According to the Virginia Wine Board, Virginia is now home to 191 wineries. To celebrate, Virginia Wine Week began on Friday, 18 March, and continues through Sunday the 27th. Just as with some other beer and food weeks, that's creative calendaring. The 'week' is actually ten days, but it's more time to discover and enjoy Virginia wines.
Virginia Wine Week: Love By The Glass ... annual Virginia wine promotion will be held March 18-27. There are more than 340 restaurants and wine stores throughout the state signed up to participate and they will be promoting Virginia wine through specials, tastings and events...
It is the perfect time to go out and sample what Virginia wines have to offer. "Virginia Wine Week: Love by the Glass offers visitors the best of our culinary experiences: restaurants offering local wines and food as part of their menus and hotels that make it easy to plan and visit our scenic countryside and wineries," said Mrs. Maureen McDonnell, First Lady of Virginia. "In addition, many of the white wines from our previous harvest are being released at the wineries during that time, an excellent time to get out and visit."
The list of events is a little tricky to find. Click on the logo above. Find the "Filter by" box in the upper left of the page. Click on the drop down box labeled "Filter By Program." Scroll down to "2011 Spring Wine Week." Select to click, then click "Apply", and a page entitled "Where to Buy Virginia Wine" will appear. It's not exactly intuitive (why not provide a direct link?), and what appears is only that —a list of shops, restaurants, and wineries at which to purchase Virgina wines.
Many of those locations are Virginia ABC stores. That's a wonderful thing that state government-controlled stores sell local wines, but these shops are not exactly thrilling places in which to celebrate. A list of wine dinners, tastings, tours, and other special events, would have been more appropriate. (The blog at Virginia is for Lovers mentions a few such events.)
The effort is a start, however, and there are indeed many well-made and delicious wines produced in Virginia. Some of the wineries are quite small —nano-wineries, if you will. Virginia Wine Week could provide an opportunity for people to discover otherwise unknown gems.
The website supplies other links to information on Virginia wine and wineries. For example, there are downloadable guides to all of Virginia wineries, and an interactive map with links to the state's AVAs (American Viticultural Areas).
For more information: