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Why Would People Visit Virginia Wineries?

Recently we had family from Virginia over for dinner. Both couples enjoy visiting wineries in Virginia. After sharing photos of our New Zealand wine trip, I was asked why people might want to visit Virginia wineries. My first response was that Virginia is beautiful and historic, many in the state have figured out what wine grapes do well in the region and are making some great wine with those varieties.

Four interstate highways form a box-like structure in the state. Along these interstates there are exits to many of the Virginia’s wineries. Whether it is along I-64 in the south, I -66 I in the north, I-95 in the east or I-81 in the west a wine enthusiast traveler will find beautiful countryside after exiting the interstate. Low stone fences mark properties and flashback to an historic era. Not only is the Virginia countryside easy on the eye, its history beckons to be discovered. Several of the state’s wineries are preserving the past.  Plant a cornfield and one may see high rises on the property tomorrow. Plant a vineyard and expect the land to remain agricultural for decades.

When a wine region is in its infancy there is a tendency to plant wine grapes of what people like to drink or what the owner likes to drink. Virginia has seen that and is now poised with the knowledge of what can grow well in its varied regions. One varietal grape that is notable throughout the country is Virginia Viognier. The grape does well in the state perhaps the best in the country. Petit Manseng and Tannat, although much smaller plantings than Viognier, are raising eyebrows. These two varietal grapes are also doing well in the state. However it is uncertain that they will have the notoriety of Viognier.

If you enjoy traveling to wine regions, consider visiting wineries in Virginia. You can travel along the box of interstates or venture further away.


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