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Love by the Glass: Celebrate Virginia Wine!

Virginia wine: Virginia Wine and Dine MonthMarch is Virginia Wine & Dine Month! Billed as “a celebration to showcase Virginia wines at restaurants and wine shops across the Commonwealth”, the Virginia Wine Board has organized a wonderfully diverse group of merchants, restaurateurs, and of course our favorite winemakers to throw a month-long party highlighting the fine wines of Virginia.

You can sample a new Virgina wine at a wine shop – over 300 retailers are participating in the promotion! Restaurants far and wide are pairing Virginia wines with specially crafted menu items as well as offering enticing by-the-glass specials. There will be music and dancing at great venues statewide. New releases and barrel tastings are scheduled for the month of March at wineries everywhere.

Wine Made Simple is offering discounts on Virginia wines and tastings,” says Charlottesville retailer Joyce Watson.  “I’m proud to participate… The wine industry is a very important part of our economy and culture, and appeals to residents and tourists. It’s the reason that I moved here in 2006 from New Jersey, and I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting Virginia wineries and drinking local wine.”

Restaurateur Kendra Feather was an early adapter. She’s the person responsible for the all-Virginia wine list at The Roosevelt in Richmond. “We roll out Virginia wine every day of the year. I’ve never understood why the locavore movement in this region doesn’t emphasize our local wines more. Let’s support our local agriculture, and keep the skills and money right around here, all of the time!”

She continues, “Right now we’ve only got one bottle of RdV Red left, and we’ve been wiped out of Veritas Claret and Pollack Merlot – two of our by-the-glass favorites. We’re getting new wines in, though, and we were able to find a few new favorites at the VA Wine Expo last week.”

But just why are we celebrating? Earlier this year, Gov. Bob McDonnell released a study showing that the wine trade’s economic impact in VA reached almost a quarter of a billion dollars in 2010. Wine-related jobs are up by 50%, and grapes have made it into the Top Twenty agricultural products in the Commonwealth, according to VDACS.

And, oh yeah, Virginia was named one of the Top Ten Wine Travel Destinations by The Wine Enthusiast magazine! With over 1.62 million tourists stopping by in 2010, and — we’re sure — more on the way, we had better get out there and celebrate before they snatch it all up and take it home!