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Enticing Virginia Viogniers

James Molesworth - Wine Spectator Jul 01, 2010

14 new reviews show the Old Dominion’s vintners are having success with the white Rhône grape and providing value as well....

Ceremonial Signing of SB237/HB588 (Wine Promotion Fund)

Secretary Todd P. Haymore - The Governor's Office Jun 15, 2010

This Saturday's bill signing by Governor McDonnell will be the capstone to what has already been an incredible year for the Virginia wine industry, both in terms of business and state support. As promised in his campaign and in visits to wineries and farms across the Commonwealth, the Governor has made the promotion of Virginia wine a signature piece of his Jobs & Opportunities agenda. It has also been my pleasure to support this industry from my first days as VDACS Commissioner and, now, as Secretary...

Virginia's first lady, Maureen McDonnell, gets behind the local wine biz

Cathy Harding - C-Ville Weekly May 23, 2010

You have to hand it to Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell: She can tell a joke. Leading a contingent of 30 restaurant and retail people from Richmond and Virginia Beach to Jefferson Vineyards last week, as part of her effort to promote Virginia wines, she listened cheerfully while winemaker Andy Reagan described his success with the 2009 Pinot Gris, freshly bottled in November. “Sounds like November 2009 was good for you just like for my husband,” she said, knocking back the discreet pour in her glass...

Fun in Virginia

James Suckling - Wine Spectator May 06, 2010

I spent the weekend driving into the depths of Virginia and West Virginia with some friends after the Grand Tour in Washington, D.C., and we stopped off at two Virginia wineries, Boxwood and Chrysalis. I have to say that I didn't have great expectations for these places. I thought that the climate was too humid and too hot to produce quality grapes for wine production. But I was obviously wrong... 2010 Conference

Dave McIntyre - The Washington Post Apr 28, 2010

This week, the Park Hyatt Hotel chain announced that it would bring its annual Masters of Food and Wine event to Washington this June 17-20. Chef Brian McBride of Blue Duck Tavern in the Park Hyatt in the West End will welcome chefs, sommeliers and winemakers from around the country for a weekend of food and wine that will “focus on the commitment to local farmers and to supporting sustainable agriculture,” according to a company press release. They will visit the Dupont Circle FreshFarm Market and Virginia's “esteemed” Chapel Hill Farm in Berryville, which raises an heirloom variety of veal from the Randall Lineback breed...

Chesapeake Wining & Dining

Dave McIntyre - Wine Enthusiast Magazine Apr 14, 2010

When you envision Chesapeake Bay and food, what comes to mind? Oysters, rockfish (striped bass) and crabs. It’s true: the quintessential Chesapeake meal is a bushel of steamed crabs, with diners seated at picnic tables covered with brown paper, their fingers stained with the pungent paprika-based spice mix called Old Bay, surrounded by piles of empty crab shells, pitchers of beer and rolls of paper towels. The Chesapeake Bay region is so much more than the bay itself. That regional bounty includes wine. Virginia now boasts 157 wineries. Winemakers like to compare the climate here to Bordeaux, with humidity and the potential for rain at harvest making each vintage an adventure. As a result, the wines tend toward an Old World balance that emphasizes acidity and freshness rather than big, bold California-style ripeness. While Virginia has a reputation for Viognier and Cabernet Franc, Albariño and Petit Manseng are strong challengers for pride of place among whites, while wildly perfumed Petit Verdot is increasingly popular among reds. Maryland’s crisp white wines from Seyval Blanc, a French-American hybrid that resembles Sauvignon Blanc, seem to be created for oysters.

Pour on Some Romance: Escape to Virginia Wine Country

Kimberly Walker - J'Adore Magazine Mar 31, 2010

Tucked away amidst the landscape of the awe-inspiring Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville, Virginia offers simplicity, romance and some of the best wines to ever grace your little little lips...

Downshifting in Virginia

Matthew DeBord - Ralph Lauren Magazine Mar 28, 2010

One of Jefferson's many passions was wine. He struggled to bring to the Piedmont plateau the style of viticulture he had seen in Europe as U.S. minister to France. Virginia isn't ideal winemaking country—it lacks the hot days and cool nights that distinguish California, and summer humidity can be a serious problem. But a thriving regional wine industry has emerged in the past few decades in the commonwealth, centered around Barboursville Vineyards...

The Williamsburg Winery Launches 2007 Adagio at Patsy's in NYC

Williamsburg Winery - Williamsburg Winery Mar 24, 2010

VIDEO: The Williamsburg Winery introduces their flagship wine, Adagio, to the wine world. Amongst a gathering of 100+ guests, the winery launched their new wine at the iconic Patsy's Restaurant on West 56th Street where Frank Sinatra dined most often. Renown sommelier Kevin Zraly from Windows on the World Wine School discusses Adagio...

