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Touring Virginia Wine Country

Posted on 19 January 2011 by admin

Touring the Monticello Wine Trail: Jefferson Vineyards from Alix Bryan on Vimeo.

Okay Richmond, quit whining about the cold weather. This frigid season might not be a barrel of laughs, but there are plenty of ways we can fight seasonal affective disorder and avoid hibernation. One of those sure fire ways just might be drinking, or rather, tasting. Vineyards located nearby on the Monticello Wine Trail offer the promise of an adventure blended with interesting history lessons, beautiful panoramas, and of course, award-winning wine.

Sure, Richmond boasts a list of events equal in length to our Canal Walk. But what about the open road? What about a low-cost, action-packed excursion that can easily deliver you home by the end of the day? With just enough time left over, well, to drink some of the wine you bought?

One more word of encouragement: local. Apply the popular “Buy Local” movement to your wine consumption. Here are some tips to help you become an oenophile, educated by some of the best vintners in America.

We have tourists visit the state just for our wine. We are considered the “Birthplace of American Wine,” thanks to Thomas Jefferson, yet it took about 200 years for our wineries to really figure out the tricky climate and produce quality wines. We are now the 5th largest producer of wine in the United States.

Virginia wine has been applauded at the international level, proven by the 20 awards received, out of 10,983 global wines entered, at the 2010 Decanter World Wine awards.

We have a native grape, the Norton, and even a crown jewel, the Viogner (vee-on-yay). The Viogner helped put Virginia on the map, thanks to the research and brave gambles of Dennis Horton, of Horton Vineyards. This is some of the priceless stuff you get to learn about at the tastings.

Read more about exploring Virginia Wine Country at Richmond.com

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