On October 26th, the Virginia Tourism office sponsored a wine reception featuring Governor Robert McDonnell to celebrate the end of Virginia Wine Month. The event was held at the Lincoln Restaurant in Washington D.C. and included four Virginia wineries, each pouring three wines for the invited guests. These wineries represented the diverse regions that represent the industry; Chatham Vineyards on the eastern shore, Barboursville Vineyards from the Monticello Wine Trail, and Breaux Vineyards & Boxwood Winery from Loudoun County (DC's Wine Country). We were fortunate to be invited to the event, along with other wine bloggers, reporters, and restaurant owners. Based on geographic location, one would think that the Virginia wine industry would have penetrated the D.C. market; yet, in reality, progress has been slow. Even the host, the Lincoln Restaurant, just agreed to start serving Virginia wines, based on tasting wines that afternoon. And why not after tasting the Barboursville Octagon, or the Breaux Nebbiolo, or the Boxwood Topiary, or the Chatham Vintner's Blend. And those are just the reds. Remember, Virginia is also for Viognier Lovers; and two brands were poured this evening - one each from Barboursville and Breaux. Boxwood smartly brought their Topiary Rose Blend, perhaps the best rose styled wine produced in the state - but definitely the best value - less than $15/bottle. And Chatham featured their old world styled Church Creek Chardonnay, showing that the popular Chardonnay grape has a home in the Commonwealth.
As Virginia Wine Month recedes into winter, take to heart the message delivered by Governor McDonnell below. If you find yourself in a restaurant that doesn't serve a Virginia wine - speak up - and if Virginia wine is server - it should be in your glass. Furthermore, late fall and winter are still enjoyable seasons for visiting Virginia wineries - check out the many Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas events scheduled for the remainder of the Year. The Virginia Tourism office, the Virginia Wine Board, and of course, WineCompass.com, are all valuable sources for your event planning. Cheers to Virginia Wine.