The State of Virginia spends tax-payer money to promote business within the state. Smart business; smart government. One way it does this is through the Virginia Tourism Corporation, a cooperative venture between it and private state business.
Visitors to Virginia generated $20.4 billion in revenue from tourism in 2011, an 8 percent increase over 2010. In 2011, tourism in Virginia supported 207,000 jobs, an increase of nearly 2 percent in employment, and provided more than $1.32 billion in state and local taxes. The Virginia Tourism Corporation receives its annual economic impact data from the U.S. Travel Association. The information is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from per-person trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.
As part of that venture, Virginia declared this past August to be the inaugural Virginia Craft Beer Month, and, now, October is Virginia Wine Month, a several year repeat.
462,112 cases of wine were sold in fiscal 2011. That's up 11.4 percent from the 414,785 cases sold in fiscal 2010 [which was 13% over 2009]. The state collected almost $1.8 million in wine liter tax revenue, up from about $1.6 million in fiscal 2010. [The Virginia wine liter tax is applied at a rate of $3.60 per case of wine.] McDonnell says the increases in sales and tax revenue show that more consumers domestically and internationally are choosing Virginia wines. Virginia has nearly 200 wineries, the fifth largest number in the nation.
For more information, follow on Twitter at @VAwine, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vawine, on the web at www.virginiawine.org. The Tourism board has an on-line map at: www.virginia.org/wine.
Technology among the vines, at Tarara Winery, Leesburg, Virginia.
To paraphrase: Virginia has 210 wineries. October has 31 days. Find a Virginia winery close to you. Then, go!
- A look at the 2012 Wine Summit —in which Virginia wines, tasted blind,' did well against wines of other regions— written by Jean Case, owner of Early Mountain Vineyards (married to Steve Case, founder of AOL): here.
- Caveat lector: As a representative for Select Wines, Inc. —a wine and beer wholesaler in northern Virginia— I sell the wines of Naked Mountain, a winery in Virginia.