RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) - Virginia might be known for its rich history and its beauty, and the state can now boast about its culture—viticulture, that is.
The “Wine Enthusiast Magazine” recently named Virginia as one of the 10 best wine travel destinations.
The Commonwealth now joins just two other national places, both in California, to receive this honor. The state placed with very notable wine regions around the world; Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Hungary, Germany, France, and Chile.
The article is now online and will be published in the magazines February edition.
They cite the state’s “Historically significant sites, picturesque pastoral landscapes, elegant equestrians and affable winemakers,” as factors that “set Virginia apart as an excellent wine destination on the East Coast.”
Virginia is the 5th largest producer of wine in the United States, with the Monticello Wine Trail boasting more than 20 wineries situated nearby the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Governor Bob McDonnell, who recently brokered a wine export agreement between Barboursville Vineyard and China, has said that raising the profile of wine tourism and Virginia wines is a key component in his economic development and jobs creation initiatives.
Award winning wine journalist and sommelier Jason Tesauro isn’t surprised that Virginia was given the honor.
‘They're making wines in the style you would find in old world countries,” Tesauro said. “We're moving away from fat juicy alcoholic wines and finding that elegance, wines that belong at tables.”
“Being in the same conversation with Italy, France and Chile puts us not just on the wine map, but on the cultural map. It brings a kind of sophistication,” he added.
“Virginia is making the style of wine that made Napa famous in the 60's and 70's,” Bartholemew Broadbent, wine producer and importer, said.
Virginia wines and wine tourism are key components of the governor's economic plan.
“This recognition puts us at a higher level,” Todd Haymore, Va. Secretary of Agriculture, said.“We're being known internationally now.”