The US state on the Mid-Atlantic coast with the capital Richmond is considered one of the cradles of North American viticulture. Virginia was founded as the earliest English colony by the famous privateer Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) in 1585/1586 and named it in honor of his “virgin queen” Elizabeth I (1533-1603). Here the "Declaration (Bill) of Rights" was announced in 1776, which served as the basis for the later American constitution. Virginia was one of the 13 founding states of the United States
, in 1863 became the now independent state West Virginia
separated. The English colonists found abundant, wild vines of the species in the woods Vitis labrusca
prepared and made wine from it for the first time in 1607. This was due to the Foxtons
Inedible, so European grape varieties were introduced, which were first planted in Jamestown in 1619.
As a result, attempts were made for a long time on the entire east coast to win quality wine from European varieties. But all attempts failed because they were vulnerable to the plagues unknown in Europe phylloxera
were. From the beginning of the 18th century, Huguenots expelled from France brought their wine-growing knowledge with them and fertilized viticulture. The third US President Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826) was born in Virginia to a tobacco farmer. He worked on his Monticello estate (today the name of one AVA
) intensively with viticulture for decades and (mostly unsuccessful) attempts with European varieties. His neighbor and friend was the Italian-born wine pioneer Philip Mazzei
Especially by the American wine-growing pioneer Philip wagner
(1904-1996) popularized French hybrids
were also grown in Virginia from the 1940s. It was only from the middle of the 20th century that European vines were successfully cultivated. Today, the almost 1,000 hectares of vineyards are planted with 80% Vinifera varieties, 20% hybrids and American varieties. The European varieties are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Marsanne, Mourvèdre, Merlot, Riesling and Viognier. As AVA
are classified as Monticello, North Fork of Roanoke, Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace, Rocky Knob, Shenandoah Valley (not to be confused with the eponymous AVA in California) and Virginia's Eastern Shore. The Charlottesville area is the most important wine-growing area in Virginia.
Virginia is now one of the fastest growing US states in the east in viticulture, there are around 70 production companies. The best known are Abingdon Vineyard & Winery, Am Rhein Wine Cellars, Autumn Hill Vineyards & Blue Ridge Winery, Barboursville Vineyards & Historic Ruins, Château Morrisette, Ingleside Plantation, Jefferson Vineyards, Kluge Estate Winery & Vineyar, Meredyth Vineyards, Misty Mountain Vineyard & Winery , Montdomaine Cellars, Oakencroft Vineyard & Winery, Prince Michel & Rapidan River Vineyards, Stone Mountain Vineyards, Tomahawk Mill Winery, Williamsburg Winery and Windy River Winery.