Think of wine in the USA and your mind probably thinks of California. Oz Clarke and James May did a TV series a while back driving through the state and stopping of at different vineyards to taste and praise. But if you think of the state of Virginia, wine is not probably the first thing that you’ll consider. To me Virginia conjures pictures of southern gentlemen, the confederacy and heritage. So it came as a surprise to learn that it has 160 vineyards and was recently named as one of the top five wine destinations to look out for over the next few years.
For us travelling to Virginia, its easy to get to since there are frequent flights into Washington DC. And there you are. In Virginia. And being a smallish state it is not going to take hours and hours to drive around. So as a shortbreak destination, its ideal.
The Virginia Tourism Corporation has just won an award for its efforts at publicising last years’ Virginia Wine Month. This takes place each October with lots of wine festivals, festivals and trails linking different vineyards. Using Twitter, the VTC got 40 wine affecionados to taste a number of wines and then tweet about them. The result was that in just 24 hours, over 43,000 people read about the views of the tasters. As part of the promotion, of course, details of how to get to the vineyards was given to the forty three thousand and all those who read about it over the following days. As a promotion it was successful. As for the wines, they are becoming an important visitor draw. In wine tourism it’s obvious. You are only as good as the last wines you sample so Virginian wines must be good.