Thomas Jefferson tried over and over again to grow wine grapes in the lands around his Monticello Estate. He never produced a successful crop, and many people believed that Virginia soil could not produce wine.
They were wrong.
The problem was not the soil, but the grapes. While the varieties Jefferson planted thrived in Europe, they were simply not suited to the soils of Virginia’s central Piedmont area. Once different varieties were tried, aspiring Virginia vintners had cause for celebration. Their voices cried out in joy, “Let us drink Virginia wine” – or at least they could have.
Today there are approximately 125 Virginia Wineries, and the number is growing. There are fifteen Virginia Wine Regions, and each one produces distinctive wines. Could the true Virginia Wine connoisseur distinguish a Cabernet Franc produced in the North Fork of Roanoke AVA from one produced in the Shenandoah Valley? Become one and see for yourself.
It would be easy to devote a lifetime of weekends and vacations to visiting Virginia wineries, and really, there are worse ways to spend your time. Wine Tasting holidays may easily be combined with hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains, strolls on sandy beaches, and explorations into American history. The possibilities are endless.
There is a Virginia bed and breakfast close to every Virginia winery. Many of these bed and breakfasts Virginia offer wine tasting specials and packages. Details vary from inn to inn, but expect to find tasting fees waved, transportation to wineries, wine in your room, and so forth.