About VWG-Online

Virginia Wine Guide Online: an online magazine about Virginia wine and wineries.

Virginia’s wine scene is booming! Wineries run the gamut from deep-rooted family farms to convivial countryside lodges to grand estates with centuries of history. Mansions, barns, garages – we’ve got it all, even a greenhouse!

Virginia wines cover a wide range as well: friendly, easy-drinking reds, whites, and rosés; balanced and elegant (dare we say “serious”?) food wines; a variety of sweets: port-style, solera-style, sauternes and ice wine styles; as well as a great selection of fruit wines and apple ciders!

VWG-Online’s goal is to match your own preferences with the group of wineries most likely to please. We post engaging stories of wine personalities, news and updates directly from the wineries, a little bit of technical stuff for emerging wine geeks, and much, much more.

We hope to hear from you as well. Get out and explore! Please comment on our posts, share your own experiences, and let us know your thoughts.


Original feature stories on interesting wineries and events will be updated bi-weekly. We scour the net for VA wine news weekly and will share notable news submitted to the editor by press release from wineries every week as well.

The former “Around the Wineries” section has been renamed “Destination: VA Winery” and tagged as “Virginia wine tours.” This is the section where a winery can contribute directly, and may upload as frequently as once a week.

Technical and competitive info for the winemaking community will continue to be posted under “Technicals” and “World Wine.”


Mary Ann DancisinMARY ANN DANCISIN has been writing about wines and winemakers for well over two decades. After falling in love with a Nuits-St-Georges in a cellar in Burgundy, she returned to New York to begin a career with a well-respected importer. “Nuits-St-Georges was quite a step up from the Boone’s Farm and Reunite I grew up with,” she laughs. “I finally GOT what all the fuss was about!”

Following her move to Virginia in 2006, Mary Ann began exploring the burgeoning Virginia wine scene and feels the time is right for the wines of VA to take a more prominent place in world wine discussions. “Everyone in the wine trade here has a unique and passionate story about falling in love with the grape. I hope VWG-Online will prove a valuable tool in getting these stories out to a wider audience.”

Sandra Brannock

SANDRA BRANNOCK had an an early career as a CPA, but changed direction to become an on-premise sales representative with a Virginia distributor in 1990.  “I knew very little about wine at the time—not even the proper definition of a varietal,” Sandra says. “I learned by tasting and spitting with other oenophiles as much as possible.”

Sandra has traveled to California, Oregon, Washington, Spain, Greece,  France and Italy to visit winemakers and producers, has coordinated winemaker dinners and conducted educational wine seminars for guests and professional waiters.

Her career path changed again, but her passion for great wine and food and the treasures they afford remain. “My love of wine is founded on the fact that it can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone; it is always different and changing; it brings people together around the table to eat, drink, and celebrate the human experience.”

john hagartyJOHN HAGARTY’s love of all things wine led to a second career in the wine business after retiring as an executive with the federal government. Currently, he is Manager, Special Events, at Rappahannock Cellars in Huntly, VA.  He also writes extensively on wine related issues for local and state publications and is a home winemaker.

When not spending time at the keyboard or in his wine cellar, John can be found on the local golf courses trying to move an immoveable object—his handicap. And when a breath of fresh air is needed, he hikes and backpacks the Blue Ridge Mountains. John is married with four children and seven grandchildren and resides with his wife Jean in Jeffersonton, VA.  John has an open door policy so visit him at Hagarty-on-Wine.com.

Sylvie RowandFrench by birth, Virginian by choice, culinary expert SYLVIE ROWAND has been cooking and loving it since she was 9. She grows a rather large year-round kitchen garden in Rappahannock County; forages through the countryside for wild edibles, and preserves food for the dark months.

Through Laughing Duck Gardens & Cookery LLC, she provides in-home catering services for dinner parties using local seasonal ingredients sourced from the Northern Virginia Piedmont. She also teaches cooking and canning workshops, writes about seasonal food and good eating for various publications, and maintains a food and kitchen gardening blog. You may reach her through her web site: www.LaughingDuckGardens.com.

T. STEPHEN EGGLESTON honed his spot news, journalism and people skills on diverse photographic assignments ranging from White House and Embassy Row receptions to West Virginia coal mines and Oklahoma Indian reservations. He was already a credentialed press photographer for News Media Pictures in D.C. when he earned his diploma in professional photography in 1972. Time spent photographing vineyards in Napa while on staff with a respected importer/marketer inspired him to reopen his consulting business, allowing him the freedom to pursue his interests on his own terms. www.theegglestongroup.com