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Hey IWINETC, How about Virginia?

I just looked at a list of of international tour operators and travel agents that will attend the International Wine Tourism Conference in January 2012 in Perugia, Umbria, Italy. I noticed a couple of the participants are from Virginia. Although I reside in neighboring Maryland, Virginia would make a wonderful host for a future International Wine Tourism Conference.

Virginia has much to offer. The wine industry is young and growing. The state now has 200 plus wineries with several more opening each year. There are two wine regions that could be a base for an international conference. Northern Virginia is close to Washington D.C. and is one of the nation’s fastest growing wine regions. Charlottesville, further south, is also an acclaimed wine region.

Virginia has a history that mirrors American history. Although one will not find dwellings from c. 1000 as in Tuscany, visitors can explore early American history to the present. Many wineries in the state are helping preserve our history by taking an historical site and preserving it for the future. For example the Winery at LaGrange has a tasting room in a house built in the late 1700’s on land named by the Marquis de Lafayette. We made a barrel of Cabernet Sauvignon at Vint Hill Craft Winery. The winery is in a century-old barn that during World War II was used by the military to decipher messages sent from the Japanese Embassy.  It was in this barn that the United States discovered the whereabouts of the Japanese fleet in the Pacific.

Virginia has sponsored wine conferences. Wineries Unlimited Trade Show and Conference has moved to Richmond for its annual conference. In 2010 the Drink Local Wine Conference was held in Northern Virginia and in 2011 the Wine Bloggers Conference was held in Charlottesville. Currently, Virginia has a state government that is pro the wine and tourism industries. It is easy to fly into Virginia and the state is closer to Europe than wine regions on the west coast.

Virginia is very welcoming and has many wineries to explore. Viognier is perhaps the champion grape in the state. Many Virginia winemakers also like Petit Manseng, Petit Verdot and Tannat. Keeping with its historical image, many winemakers are also making wines from the native American grape Norton that during the 19th century was winning awards in Europe.

The International Wine Tourism Conference should explore Virginia for a future conference site. The state is easy to travel to and from, is home to many wineries and close to one of the major cities in the world.


One Trackback

  1. By Wine Trail Traveler on January 4, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    […] Wine Tourism Conference should consider Virginia as a sight for a future conference. In my blog I mentioned the proximity to Washington D.C., Virginia’s rich history and that a number of […]

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