October is Virginia Wine month, and in honor of that, we revisit a winery that was highlighted last year—one that seems to have found just the right spot to not only grow grapes and make award-winning wines, but the right venue to focus on a passion. Virginia is a challenging area for growing vinifera grapes. This state brings bi-polar weather, with constant changes, pests, mold and mildew, and ever-changing terroir across the state. Some wineries have had to resort to adding events to recoup costs. It not only takes the right spot, but the right people, with the passion and determination to be successful in this industry.
On October 2nd, 2023 Rita Allan, Dori Weitz and our dinner companions (husbands) were invited to the Governor’s Mansion to celebrate the Commencement of the 35th Virginia Wine Month. Governor Glenn Youngkin stated, “Virginia wine month rightfully spurs a celebration of our Commonwealth's rich and diverse winemaking heritage. Virginians are raising our glasses to this exceptional industry, and the hard work of our dedicated winemakers. Together, we can continue to make Virginia a destination for wine enthusiasts, and a source of pride for all of us."
The California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Workbook is a fairly comprehensive, self-analyzing approach, for vineyards to measure their “level of sustainability and to learn about ways they can improve their practices.” To receive the full certification, wineries would have to submit to a 3rd party inspection. Although there are specific chapters designated for both vineyard water management and energy efficiency, these two concepts are woven through the rest of the workbook.
This weekend we celebrate and drink a toast to the important men in our lives, whether you are a father, are a partner to a father or have a father to honor. To cheer on those wonderful men, here are some wines to consider sharing.
As many of you have known, the modern-day Virginia wine industry started in the late 1970s, with Gabriel Rausse as the modern-day Father of Virginia Wine. By the year 1980, Virginia had a rocking 10 wineries, which slowly grew to about 50 wineries by 1990. Under the Farm Winery Act of 1980, wineries were farms, so limited restrictions were needed, given normal agricultural activity. Wineries were free to have gatherings on their properties, and to construct or make additions to facilities in the use of wine production.