The wines of Virginia at the ’09 LIWF w/video


Virginia grown

I know it may seem like I’ve been banging on about English wine, English vodka, the English, etc., but I am living here, in England. I have however, not forgotten about my country…”My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty…”…ahem, um…now where was I? Oh, yeah…anyway, we all know about California wine, the wines of Oregon and Washington and New York’s cool climate offerings but what about Virginia’s wines? Yup, you heard me right, the wines of Virginia. The Jamestown settlers were the first to try and cultivate wines but without much success. Even T.J. (Thomas Jefferson, our third president) back in the day, brought over cuttings from France to his estate in Monticello in the hopes of producing fine wine but to no avail despite his efforts over 30 years. Until recently grapegrowing and wine making in Virginia were pretty much a quixotic affair. I remember going to a vineyard about 8 years ago and it was an “interesting” experience.

Since then however, Virginia wineries have made improvements in leaps and bounds and now are known for producing aromatic, creamy viogniers and fragrant, full cabernet francs. There are now over 140 vineyards in Virginia and only California, New York, Oregon and Washington have more wineries. If you want to know more of the history, click here. I met the folks from New Horizons Wines, Christopher Parker and his colleague Judy at the ’09 London International Wine Fair. I had a chance to try the Veritas Viognier ’07 and have a chat with Judy…


  1. Brigid Campbell /

    Hi Winesleuth – have you ever come across a wine spelt something like Croix D’Antoine? Please let me know, I’ve been looking for it everywhere. Also do you know where Chase Vodka is distributed in Northern Ireland


    • Hi Brigid,

      I can’t say that I’ve ever come across Croix D’Antoine but if I do, I will let you know. As for Chase Vodka, I’ll drop them a line and see if they distribute in N. Ireland. Cheers!

  2. On 15th June, Charlemagne Wine Club had a tasting of 9 wines from South Eastern USA (Georgia, Virginia and, purportedly, North Carolina). Chris Parker helped source four of the five Virgina wines sampled. The response from the members of this old-established club to these hard-to-find wines was very positive – see for details. I look forward to better UK distribution of interesting American wines beyond the usual mass producers.

    • Wow, that’s great! I’m looking forward to more interesting and tasty wines from the various wine producing regions of America. There’s more to it then just CA wines and Ernest and Julio Gallo, Blossom Hill and Echo Falls!

      • At Charlemagne, we often have tastings of less “commercial” US West Coast wines, though not this year. I have a personal interest in wines from Geogia. Unfortunately, neoprohibitionist laws make it very difficult to obtain their wines out of state (or even in state), so you really need to go to the cellar door. There are five good wineries (and one not so good) within a short drive of Dahlonega if you are interested.

        • Thanks for the heads up. I’m going to be in the Georgia this Fall so will certainly keep an eye for Georgia state wines!

  3. Interesting. I hadn’t realised Virginia did wines.

    • They’ve been doing wines for years but only recently have they upped their game. More to come and they are available here in the UK!

  4. Hi,
    You must come and visit. We’re the biggest producer, but also have a great restaurant on site and I’m also a fan of Virginia wines. We could certainly feature a few in the restaurant. There is a very strong bond between Kent and Virginia (pilgrim fathers, Pocohontas etc) and we’d love to get something going.
    Let me know when you’re next down in deepest Kent!
    All the best
    Frazer Thompson

    • Hi Frazer, I’d be more then happy to come and visit. I sometimes forget how closely linked America and England are related. I work in Kent so will pop down as soon as I get a chance! Cheers, TheWinesleuth


  1. more English wine -Chapel Down visit and lunch « The Winesleuth - [...] Chapel Down are considering adding the wines of Virginia to their wine list. Judging on what I sampled at…

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