The state of Virginia boasts a landscape and climate primed for the production of wine. In fact, seven of the United States’ American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), federally recognized growing regions, can be found in our state.
Virginia is comprised of five distinct climate regions: the Appalachian Plateau, the Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region, the Blue Ridge, the Piedmont, and the Atlantic Coastal Plain.
The western area of the Virginia has a granite-based soil while the eastern region is very sandy. It is not surprising, given Virginia’s diverse terrain, climate, and landscape,that the wines produced here give way to an exciting variety of tastes, varietals, and subtlety in flavor.
Northern Virginia Region
While Northern Virginia wineries produce fine examples of every varietal, this region’s offerings include: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Mandolin, Merlot, Norton, Petit Verdot, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Seyval, Vidal Blanc, Traminette and Zinfandel as well as many fruit wines.
American Viticultural Areas ― Northern Virginia lays claim to the Middleburg AVA.
The Middleburg Virginia AVA is approximately 50 miles west of Washington, DC. This AVA is nestled in the mountains on the east, south, and west, and Potomac River to the north. It boasts 24 wineries and 8 vineyards.
Northern Virginia Wine Trails
Central Virginia Region
Central Virginia wineries produce:Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer,Malbec, Merlot, Muscat Canelli, Muscat of Alexandria, Norton, Orange Muscat,Petit Manseng, Petit Verdot, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Rkatsiteli,Sauvignon Blanc, Seyval Blanc, Syrah, Tannat, Touriga Nacional, Traminette,Vidal Blanc, Viognier and Zinfandel.
American Viticultural Areas ― Central Virginia is home to the Monticello AVA.
The Monticello AVA, nestled along the slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is located in the central Piedmont area of Virginia. As the name implies, it is the historic home of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.
Central Virginia Wine Trails
Shenandoah Valley Region
The Shenandoah Valley has remarkably fertile soil. Nearly every varietal is produced here, most notably: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon,Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Mandolin, Merlot, Norton, Petit Verdot, Riesling,Sauvignon Blanc, Seyval, Vidal Blanc, Traminette and Zinfandel as well as many fruit wines.
American Viticultural Areas ― The Shenandoah Valley AVA is in the ShenandoahValley
The Shenandoah Valley AVA covers a lot of ground. It occupies Frederick, Clarke, Warren, Shenandoah, Page,Rockingham, Augusta, Rockbridge, Botetourt and Amherst counties in Virginia, as well as Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia. In the east, it is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. To the west, it is situated in the Appalachian and Allegheny Plateaus.
Shenandoah Valley Wine Trails
Chesapeake Bay Region
The Chesapeake Bay region produces varietals including Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon,Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinot Grigio, Seyval Blanc,Syrah, and Vidal Blanc.
American Viticultural Areas
The George Washington Birthplace AVA can be found in the Chesapeake Bay Region. It encompasses five counties: Westmoreland, King George, Northumberland, Lancaster and Richmond counties. The sandy soil and temperate climate of this AVA gives way to ayear-round growing season. Furthermore, this region was the birthplace of threepresidents (George Washington, James Madison and James Monroe), making it arich site of historical significance as well.
Chesapeake Bay Wine Trails
Hampton Roads Region
Home to historic Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Yorktown, the coastal region of Hampton Roads has a temperate climate and fertile soil that produces a wide variety of wine grapes. Among the varietals found here are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc and the native Virginian Norton grape.
Hampton Roads Wine Trails
Blue Ridge Mountain Region
The Blue Ridge Mountain region of southwest Virginia lays claim to a number of wineries due to its gravelly soil, good drainage, and mountain elevation. While any number of white and red varietals can be found here, this region is particularly known for its production of Pinot Grigio, Petit Manseng, Sauvignon Blanc, Traminette, Vidal Blanc and Viognier among the whites and among the reds: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Merlot and Pinot Noir.
American Viticultural Areas ― The Blue Ridge Mountain region boasts two AVAs: The Rock Knob and The North Fork of Roanoke AVA.
The Rocky Knob AVA, on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains, covers both Floyd and Patrick counties. The North Fork of Roanoke AVA, by contrast, is on the eastern slopes of the Allegheny Mountains and includes both Roanoke and Montgomery countries.