Wine: This Year's Virginia Expo Turns Up Some Surprises

Dave McIntyre - The Washington Post Mar 02, 2010

Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell presented the 2010 Governor's Cup on Friday to King Family Vineyards of Crozet, near Charlottesville, for its 2007 Meritage. The ceremony at the Virginia Wine Expo in Richmond was an annual rite of celebration of Virginia's rapidly growing wine industry. The King Family Meritage (rhymes with "heritage") triumphed over more than 200 other entries from 61 wineries. A total of 126 medals were awarded in judging that took place Jan. 23 at Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg. The 15 gold-medal winners were in contention for the cup. (Only red wines were included in this contest; the state's whites will be judged in the fall.)

Buy the Bottle

Deveron Timberlake - Style Magazine Mar 01, 2010

I happen to be a white wine drinker,” Gov. Bob McDonnell reveals, just before awarding the state’s top prize for a wine that is red. (The white ones get their winner during wine month in October.) McDonnell tells a small crowd of mostly industry and media reps at the Virginia Governor’s Cup Grand Tasting on Feb. 26 that in his first 40 days in office, “so far I’ve had four blizzards and four billion dollars in debt,” so a chance to drink anything seems to be a good distraction. Rows of gleaming stemware are at the ready for the night and the kickoff to the Virginia Wine Expo weekend, and the Richmond Convention Center is awash with grapes fermenting and fomenting.

Virginia Wine Week to Offer Love By the Glass – March 22-28

The Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office & VTC - The Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office & VTC Feb 28, 2010

Richmond, Va. (March 1, 2010) The Virginia Wine Marketing Office and the Virginia Tourism Corporation today announced Love By the Glass, the first-ever Virginia Wine Week. Wine lovers will celebrate Virginia Wine Week March 22-28, 2010 at more than 100 participating restaurants and wine shops across the state. Virginia Wine Week promotes restaurants and wine shops who offer Virginia wine for sale by the glass. From March 22 to March 28, participating businesses will add at least two Virginia wines for sale by the glass to their menus and merchandise. Look for Virginia Wine Week posters, menus and decals or visit to find participating businesses.

Virginia Wine Served at the White House for 2010 Governor's Ball

The Miracle Merchant - The Miracle Merchant Feb 21, 2010

It was a gala bipartisan affair on Sunday evening when President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the 2010 Governor's Ball at the White House, the first large White House dinner of 2010. The National Association of Governors is in Washington for their annual winter meeting, and the White House traditionally hosts a Governors Ball for the group. In addition to the state leaders, Cabinet Secretaries Tim Geithner and Ken Salazar were in attendance, as was Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (the White House provided no guest list). The dinner menu was traditional, old-school American, with some post-modern Obama embroideries...

VINES & WINES: Virginia’s Cabernet Francs

VINES & WINES/Jack Berninger - The Richmond Times Dispatch Feb 13, 2010

The reputation of Virginia's Cabernet Francs is on the line. In state vineyards, Cab Franc seems ubiquitous. Numbers back that up; it is the state's most harvested red grape. Wine from these grapes, for the most part, is some of the best produced by state vintners...

Winepress: Virginia vs. California Wines: Closing the Gap

Debra Gordon - Daily Press Feb 01, 2010

A couple of years ago, I was talking with a friend from California about wine, extolling on the quality wines my husband and I were finding in Virginia. She flinched, scrunched up her nose as if she'd smelled something bad, and emitted the sentence I typically hear when bringing up Virginia wines: "Ewww. I think Virginia wine is terrible." A few weeks later, I invited her to dinner and poured a rich, robust Bordeaux-style Virginian wine from Linden Vineyards. Of course, I didn't tell her where it came from. She took a sip and began raving. "This is fabulous. What is it?" When I told her it was a Virginia wine, she nearly fell on the floor...

In Vino Veritas: Area Wine Is In Seriously Good Health

Jason Tesauro - The Free Lance-Star Nov 28, 2009

I first visited Monticello in 2001. There I was, a Jersey boy, soaking in a jewel of the commonwealth, welling up with patriotism as a guide told the story of Thomas Jefferson's last words, "Is it the Fourth?" before he died on Independence Day. Combine this Jeffersonia with stunning vistas, my affection for regional delicacies, and the date (July 3), and you've got a red-hot customer for Virginia souvenirs...

