For a southern state that’s perhaps better known for its presidents than its wine production, Virginia sure ferments an excellent grape. Rumour has it that Thomas Jefferson himself once tried (and failed) to grow grapes here, and now, almost two centuries later, his dream has been realised through the sudden blossoming of the Virginia wine industry.
Bolstered by their recognition in worldwide competitions, award-winning Virginia wines have lately earned international acclaim for their elegance and refinement, gaining industry-wide prestige and even giving the wineries of Napa Valley and Sonoma a run for their money.
RdV Vineyards (named for founder Rutger de Vink) is one producer that’s exemplary of this success. Transforming Bordeaux grapes planted on a rocky Virginia hillside into world-class wines that combine the Old World sophistication of French vines with the bold and adventurous spirit of the New World, they’ve been seen as pioneers in the state’s burgeoning production.
The local industry has boomed in recent years, and with its vineyards’ continued success, it comes as no surprise that Virginia is currently the fifth-largest wine producing state in the United States.
And watch this space, because 2014 promises the opening of more than 25 new wineries, bringing the total number in excess of 250.
Those after a US wine crawl should skip the well-beaten paths up the West Coast, then, and save some time for Virginia: visitors are sure to be pleasantly surprised by the state’s new bounty.
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to… whose guides cover all the best hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, sights, shops and spas
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