Virginia is named one of 10 best wine travel destinations of 2012

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Wine Enthusiast Magazine has named Virginia one of the 10 best wine travel destinations for 2012.  The story, in the magazine’s February issue, highlights Virginia as one of three domestic destinations to make the list. Besides Virginia, two regions in California were named along with regions in Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Hungary, Germany, France and Chile.

The article, also available online at, cites “historically significant sites, picturesque, pastoral landscapes, elegant equestrians and affable winemakers,” as reasons that set Virginia apart as an attractive, East Coast wine destination.

Virginia is home to more than 200 wineries.They have been high on the radar of both Gov. Bob McDonnell and First Lady Maureen McDonnell, who have promoted Virginia wines in many of their initiatives. Calling it “one of my administration’s top agricultural and tourism priorities,” McDonnell said in a statement on Wednesday that the article will “continue to build our reputation as the ideal travel destination for people who love to try new wines.”

Todd P. Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, said the recognition shows that “word is getting out that some amazing, well-balanced, old-world styled wines are being made right here in the commonwealth.”

Virginia is now the nation’s fifth largest wine producer and seventh largest wine grape producer. In 2005, the most recent year a study was done, Virginia’s then 120 wineries employed about 3,000 people and contributed nearly $350 million to the state’s economy on an annual basis. A new economic impact study, based on the current number of wineries, will be released in 2012.


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