Virginia has cultivated vineyards since 1619, a long history for an American wine region, but the past 20-30 years have seen real development. Here are producers to watch and a selection of wines to try, plus news of a potential AVA...
Old world meets new world
It’s said that Virginia wine is one of the places where the old world meets the new world.
Matthieu Finot is winemaker at King Family Vineyards in Crozet; his 2014 Meritage won the prestigious 2018 Governor’s Cup. A native of Crozes Hermitage in France’s Rhône Valley, Finot works with Rhône, Bordeaux and Burgundian varieties.
Finot says that working in Virginia, is a ‘mix between freedom and tradition.’
Virginia’s ability to plant outside of appellation rules is beneficial, as growers are able to cultivate ancestral varieties as well as grapes that thrive in Virginia’s relatively hot and humid climate—candidates for the future with climate change.
‘We are a fairly new wine region so we need this freedom to explore, research and refine our combination of terroir and variety,’ says Finot.
‘But we are not reinventing the wheel—we just want to produce great wines.’ For Finot, this means wines with restraint, balance, subtlety and complexity.
New AVA on the horizon
Ten Virginia wines to try: