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In early summer, I sent a ‘tweet’ that noted Virginia as the 5th largest wine (grape) producing state.  This 140-character message resulted in many back and forth emails with a friend in Texas who claimed that Texas, not Virginia, is the 5th largest wine (grape) producing state. Interestingly, another wine friend from Michigan makes the same claim for his home state.  As it turns out Pennsylvania also claims to be the 5th largest producing state.  Though the top four wine producing states – California, Washington, New York, Oregon – are rarely the subject of debate, the 5th spot seems to be a point of contention.

Given my genius tendencies, I feel confident that I’m right about Virginia being the 5th largest wine grape producing state.  For clarification, I contacted the best source of Virginia wine information – the Virginia Wine Board.

As it turns out, the confusion from my friends in Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and even New Jersey comes from the way the US Department of Agriculture National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) tracks grape statistics. NASS calculates state production statistics based on total grape production, which includes table grapes.  States like Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania produce a significant amount of table grapes for juices and jellies.

So, in terms of ‘wine grape production‘ Virginia is the 5th largest wine producing state in the US.

What say you?

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