October has been Virginia Wine Month for 25 years, yet the buzz and fanfare surrounding the state's wine industry today far exceeds anything felt in 1988.
A quarter-century ago, there were less than 50 wineries in the commonwealth and much of the homegrown product was middling (and that, many sippers say, is being kind).
Now, there are more than 250 Virginia wineries, and local vintners have earned accolades in California, New York and the Old World.
The 2013 budget year for the state, which ended in August, was a record for Virginia vin sold with more than 510,000 cases tabbed, according to the Virginia Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control and the Virginia Wine Marketing Office.
Moreover, the commonwealth has accrued some superb media attention of late.
“In the last three months articles [on Virginia wine] have appeared in Decanter Magazine, Wine Enthusiast, Departures, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Food & Wine Magazine, and USA Today and Bloomberg News,” Annette Boyd, director of the Virginia Wine Board's marketing office, noted.
This top-tier publicity and blossoming repute will serve as a fine backdrop as state wine officials head into this year's Virginia Wine Month. To celebrate, Boyd's office helped sponsor a 25th Anniversary Celebration at the Virginia State Library in Richmond on Sept. 30, and the wine board will host the second annual Virginia Wine Summit on Oct. 28.
Loudoun-based events include, though are far from limited to:
-The Norton Wine and Bluegrass Festival at Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg Oct. 5-6
-The Harvest Celebration Among the Vines at The Vineyards and Winery at Lost Creek on Oct. 5
-A premiere wine tasting at Sunset Hills Vineyard on Oct. 13
-A harvest festival at Doukenie Winery in Purcellville Oct. 19
-A Fall Farm Tour Blind Tasting at Willowcroft in Leesburg Oct. 19
-Live music every Friday at Bogati Bodega in Round Hill
A full list of wine month occasions, both in Loudoun and across the commonwealth, can be found at VisitLoudoun.org
“Virginia’s wineries are not located in one region of the state, they are sprinkled in virtually each region so it is truly a statewide celebration. That helps give it some added emphasis,” Boyd said.
Read past Wine Wednesdays here:
-"The 'Green Hills' of Middleburg"
-- Sept. 4
-"Blaufrankisch: Only at Otium"
-- Aug. 7
-"A fine birthday wine; Diggin’ into vin at Doukenie"
-- July 3