Friday, May 12, 2006

Wandering Through Virginia's Vineyards by Elliott Walker Rowe

This is a wonderful literary stroll through Virginia wine country. An enchanting little tome, and well worth your taking the time to dip into it and sip like a fine Virginia chardonnay.

According to
There is a gold rush underway in Virginia. But the treasure under pursuit is not a precious metal. Rather it is a fruit, a golden-colored grape known by the odd-sounding name "Viognier" (pronounced vee-yon-nay). From Leesburg in the north down to Roanoke in the south, dot-com millionaires, celebrities, retired civil servants, and apple farmers are turning fallow pastures and orchards into row after row of European fine wine grapes.

Dave Matthews, Governor Mark Warner, Patricia Kluge, and the son of the late owner of the Washington Redskins all have broken ground on vineyards and wineries in the Charlottesville region and beyond. Leading the way almost 30 years ago, Italy’s largest winegrape growers and vintners, the Zonin family, bought the hallowed ground of the Barboursville ruins and planted the first large-scale vineyard of strictly European grapes in Virginia. Their success has inspired legions of followers.

About the Author
Walker Elliott Rowe is a freelance writer and hobby wine grape grower living in Rappahannock County, Virginia. His wine writings have appeared in Wine Business Monthly, Richmond Times Dispatch, Wine and Cuisine, The Virginia Wine Guide, The Virginia Wine Gazette, and The Rappahannock News. Rowe has spent the last three years visiting the vineyards in and around Virginia; attending seminars, meetings and training; planted his own Bordeaux, Rhône Valley, and American hybrid wine grapes; and worked for 6 months at Horton Vineyards with Mexican migrant workers to understand the craft of the winemaker and grape grower. Born in South Carolina and widely read, Walker Elliott Rowe has an understanding of the culture of the South and weaves anecdotes of the Civil War and Southern idiosyncrasies into his narrative style of writing.

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