This coming October, Virginia will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Virginia Wine Month. In 1988 when Virginia Wine Month was launched there were only 40 wineries producing wines in the Commonwealth, now there are almost 140. Wow what a jump! With the increased wine production, and a greater focus on wine being a key industry for the state of Virginia, quality of wine has increased at an even greater rate than the launching of new wineries.
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary the Virginia Tourism department has a quite a few activities to get everyone hyped and ready to check out what the state has to offer. Check out the list of “20 things to do to celebrate Virginia wine month” that gives a great list of starting points for October wine adventures or “Ten New and Refreshing Wine Trips in Virginia”. Here are a couple of examples:
TJ’s Stomping Grounds – Travel the Monticello Wine Trail and see how Thomas Jefferson’s vision for great American wine is thriving all around his homestead. The 21 wineries around the Charlottesville area are an homage to TJ and are surrounded by history, beauty and outstanding inns and restaurants
Kayak Winery Tour – Paddle your glass off on a kayak trip to Chatham Vineyards with SouthEast Expeditions in Cape Charles. This outfitter on the southern tip of Virginia’s Eastern Shore combines outdoor adventure with wine tasting at the winery and on a picnic lunch on a nearby barrier island.
Wine and Bluegrass – Two of Virginia’s greatest exports make great music together in Southwest Virginia. Soak in the mountain music of The Crooked Road – Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail while tasting at Chateau Morrisette, Abingdon Vineyard, Villa Appalaccia and other nearby wineries. Stay at the historic Martha Washington Inn in Abingdon, the brand-new Hotel Floyd, or the suite at the Ralph Stanley Museum in Clintwood, one of the only museums in the country where fans can spend the night.
If the great wines of Virginia aren’t reward enough, check out the contest at Virginia.org where you can have a chance to win the Grand Prize of a trip for two to Williamsburg Winery, lodging in Norfolk, tickets to the Town Point Wine Festival and a 6 day cruise to the Bahamas.
Make sure to check out the new Virginia Wines website that is still under construction but is MUCH more user friendly than the old site. Greater search-ability and mapping features make it much easier for planning your weekend wine adventures.
Get out and support the growing Virginia Wine Industry and drink Local!!