Different may be good, but let’s face it: Different can be scary. We like the familiar and dislike the unknown, and that continues to be a challenge for wine drinkers, myself included.
In the past few years, Virginia wine has really taken off. The state is the fifth largest wine- producing state and is home to more than 200 wineries. Although that number may seem small, when you consider that there were only six in the entire state in 1979, that’s a pretty big jump. To bring added awareness to Virginia’s contribution to the nation’s wine scene, the Virginia Wine Board held the Virginia Wine Summit on Oct. 27 and 28.
There are wine trails and nine distinct wine regions with companies like New Kent, Saude Creek, Dog and Oyster, and Philip Carter
Jon Wehner stood at the end of the small pier and pointed to his right, across Church Creek. “Those are our oyster beds over there,” he said, indicating a series of white poles sticking out of the water near the north shore. “And over here to the left, closer to the bay, you can see Shooting Point’s bed.” As he spoke, a small boat churned slowly toward us from the northwest, the sound of its motor c
The past several years, however, have brought Jefferson vindication. A new generation of Virginia winemakers has begun to produce wines that can compete with the best of those from California and Europe. Here in the Mid-Atlantic, a petite Bordeaux is taking root. Technological advances in vineyard site selection, viticulture and winemaking have combined to create a critical mass for Virginia, establishing this area as what Decanter magazine in July called “the next big thing in American wine.”
Whether you’re an oenophile looking to try exclusive wines or a casual drinker who just wants to picnic, there’s a Virginia winery for you. Here are 19 favorites.
Top vintages from RdV Vineyards are giving French and California producers a run for their money.
It doesn’t get the media coverage that California does, but Virginia is tipped to be the next big thing in American wine. Jason Tesauro picks out the varieties and producers that are bringing the area to wider attention, at home and abroad
Since Thomas Jefferson first tried to cultivate European vinifera in Virginia, the state has been a decided piece of American wine country. Over the years better knowledge, equipment and materials have all contributed to an advancing wine industry, but the more recent decade or two has brought out the real potential that can be found.
This past February, 45 of the sharpest palates in wine gathered for a blind tasting of 377 Virginia wines. Those judged to be the 12 best would go on to form The Governor’s Case (cue trumpet fanfare)! A couple months later, for reasons that remain curious, the Virginia wine powers that be thought it would be a good idea to dump a case on yours truly and see what happened. And so I give you the first in my two part series of Sippin’ from the Governor’s Cup.
For wine lovers interested in exploring beyond state borders to discover wineries producing high-quality wine and establishing a regional style, here are a few suggestions.
Our journey to Northern Virginia continues as we visit with a couple of the Commonwealth’s most celebrated winemakers.
It’s not often you get to accuse central Virginians of thinking they’re the center of the universe. But when it comes to the local wine scene, we often treat the Monticello AVA as the be-all-end-all. Yet many of the Commonwealth’s most acclaimed wineries lie spread throughout its eight other regions. With that in mind I’m taking you off the beaten path, into the uncharted hinterlands of Northern Virginia.
Virginia’s wine culture is growing by leaps and bounds, and with the publication of the 2013 Virginia Winery Guide, there are two new categories: Meaderies and Cideries. According to the ABC Board, both fall under the broad category of “Virginia farm wineries.”
Loudoun, with the most vineyards of any county in Virginia, has earned its nickname “D.C. Wine Country.” And 2013 has already been good to the local wine scene: Purcellville's Sunset Hills' 2010 Mosaic placed in the 2013 Governor's Cup Case as one of Virginia's top 12 wines; during the same Governor's Cup gala, local wine pioneer and owner of Leesburg's Willowcroft Vineyards Lew Parker was honored with a lifetime achievement award; and Bluemont Vineyard in Round Hill rounded out the ceremony with a Governor's Cup Gold for their 2011 cabernet franc, one of only 20 golds given in this year's competition.
Sitting inside the quaint tasting room of Chateau O'Brien, an award-winning French-style winery in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Northern Virginia, co-owner Debbie O'Brien pours some of the best red wine in the region.
More than 400 years after English settlers first tried – and for the most part failed – to cultivate grapes in Virginia, the wine industry now ranks among the state’s fastest-growing economic sectors, capturing the attention of industry leaders and tourists alike.
Nicknamed the father of Virginia wine, Gabriele was the first to succeed at growing wine grapes in the same land that proved inhospitable to Jefferson, by grafting European vinifera to disease-tolerant native rootstocks. But Gabriele’s connection to the land goes far beyond that.
More and more Virginia wines are showing up on tables in Washington, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Florida. They are being sold as well “across the pond” in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.