Winemaking Tips from Virginia Winemakers

Four centuries after it was first believed wine grapes would be an agricultural staple in Virginia, early prophecies are a reality. Virginia is quickly emerging as an up and coming wine region in America, with wines that have received national and international attention. In 1619, Jamestown settlers saw the potential for winemaking in the colony. A law was signed that required every male to plant and tend to at least 10 grapevines and send the wine they produced back to England. The promise that was shown early, however, never evolved as crops succumbed to disease and pests. Years later, founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson tried their hands at planting vineyards in Virginia too, however a similar fate as the early settlers was bestowed on their efforts as well and neither was ever able to harvest enough to produce a single bottle of wine. It is quite a different story today, as wineries continue to pop up across the commonwealth. From less than 50 commercial wineries 20 years ago, there are now around 200 in the commonwealth; making Virginia