Wineries in Virginia are on the rise! Standing among rows of grapevines on a gently sloping field, you’d hardly believe you are in Virginia. After all, the Old Dominion State is not exactly known as wine country.
But the truth is the area emerging on the world stage as a serious wine-producing region.
Overall, the state boasts 150 wineries, more than 250 vineyards and dozens upon dozens of medal-winning wines. Virginia is one of America’s top 20 wine-producing states, and its wineries are attracting more than 500,000 visitors each year.
Taking a vineyard tour and experiencing a wine tasting is the best way to discover the world of wine and learn about what types of wine you like. Try this just once, and choosing a bottle of wine that you’ll truly enjoy will no longer be a shot in the dark. And if you’ve never been to a wine tasting, you might be surprised that the experience will not be what you imagined, especially if you imagined something highly formal.
These days, Virginia wineries are throwing open their doors, offering free tours, wine tastings and providing idyllic settings for their customers to picnic and enjoy the day in spectacular Shenandoah beauty.
When you visit wineries in Virginia, be prepared for a full tour: from touching the leaves in the vineyard, inspecting the crushers, to running your hands along the wood or steel tanks and barrels in the clarification area. Consider this step as your portal into understanding wine. Next, step inside the tasting room and be prepared to listen up and sample that winery’s proudest wines.
You’ll hear words such as: floral, spicy, earthy and nose, and by the end of the session you’ll have a good understanding of those words in the context of wine. It’s an opportunity to experiment with a broad range of wine styles side-by-side in a short period of time and is the easiest way to discover which wine flavors you enjoy most.
Learning at the hands of professionals is also the best way to understand why there is such a large variety of wine styles and tastes available.
The winery is also hoping you’ll buy a bottle or two, but you are never obligated to do so.
When you return home, you may find that your “safe” favorites are tossed aside as you branch out into trying different styles that better suit your newfound tastes.