Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Quick Observation on Virginia Wine

I have been away from writing about wine in general and Virginia wine in particular for a couple of years... Having two kids will do that to you. Not that you drink less wine, per se, just that you don't drink and appreciate wine like you can in pre-kid days. Now its more a race to finish a glass before falling asleep on the couch. My wife is a lucky woman, isn't she?

Now that I have picked the blog back up, what has been astonishing is the amount of quality wine and quality coverage coming out of Virginia. Just a few years ago, it seems, Virginia wine was a quirky local interest product at most wine stores - usually relegated to the back next to the jugs our up front next to the impulse buys. 

In these short years, however, Virginia wine has taken a spot among the more respectable wines from around the world. True, we are its home base, but go into any wine store in the DMV region and you will find a pretty prominent display of wines from Virginia. The closest wine shops to me - Red, White and Bleu, Swirl & Sip, UnWined and even Total Wine have all dedicated valuable shelf space to expanding their Virginia wine offerings. Whether this is a case of marketing, wanting to introduce Virginia wine to their customers, or consumer-driven demand, I don't know. But in a few short years, there has definately been a trend to offering more wines from Virginia - from multiple regions. 

From a press perspective, Virginia wines continue to hold their own. Outside of the local press and coverage of the Governor's Cup, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and Food and Wine have all written very favorable articles in the last few months about Virginia Wines. 

It's actually remarkable how far the industry has come since I was last paying attention to it. Wineries in Virginia now top $1 billion dollars in sales, attract over 2 million visitors and Virginia is now the fifth largest wine producing state in the country. Demand is growing and the quality of the wine continues to improve. Even in such highly charged, politically contentious times, it seems like everyone can agree that Virginia wine is having a much-deserved moment.

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