Update 4 p.m.: I should point out that although this article did not name any Western Virginia wineries, it did mention “… more than 200 wineries to explore in every part of the state.” And since they mention sipping wine with bluegrass, I will assume that is a nod to us. I don’t think there’s a lot of live bluegrass in Loudon County. End update.
Folks in the governor’s office and the Virginia Wine Marketing Office are excited about a recent article on Wine Enthusiast magazine’s web site. The story declares Virginia one of the 10 best wine travel destinations of 2012.
Two regions in California are the only other domestic locations to make the list, which also includes locations in France, Italy, Chile, Spain, New Zealand and Hungary. That’s some impressive company.
Virginia was chosen for the distinction based upon not only its wine makers, but also its history and geography. In the press release I received from the governor’s office, the president of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, Alisa Bailey, put it this way: “Where else in the world can you enjoy bluegrass music at a winery, kayak to a winery, taste local wines at a national park, sip local wines at a National Historic Landmark or bike from winery to winery?”
Having said that, I did notice that the article starts out by saying: “Luckily, visitors can begin their Virginia wine journey in Washington, D.C., and take in terrific wineries, historic inns, outdoor activities and mouthwatering meals via scenic drives through Loudoun County and Charlottesville.” There is no mention in this article of any winery west of Charlottesville. So I guess it’s really Northern/Central Virginia that made the list.
That’s OK – any positive publicity about Virginia is probably good for tourism. I’m proud of the wine makers who have been working hard to elevate the quality and reputation of Virginia wines.
I would be interested, for the sake of context, to know what other regions of the country were visited and/or considered for the list. I want to know how much work went into deciding this list, and whether the folks at Wine Enthusiast paid their own way around the wineries they toured.
Meanwhile, what do you think of the listing? What do you think of Virginia wines?