Drinking local at the White House dinner

Dave McIntyre - The Washington Post Nov 24, 2009

It wasn't just local foods that were celebrated last night at President Obama's first state dinner. The menu also featured a Virginia wine. The president, his guest of honor, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and invited members of D.C.'s elite washed down pumpkin pie tart and pear tatin with Thibaut-Janisson blanc de chardonnay, from the Monticello district near Charlottesville...

Loudoun County Cultivates a Fast-Growing Wine Industry

Dave McIntyre - The Washington Post Oct 13, 2009

"The diversity of varietals is what sets Loudoun County wine apart," said Lori Corcoran, co-owner with her husband, Jim, of Corcoran Vineyards and president of the Loudoun Wineries Association. Corcoran herself is bullish on malbec. Harris at Tarara is betting on syrah. At Chrysalis, near Middleburg, Jennifer McCloud champions Norton as Virginia's native grape, but her albariño has proved so successful that at least two other Loudoun wineries, Sunset Hills and Willowcroft, are now growing it. David Collins at Breaux Vineyards produces nebbiolo that brings a taste of Piemonte to the Piedmont.

Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail is the toast of Virginia

Sherry Amatenstein - NY Daily Progress Oct 10, 2009

The Northern Neck, the northern-most of Virginia's three peninsulas on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay, was the birthplace of George Washington. But to some, this lush and laid-back region 2 1/2 hours from Washington, D.C., has an equally important claim to fame: It boasts a winemaking history dating back 400 years and is currently home to some of the county's hottest wine producers. What better time to visit the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail than October - the 21st Virginia Wine Month, with many events planned? Award-winning, artisanal products are showcased by nine Northern Neck boutique wineries, each with a background nearly as tantalizing as the wine...

Eat, drink and celebrate Virginia’s Wine Month

Jack Berninger - Richmond Times Dispatch Sep 29, 2009

Virginia wines continue to impress. Honors and accolades cite the quality of the wine -- 67 state wines won medals in the International Eastern Wine Competition, which featured entries from 16 countries and 34 U.S. states this year. Many of the state's 148 wineries offer their wares, including award winners, at wine festivals or in tasting rooms. When wine month in Virginia starts tomorrow, festivals, tasting rooms and special wine events will take place just about everywhere from the Eastern Shore to the Blue Ridge Mountains and all points in between...

A Mixed Case

Jim Raper - Virginia Business Magazine Sep 27, 2009

Even connoisseurs may not know what to expect from a Virginia wine with a proprietary name such as Hardscrabble. After all, wine buyers in the United States, and most of the rest of the world, have shown a clear preference for varietals — wines labeled by grape variety. But as comforted as consumers may be to find a familiar variety such as Chardonnay prominently on the label, many Virginia winemakers are gambling on upscale blends. Since they are not entitled to varietal names and, therefore, require hard-to-decipher labels that can be a drag on sales, why the gamble, especially in these difficult economic times?

4 Wine Country Contenders

Thomas Berger, Beth Collins and Alison Rohrs - Budget Travel Aug 31, 2009

(Budget Travel) -- Perhaps they're not the first place you think of when it comes to wineries, but these four regions offer character and great wine, without the hoopla. Charlottesville, Virginia Virginia's premier wine country, dotted with working farms and over 1,000 acres of grape vines, spreads out around the city of Charlottesville in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains...

Judgement of Paris

Wayne Nelson - Aug 31, 2009

On a beautiful Saturday afternoon at the end of May in the town of Paris, Virginia—an hour’s easy drive from DC—a telling event took place. It had been inspired by a 1976 winetasting in Paris, France, that did the unthinkable: It compared some of the top names in French wine with new and little-known wines from California. The results shook the wine world...

End of Summer Road Trips

NBC Today Show - NBC Today Show Aug 24, 2009

Check out this clip from NBC Today Show - tips for visiting VA wineries in central VA (fast forward to 2:30 minutes into the video).

Glass Acts

Dave McIntyre - The Washington Post Aug 18, 2009 The "Judgment of Paris" transformed the world of wine, marking California on the map in big, bold letters that could not be ignored. That May 1976 tasting galvanized an upstart American wine industry that had struggled in the decades since Prohibition and helped overcome a consumer perception here and abroad that American wines were inferior to their French counterparts. We invited six area wine professionals -- three retailers, three sommeliers -- to blind-taste a dozen chardonnays and a dozen red Bordeaux-style wines, telling them only that we were pitting the United States vs. France in a sort of oenological grudge match. Then we slipped in five Virginia wines and one from Maryland without telling anyone...