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Wines from Virginia

The region with the Dynamic Wine Industry

Virginia, which is located on the east coast of the United States, is found to be having a dynamic wine industry at present.

The quantity of wines produced in the state has increased dramatically in the recent past.

It is to be noted that the state had only 6 wineries in the year 1979. But, at present, the number of wineries in Virginia is more than 230.

You should have understood why I mentioned Virginia as the dynamic wine industry now, right? Here you will learn some more about the state’s viticulture and viniculture.

Wines
Vineyards
Wine grape varieties

Looking at Virginia as a Wine Region

The state’s history of wine production was started as early as the 1600s when an experiment was made to cultivate vines here. However, this attempt was unsuccessful!

In the early 1900s, the state was well regarded for its wines and by the year 2012, the number of wineries in the state has crossed 230.

We can see that most of these wineries are small and family-owned. Currently, the state is found to be having almost 3,000 acres under wine grape cultivation, which are producing a total yield of 7,500 tons each year.

Thus, the state stands fifth in terms of both the vineyard area, as well as the grape production in the country. Furthermore, there are as many as seven American Viticultural Areas within the state now.

Geography and Climate of Virginia

The state of Virginia is found to be located immediately south of Maryland and is covering almost 110,750 square kilometres of land.

We can find that the geography and topography are varied from east to west.

Thus, the entire state can be subdivided into 5 distinct climatic regions as follows:

  • Appalachian Plateau
  • Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region
  • Blue Ridge
  • Piedmont
  • Atlantic Coastal Plain

When it comes to soil types, the western parts of the state are having granite-based soils whereas, the eastern parts are found to be sandy.

Due to these diverse conditions, undoubtedly, the wines that are being produced in the state are also varying in taste, varietal, and flavour.

List of Virginia AVAs

The seven AVAs of Virginia are:

George Washington Birthplace AVA

This AVA includes the counties of:

  • Westmoreland
  • King George
  • Northumberland
  • Lancaster
  • Richmond

The major wine varietals of this AVA are:

  • Cabernet Franc
  • Chardonnay
  • Vidal Blanc
  • Chambourcin

Middleburg AVA
This AVA is found to be encompassing the Town of Middleburg. This, which covers 229 acres, is having 24 wineries plus 8 vineyards.

Monticello AVA
This is located in the central part of Piedmont and is found to be encompassing the Southwest Mountain, which is a small ridge.

North Fork of Roanoke AVA
This is located on the eastern slopes of the Allegheny Mountains. The major wine varietals of this AVA are:

  • Cabernet Franc
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Norton

Rocky Knob AVA
This is located on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the southwestern part of Virginia.

Shenandoah Valley AVA
This includes the counties of:

  • Frederick
  • Clarke
  • Warren
  • Shenandoah
  • Page
  • Rockingham
  • Augusta
  • Rockbridge
  • Botetourt
  • Amherst

Virginia’s Eastern Shore AVA
This is located on the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula.

Grape Varieties of Virginia:

  • Albariño
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Chambourcin
  • Chardonnay
  • Gewürztraminer
  • Malbec
  • Merlot
  • Nebbiolo
  • Norton
  • Petit Manseng
  • Petit Verdot
  • Pinot Gris
  • Pinot Noir
  • Pinotage
  • Riesling
  • Rkatsiteli
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Seyval Blanc
  • Syrah
  • Tannat
  • Traminette
  • Vidal Blanc
  • Viognier
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Author

Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam

Winewriter

I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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