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Visiting Wineries in the Virginia Shenandoah Valley AVA

Along Interstate-81 from Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia through Virginia south to almost Roanoke lies the Shenandoah Valley AVA. The Blue Ridge Mountains lie to the east and the Appalachian and Allegheny Plateaus lie to the west. Some wineries visited claim they have the best growing conditions for grapes in Virginia. The weather is drier than that to the east of the Blue Ridge. It is also cooler. Seldom will growers lose crops due to late killing spring frosts. The growing season isn’t quite as long though. Of the vinifera that we have seen so far doing well is Chardonnay, Viognier, and Cabernet Franc. Hybrids do well in this AVA. Winemakers make an array of wines. Thus far we have had more dry whites and reds than sweet, however each winery seems to include both in their portfolio.

Ten wineries are a short drive from an exit along I-81. Several more can be reached with a longer drive. This is a beautiful part of Virginia with lodging facilities scattered along I-81. Take time to visit some of these wineries. Watch the Virginia section of the Wine Trail Traveler site for articles about North Mountain Vineyards and Winery, Shenandoah Vineyards, Wolf Gap Vineyard and Winery, and Cave Ridge Vineyard. Next week we’ll visit other wineries close to I-81 in Virginia.

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