An Introduction To Virginia Wine

OK, citizens… put your hand over your heart, and raise your wineglass with the other… it’s National Wine Day (cue America the Beautiful)! Time to pay tribute to our nation’s favorite grape juice (nope, sorry Welch’s) and celebrate one of our national treasures!

I love how vast and diverse the USA is, and how wine is being produced in so many more places than I realize. Wine culture is flourishing beyond the beloved West Coast.

For National Wine Day, I thought I would reach out to a fellow American wine blogger to learn about a foreign-to-me wine region: Virginia, which I know next to nothing about, except that I tried a Cabernet Franc from there once. Washington is amazing, but I spill the beans (or juice?) on WA wine a lot – it’s familiar territory.

So guess what I’m doing today? In true contemporary American fashion, I am outsourcing and bringing on a guest writer today for the first time ever to The Rambling Vine! 🙂

Allow me to introduce Matt Fitzsimmons, who blogs about his favorite grape juice at Matt, thanks for indulging me and for being so knowledgeable about Virginia wine. I learned a lot and am confident anyone who reads this post will, too.

Here’s a little bit about Matt and what got him into wine:

“As for myself, I’m a wine enthusiast who got into wine writing because I like talking about wine as much as I like drinking it. I got into Virginia wine because the industry lends itself to long-drives in the countryside, which is a pastime of mine. I’m doubly blessed since I’m a history buff and wine country is home to many Civil War battlefields, so I can indulge in both hobbies in the same day.”

I asked Matt if he could have any one bottle of wine in his cellar, what would it be, and he responded “… an RdV 2012 Lost Mountain, if only so I can compare it to older Bordeaux blends.”

It’s kind of funny how Virginia is being hailed as the new frontier of American wine, yet Virginia is one of the oldest places in America to have cultivated wine. It’s a vinous renaissance of sorts happening on the Eastern Seaboard.

I hope you enjoy reading and learning about this fascinating wine region! I know it has definitely inspired some travel hopes for me. Thanks again, Matt!

Wine Trails and Wanderlust

Virginia has the distinction of being both one of America’s oldest wine regions and an emerging one. The first wines produced in the Thirteen Colonies were grown in the late 1750s at plantations near the Chesapeake Bay. Decades later, Thomas Jefferson established himself as America’s foremost oenophile due to his love of French wine and doomed attempts to grow vines at his estate in Monticello.

Today, Virginia has over 300 wine brands and almost 4,400 acres of vines. While 82% of these vines are vinifera (mostly Bordeaux red grapes and Chardonnay), Virginia wine is increasingly looking outside Bordeaux varieties to guide the state’s future.

Virginia is also punching above its weight in terms of quality. In 2022 Wine Enthusiast announced it was dropping emerging areas around the country. Virginia made the cut (along with California, Washington, Oregon and New York) despite making less than 0.3% of the nation’s wine…

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3 thoughts on “An Introduction To Virginia Wine

  1. Pingback: A French Connection for International Chardonnay Day | The Rambling Vine

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