safe water was scarce. And how the industry has matured from those humble beginnings! Today, 50 cideries across the Commonwealth are crafting ciders of uncommon diversity and sophistication.
Though the attempts to produce wine in Virginia can be traced back to the first settlers, and even a few founding fathers, it wasn’t until the late 1970s when the industry began to take root.
When much of the wine world dismissed Virginia viticulture as a lost cause, an eclectic handful of individuals pressed on – from European immigrants with wine in their DNA, to dairy farm matriarchs with a thirst for something different. One hard-earned vintage after another, these pioneers set the tone for the industry to come – curious, collaborative, stubborn in the face setbacks.
The ensuing years would see an explosion in both the quantity and quality of Virginia wine. What began as a scattered handful of wineries would approach 50 by the mid-1990s. In less than a decade that number would double. Today, with nearly 300 wineries and counting, Virginia winemakers and wine lovers alike are reaping the fruits of those early experiments.