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Argh.  This round goes to technology – A few days late with this post.  For the last few days I have been dealing with significant technical difficulties all the while trying to enjoy a quick vacation in Sonoma/Napa.  My account was ‘locked’ due to someone/something attempting to log in to my account multiple, multiple, multiple times each day.  Interesting.  I will save my rant for another day.

So, below is the article I had ready to post on October 1st to kick-off Virginia Wine Month.  At this point, looks like this will be a ’22 Days of Virginia Wine Month’ series. 🙂

Although this month marks the 22nd anniversary of Virginia Wine Month, this year is especially important as Virginia prepares to host two important wine events in 2011 – the Wine Bloggers Conference in Charlottesville, and the Wineries Unlimited Convention in Richmond.  Both of these events provide excellent opportunities to shine a national and global spotlight on the Virginia wine industry (especially that bloggers conference).

Wine is so big in Virginia that we’re dedicating the entire month of October to viniferous passions!

This is an exciting time for the Virginia wine industry, as new wineries seem to open each month, and statewide wine sales continue to increase even as many other wine regions suffer the effects of the economic malaise.  Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell announced last week that sales of Virginia wine increased 13% over last year.

If you are anywhere near the east coast, give consideration to making a weekend wine trip to Virginia.  You will find our wineries here some of the most hospitable of any wine region.  Not to mention that October is beautiful in Virginia – the yellow, orange, and red foliage juxtaposed against a green backdrop set among rolling hills and the Blue Ridge Mountains add to the wine ‘experience.’

Since we drink a lot of Virginia wine throughout the year, I guess every month is Virginia Wine Month for us.  However, as part of officially recognizing Virginia Wine Month, I am hosting an ‘Introduction to Virginia Wines’ tasting in Sebastopol, CA on Sunday (Victim of technology UPDATE:  The tasting was a great success.  John Cesano posted a great recap here.  I will post a recap of the tasting on Saturday.)  I am also scheduled to be a guest on Wine Business Radio show on Wednesday, October 6, where I will talk about Virginia Wine Month and of course Virginia wine.

In addition to this tasting, I plan to cover other topics as part of this series on Virginia Wine Month:

  • Winemaker interviews and guest posts
  • A multi-part series on the history of Virginia wine including interviews with some of the pioneers of the Virginia wine industry
  • ‘Virginia Vineyard Visuals’
  • Fall foliage pictures
  • A visit to the three wineries of Virginia’s Eastern Shore
  • Virginia wine tasting notes
  • Coverage of another oft overlooked region, Southwestern, Virginia
  • Wine’s cousin – Virginia hard apple cider
  • An update on ‘Virginia Wine and Social Media’

Nearly all of Virginia’s ~180 wineries will have some type of festival or celebration.  Be sure to keep an eye on VirginiaWine.org for a complete list of events throughout the state.

If you have an interest in learning more about Virginia wine, or, if you are one of the 300 people attending the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference in Charlottesville, I encourage you to follow a few of my blogging friends who will provide great Virginia wine information throughout Virginia Wine Month:

Dezel from My Vine Spot shares lots of great information – tasting notes, winery visits, interviews and Virginia wine facts.

The duo at Swirl, Sip, Snark blog will certainly have many excellent editorial, opinion, and winery visits inflected with their signature snark (and their avid use of Ninja’s, Oompa-Loompas and ferris wheels).

As always, Paul and Warren at Virginia Wine Time will provide excellent coverage of winery visits.  At over 110 Virginia wineries visited, Virginia Wine Time provides the most comprehensive coverage of Virginia wineries.

For those of you who are in Virginia, several of us blogging folk will be gathering the weekend of October 16th to visit the three wineries of Virginia’s Eastern Shore (Bloxom, Chatham, Holly Grove).  If you would like to celebrate Virginia Wine Month with us, please email me.  I believe this will be the first visit to the Eastern Shore for most attendees.

I hope you will join me throughout the month to celebrate Virginia Wine Month.

Coming Tomorrow – Guest post by Derek Pross of Gadino Cellars
Coming Friday – Recap of Introduction to Virginia Wine tasting in California