Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Love By The Glass: Virginia Wine Week March 22-28!

Thomas Jefferson accomplished some amazing feats, but he also failed... to make great wine in Virginia!  And since that time, many have struggled to succeed in his stead with little success.  However, that has all changed.  Virginia now boasts a growing array of wineries which make diverse varietals such as Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Bourdeaux-style blends, sparkling wine and the native Norton.  The state boasts more than 155 wineries and nine different wine producing regions.

An admitted wine snob, I was biased against anything produced on the East Coast, let alone in Virginia, but one winery changed my mind: Villa Appalacchia.  Located off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd County, this winery is the brainchild of winemakers Susanne Becker and Stephen Haskill and specializes in Italian varietals.  They also happen to be friends of my parents and they toted over a few of their bottles last summer when invited over for a dinner party.  Not only did I adore their Pinot Grigio (rich with nice minerality), but I also love their red wines, including Sangiovese and Primitivo. 

Having been won over, I have completely changed my tune about Virginia wines. With modern technology, it's suddenly possible to produce great wines just about anywhere, and if you look at the world map, new wine producing regions are constantly popping up all over the place.  Still don't believe me about Virginia wines?  If you're a local, then coming up March 22-28 will be your chance to check them out for yourself.  Love By The Glass, the first ever Virginia Wine Week, will hit more than 100 participating restaurants and wine shops across the state which will add at least two Virginia wines for sale by the glass.  Look for the posters or visit Virginia Wine to find participating businesses.

While these wineries haven't yet reached the heights of France or Napa yet, with talent and support, you never know what could be possible!  Plus, as a huge fan of eating and drinking local product (I mostly shop at farmers markets and our wine cellar is mostly stocked with California wines), having a great local wine region is a huge plus.  So if you can, check out Love By The Glass (what a great name!).

Click here to read more about Virginia Wine Week!

Click here to visit Villa Appalacchia's Website!


  1. Wines from Virginia? Who would have thunk it? Not I! But I'm willing to give them a try! :)

    My mom once received a bottle from South Dakota. It was about as good as it sounds.

  2. I thought I had read that Virginia is around the 6th largest wine producer in the US (?) I live in Virginia and have visited a number of wineries. Villa Appalacchia is one of my favorites! Floyd is also a great destination.

  3. Oh, yes, I love Villa Appalacchia! And Floyd (my parents live there). It's very exciting what's happening with all the wineries there.

    The Diva