Sunday, July 22, 2007

Virginia Named as One of Five Up-and-Coming Wine Destinations in the World



Thursday, July 12, 2007

Travel + Leisure's wine and spirits editor cites state's wineries, authentic cuisine and accommodations as factors that make Virginia the only American destination named.

Virginia is one of the top five new wine travel destinations in the world, according to the July issue of Travel + Leisure magazine. Virginia was the only American region to be featured in the Wine-Lover's Guide: 5 Wine Regions to Visit Now article, highlighting some of globe's hottest new wine destinations.

Written by Bruce Schoenfeld, the magazine's wine editor and former contributing editor for Wine Spectator, the article features Virginia, as well as regions in the renowned wine-producing countries of Italy, Spain, Chile and New Zealand, as five new destinations for travelers who are passionate about wine, food and new experiences.

"If you're a wine lover, you are going to love going to Virginia's wineries," said Bruce Schoenfeld, wine and spirits editor of Travel + Leisure. "It's not just the wineries but also new restaurants, B&Bs and inns that make Virginia such a great destination. Virginia is democratizing the wine experience -- anyone can go to a Virginia winery and feel comfortable while trying exciting wines."

Schoenfeld's article highlights Virginia's largest wine regions in Central and Northern Virginia. Barboursville Vineyards, Breaux Vineyards, and Linden Vineyards are featured as wineries to visit. Boar's Head Inn, 1804 Inn & Vineyard Cottage, Grandale Farm Restaurant, Inn at Little Washington, and Palladio are touted as cuisine and accommodation destinations.

"This article captures the essence of wine travel in Virginia," said Alisa Bailey, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. "Our wineries stretch across the state and are surrounded by unique places to enjoy local cuisine and excellent lodging choices. Virginia is one of the only wine destinations that offers a kayak trip to a winery or combines bluegrass with wine tastings. It's these unique experiences that are drawing more and more wine lovers to Virginia."

Virginia is home to 130 wineries and is fifth in the nation for number of wine producers. Wine tourism is so big that the state designates October as Virginia Wine Month each year and celebrates with special events, tastings and tours. Virginia's picturesque wine trails make visiting wineries easy and fun. Virginia wineries that are open to the public are marked from the road with a designated Virginia Wine Tour road sign.

Summer is an excellent time to visit Virginia wineries for tastings and special events. In August alone there are more than 50 concerts, special tastings and celebrations at Virginia wineries across the state including the Beach Party Wine Festival at James River Cellars just north of Richmond, Blackberry Days Wine Festival at Tarara Winery in Northern Virginia, or the Black Dog Wine and Music Festival at Chateau Morrisette in Southwest Virginia.

For more information about Virginia's wineries and to start planning a visit, go to www.Virginia.org/wine or call 1-800-932-5827 to request a 2007 Virginia Travel Guide.