Wine has been made in Virginia for four centuries. The first vintage in 1608 from native grapes was a dismal failure. Instead of working to perfect wine production from native grapes, Virginians spent the next 250 years in a losing attempt to cultivate French grapes.
After many years of failure, Virginians had become comfortable with beer and whiskey and had just about given up hope of producing a domestic wine. One Virginian, Thomas Jefferson, did persist. He successfully grew native grapes and produced wine at Monticello. Eventually there were other growers who had success with a native grape, the Norton, and wine production began after the Civil War. Prohibition hampered continuing efforts. By the 1960s, though, commercial growing of grapes and production of grapes began to expand rapidly. Today there are more than 250 vineyards and more than 90 wineries throughout the Commonwealth. Currently, there are seven in Northern Virginia, but that number will grow.
The major Virginia grape varieties are
WHITES: Chardonnay, Viognier, Vidal Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Petit Manseng and Seyval Blanc
REDS: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Norton, Petit Verdot and Chambourcin.
With advanced techniques many European grape varieties and hybrids are now grown in Virginia. The industry has grown to the point where Virginia is now 10th in commercial grape production nationally.
Just click on the TOURS sign for more detailed information about Virginia wineries and the location of those in Northern Virginia. Most of them offer wine tasting tours and many of them will cater your special event.
The tourism motto in Virginia reads, "Virginia is for Lovers". They may have to change it to "Virginia is for WINE Lovers". Contact me if you would like more INFORMATION ABOUT PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY REAL ESTATE.