Quick, name five wine regions in the United States! Was one of them Virginia’s Appalachia? No? You may soon be stocking that wine cellar (under the kitchen sink) with Virginia’s best. Rural southwest Virginia seems to have a great terroir for Cabernet, Pinot, and Chardonnay. The weather isn’t bad either. The numbers are in and Virginia’s burgeoning wine region is booming.
Virginia is home to 285 wineries (we know, we were shocked too). And they sold 6.6 million bottles last year alone. That’s a far cry from California’s 275 million cases — but that’s still a healthy amount of wine coming out of The Old Dominion State.
Virginia Wine, a tourist organization focusing on wine, credits the region’s appeal to the “rolling countryside with a distinct rural charm. Small towns, antique shops, local eateries, and friendly residents…” We’d bet that the massive increase in wine consumption across America and amongst millennials doesn’t hurt either.
Wine County in southwest Virginia has been hit hard with the loss of jobs related to mining and other industries — so vineyard, service, and hospitality work seem to be a viable way forward for the region, with some calling the area the “East Coast’s Napa.” Taste-wise, the wines are already considered world class. All of this seems a net positive for rural Virginians. And Virginia seems to be fully embracing the new economic possibilities and highlighting their new wine trails in the state.