Virginia Wine


It’s a little known fact that wines have been produced in the state of Virginia for centuries. Well, there was attempted production anyway. In the early 1600s, the settlers in British colonial Jamestown ventured to produce European grapes as a way of boosting the British economy to rival wines from France, Italy, and Germany. But they were unsuccessful in making them flourish due to various diseases and early onset of what was later identified as Phylloxera, the mites that decimated the world’s vines centuries later. Interest shifted to tobacco crops. In the 1770s, future president Thomas Jefferson attempted to grow vines at Monticello without much success, as did George Washington at Mount Vernon. By the mid 1800s, successful cultivation was possible working with indigenous North American grapes, though still never as popular as European ones. By the turn of the 20th century, grafting American to European root stock, the technique proven to ward off Phylloxera, came into practice Read more »

Mentor for Virginia Wines


I'm a chef, media pro, and former Executive Editor of Time Inc.’s Southern Living. I also write the monthly “Drink Up!” column for Cooking Light, where I recommend $12 & under wines and work to bleed out the winespeak.

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Popular wines made in Virginia under $20

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Varietals Produced in Virginia View all

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Cabernet Franc

    History of the grape: References to it in the Loire region of France date as far back as the mid 12th century. But it...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Viognier

    History of the grape: Viognier is thought to be an indigenous grape of Croatia that was brought to the Rhone in Franc...

  • Vidal Blanc

    Vidal Blanc has proven to be amongst the versatile varietals in North American viticulture. In Canadian vineyards, th...

Subregions of Virginia

Popular Wineries in Virginia View all

  • Naked Mountain Vineyard & Winery

    Naked Mountain now produces over 6000 cases a year and is open seven days a week. In order to mee...

  • White Hall Vineyards

    White Hall Vineyards is a farm winery located just thirteen miles from historic Charlottesville, ...

  • James River Cellars

    Located in historic Hanover County in Glen Allen, Virginia, 10 miles North of Richmond, 10 miles ...

  • Fincastle Vineyard

    Nestled in the Great Valley of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, Fincastle Vineyard & Winery produ...

  • DelFosse Vineyards & Winery

    DelFosse Vineyards and Winery specializes in premium high end varietal wines that express the Vir...

  • Dillian Wines

    Tom Dillian is a fourth generation Amador County farmer. His great grandfather Alessio Dal Porto ...

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Virginia on Snooth

  • Substantial? Go to the market right now and I dare you to find three, strike that two different Viogniers on the shelf. I know of only a handful out of the hundreds of wineries in Sonoma County who bottle a stand alone Viognier. The only one drinkable so far has been the Jemrose Egret Pond. Every one of the wineries last night made a Viognier. I... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Virginia Wine in Santa Rosa

  • Great report, OT. Thanks.My limited experience with VA wines is from last decade and the one before. Very similar to your descriptions, though even weaker. Perhaps they'll get it in another decade or so. But they don't have the critical mass of market and winemakers and climate and just-plain competition there that CA (and later the Pacific NW) ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Virginia Wine in Santa Rosa

  • I think they are still in their infancy finding what works for their climate. Warm and humid so they need to grow grapes with loose clusters or face rot issues. Someone there needs to try an early pick when the sugars don't overtake the acidity and make a wine with some verve. California is still just getting into it's stride with regards to Syr... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Virginia Wine in Santa Rosa

  • Just got home after having dinner following the tasting. Met up with Mr and Mrs eMark who were in town for the NASCAR race at Sears Point over the weekend. Foxall was a gametime scratch due to a nagging injury so my better half stepped in in his place. Mrs eMark was happy to have another woman to chat with. My overall take was it was OK. There w... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Virginia Wine in Santa Rosa

  • I'm hearing good things about the Barboursville Octagons. Not sure what they will be pouring though at Starks I would imagine that wine would fall in line. Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay and Stinson are also getting some positive chatter. Looking forward to this.   Read More

    Forum post in the topic Virginia Wine in Santa Rosa

  • Ok, but I would be really interested to hear what y'all think of these alien wines ;-) Read More

    Forum post in the topic Virginia Wine in Santa Rosa

  • Stay in your comfort zone OT.  Don't trust these imposter states that say they make wine.  Just meet EMark and Fox and have the usual suspects.  You'd at least know it couldn't be better  :) Read More

    Forum post in the topic Virginia Wine in Santa Rosa

  • I'm game and so is the rest  of the crew.  Don't worry DV,  we are only using this as a stepping stone into the wines we already planned on drinking. The venue just changed and we added appetizers. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Virginia Wine in Santa Rosa

  • “The Worthy Collection is a charity t shirts -influenced apparel line that enables people to give back to society. The companies founders intend to use art and fashion as their primary vehicles to be at the forefront of positive change and to create a “giving movement.” Read More

    Forum post in the topic Virginia Wine in Santa Rosa

  • We are here in Sonoma , from Northern Virginia. Familiar with most of these vineyards. Sounds like a local imitation of the Paris tasting from the 70's. Could be interesting!  Read More

    Forum post in the topic Virginia Wine in Santa Rosa

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