Virginia Wine

Virginia is an east-coast state of the USA, located immediately south of Maryland and north of the Carolinas. The state covers 42,750 square miles (110, 750 square km) of mountains, valleys, and the complex Atlantic coastline which forms its eastern boundary.

From the Cumberland and Blue Ridge mountains in the west to the creeks and coastal estuaries of the east, Virginia's topography and geology are varied to say the least. The landscape around Chesapeake Bay – a vast coastal inlet which separates the main state from its Eastern Shore – could hardly be more different from that below the 5730ft (1750m) Mt Rogers, 300 miles (480km) to the west.

A vineyard in Virginia
©Jefferson Vineyards

The Shenandoah Valley is the largest AVA here. It runs for 150 miles (240km) along the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the natural boundary which separates Virginia from West Virginia.

The Monticello AVA is the oldest, formed in February 1984 and located around Charlottesville in central Virginia. It has the honor of having been home to Thomas Jefferson, his extensive collection of French wines, and the state's earliest vinifera vineyard. One presidential connection is not sufficient for the state dubbed "The Mother of Presidents" (eight US presidents were born here): Virginia is also home to the snappily-named Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace AVA on the western shores of Chesapeake Bay.

Chardonnay is the most widely planted variety here, riding on its wave of global popularity. It is followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc and the Rhone Valley variety Viognier, which is now making some of Virginia's most famous wines.

Winegrowing here dates back to the early 1600s, when the Virginia Company of London determined that settlers at Jamestown were obliged to cultivate European vines – an experiment that was unsuccessful due to the fungal diseases that thrived in the humid climate (although the use of native varieties rendered better results).

Nowadays, however, vinifera varieties dominate Virginia's vineyards – a change made possible through the use of modern technology and viticultural techniques. These include efficient canopy management and the use of fungicides, as well as an increasing emphasis on judicious site selection.

The quantity of wine produced in Virginia has risen dramatically in recent decades. In the 1970s, the state had just a small handful of wineries; now there are more than 100, and the number is increasing each year. Wine tourism is of increasing importance here, which, along with the increase in wine quality and quantity, suggests a bright future for the state's wine industry.

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Most Popular Virginia Wine

Based on search frequency, updated monthly
Wine Name
Grape
Popularity
Score
Avg Price
A. Smith Bowman Distillery 'John J. Bowman' Pioneer Spirit Single Barrel Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Virginia, USA Whiskey - Bourbon 3,916th 90 $62
Barboursville Vineyards Octagon, Monticello, USA Bordeaux Blend Red 7,077th 89 $75
Athena Vineyards & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Virginia, USA Cabernet Sauvignon 7,549th $14
Trump Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Monticello, USA Cabernet Sauvignon 9,479th 90 $23
A. Smith Bowman Distillery 'Abraham Bowman' Limited Edition Virginia Whiskey, Virginia, USA Whisky - Whiskey Blended 9,745th 90 $1,000
RdV Vineyards Rendezvous, Virginia, USA Bordeaux Blend Red 9,745th 90 $85
RdV Vineyards Lost Mountain, Virginia, USA Bordeaux Blend Red 10,208th 91 $157
Trump Winery Meritage, Monticello, USA Meritage 15,579th 85 $25
A. Smith Bowman Distillery 'Bowman Brothers' Pioneer Spirit Small Batch Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Virginia, USA Whiskey - Bourbon 16,767th 89 $37
Barboursville Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Franc, Virginia, USA Cabernet Franc 18,553rd 88 $27
A. Smith Bowman Distillery 'Isaac Bowman' Port Barrel Finished Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Virginia, USA Whiskey - Bourbon 23,088th 88 $46
Devil's Backbone Brewing Company 'Orange Smash' Vodka Cocktail, Virginia, USA Premixed Drinks 25,291st $7
Chrysalis Vineyards Estate Bottled Norton, Virginia, USA Norton 25,291st 86 $21
Trump Winery Blanc de Blancs Brut, Virginia, USA Chardonnay 27,960th 88 $31
Barboursville Vineyards Paxxito, Virginia, USA Rare White Blend 29,501st 90 $77
Tim Smith's Climax Moonshine Spirit, Virginia, USA New-make Spirit 31,169th $30
Trump Winery Reserve New World Red, Monticello, USA Bordeaux Blend Red 31,169th 87 $42
A. Smith Bowman Distillery 'Abraham Bowman' Gingerbread Cocoa Finished Virginia Whiskey, Virginia, USA Whiskey - Bourbon 35,344th $1,400
Trump Winery Chardonnay, Monticello, USA Chardonnay 35,787th 85 $21
Barboursville Vineyards Reserve Nebbiolo, Monticello, USA Nebbiolo 36,273rd 89 $37
Barboursville Vineyards Reserve Viognier, Virginia, USA Viognier 37,811th 88 $23
RdV Vineyards Friends and Family Virginia, USA Rare Red Blend 38,939th 89 $46
The Williamsburg Winery Adagio, Virginia, USA Bordeaux Blend Red 39,536th 88 $71
King Family Vineyards Crose Rose, Monticello, USA Merlot 39,536th 87 $23
Chrysalis Vineyards Sarah's Patio White, Virginia, USA Rare White Blend 40,137th 85 $16
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To see how Wine-Searcher uses average pricing and professional wine critic scores on this page, please see Average Wine Prices and Wine Scores. To find out about popularity, please see Wine Ranks.
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