Fall is without a doubt my favorite time of year. There’s nothing like that burst of crisp autumn air after a sweet, sweltering summer. This time of year conjures images of plump grapes, apple orchards and vibrant foliage painting a colorful and magnificent landscape throughout Virginia Wine Country.
October is a perfect month to toast with a great glass of Virginia wine in celebration of Virginia Wine Month. It’s an annual tradition that’s been going strong since 1988. This is a month to not only celebrate the wineries, but also to promote the many trade partners that support the Virginia wine industry. Annette Boyd with the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office encourages all Virginians to ask for Virginia wine at your local wine shops and restaurants this month.
In 2015, Virginia wine experienced record sales. The Virginia wine industry has not only experienced tremendous growth, with more than 280 vineyards today – up from 120 a decade ago. We have also seen a quality revolution thanks to capital investments, technological advancements, more experience, and of course a better understanding of what grapes grow best in specific soils and microclimates. With more than 280 wineries dotting the Virginia landscape from the Chesapeake Bay to Central Virginia to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Virginia has a diverse and dynamic wine scene.
Virginia is producing world-class wine and is getting the attention of many international wine experts. Author of The New California Wine, Jon Bonné, served as the keynote speaker at the 2016 Virginia Wine Summit and said the world has taken notice of Virginia wine and a USA Today reader’s choice poll this summer declared Early Mountain Vineyard the best tasting room in America.
From sipping wine at historic sites, taking in one of the Virginia wine festivals and supporting our winemakers by purchasing artisan products at your local wine shop and favorite restaurants, there are many ways to explore and celebrate this month. Check out my fall events guide for things to do around the Hampton Roads area. The Virginia Wine Marketing Office has a great list of featured events going on across the Commonwealth.
Follow VA Wine and Crystal Palate on Instagram this month to learn more about Virginia wine. The Virginia Wine Marketing Office is having an Instagram takeover this month. Each day a different trade partner will share 3-5 posts about Virginia wine. I will also highlight a different Virginia wine each day on my Instagram account. Don’t forget to hashtag your posts #VAOCTWINEMONTH and #CRYSTALPALATE.
To learn more about the people who make up the Virginia wine industry, I hope you’ll check out my weekly radio show on WCHV.com in Charlottesville. Each Saturday, I feature Virginia winemakers and tastemakers on my radio show Crystal Palate’s Wine Country. You can stream live at 8:30am on Saturdays or catch the podcast replays on my website.
Last fall, I chronicled some of my favorite places in Charlottesville. So, if you’re looking for a long weekend getaway this season, I hope you’ll check out some of my recommendations on wineries, restaurants and places to stay!