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Is it Time for Virginia to Support a Wine and Food Center?

As we wind up our six-day visit to central Virginia, we note that we have discovered more delicious wines and visited delightfully unique wineries. According to many of the Virginia winemakers we have met, Virginia is the fifth largest wine producing state in the US.  Of course, if you are in Texas you will hear that Texas is the 5th largest wine producing state. However as is the usual nature of the wine and vineyard business it is just a friendly rivalry. This week we also heard credit given to Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell for his support of Virginia’s wine industry. He understands that wineries promote tourism which positively impacts restaurants, gas stations and stores.

With an estimated 190 wineries in Virginia, is it time for Virginia to have a Wine Center? Perhaps one similar to the New York Wine & Culinary Center in the New York Finger Lakes region would be a good design. Virginia has the wines, the agriculture and the chefs to have a food and wine center.

Rather than building a facility from scratch perhaps reusing an old building would be appropriate since it could reflect the history of Virginia.

A Virginia wine and food center should be fun, educational and highlight Virginia’s many agricultural products. Since many visitors are interested in the history of Virginia, history could be another component of the wine and food center. There are many possibilities but highlights could include Virginia’s wines, vineyards, hard ciders, orchards, garden products, organic foods and Virginia’s history.

For a 2007 review of the New York Wine & Culinary Center go to http://winetrailtraveler.com/learning/nywcc1.php.

Cheers! Kathy

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