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First Lady Plants Vines at Gov Mansion

Maureen O'Donnell, Luca Paschina, Lucie Morton

First Lady and prominent viticulturists plant wine grapes at Executive Mansion.

As reported by the Virginia Wine Marketing Board, on March 24, First Lady Maureen McDonnell planted the first-ever grapevines in the garden of the Executive Mansion in downtown Richmond. This was done in conjunction with Virginia Wine Week and in celebration of Acte 12 of Jamestown requiring settlers to plant and tend grapevines.

Lucie Morton, viticulturist and vineyard consultant, and Luca Paschina, general manager and winemaker at Barboursville Vineyards, worked with Mrs. McDonnell and Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore to select appropriate vines from Virginia stock, review the site and prepare for planting. They were onhand to help with the actual planting of the vines as well.

The First Lady is an energetic supporter of Virginia farm wineries and has another tour to promote the commonwealth’s abundance later this month. Featured wineries will be Barboursville, Pollak and Keswick.