11:00:15 PM

The Online Magazine FOR and ABOUT Southside Virginia







Oct '08 Contents

Oct '08 Cover


Main Street Southside
Danville's Downtown Renaissance
(First in a series)

We Spend Our Years As ...a Tale That is Told
By Gert Slabach

SoBo Harvest Fest Photos

-Special Section-
Celebrate Virginia Wine Month

VA Wine - A Legacy


Harvest Party
Hunting Creek Vineyards


Homemade Wine
The Lighter Side



South Winds
(Edgewater Buffington)

On The Funside
(Waiting for the good things in Rocky Mount)
By Amy Hanek

Born and Bred
(Blackberry Wine)
By Jean Hunter

Ask Bubba - Advice
Happy Bubba-Ween


Editor's Page
(We've been listening)

V & B Comics
(Verrnack & Blupirk Trick or Treat)

Festivals & Events

Past Issues

Past Issues are available from June 2008 through the current issue.
Select the desired issue from the drop-down box below.



October is Virginia Wine Month

Vineyards and Wineries - a Virginia Legacy Comes of Age

   Around the time our forefathers were sowing the seeds of democracy, Thomas Jefferson was planting a legacy of a different kind.

   A recent NPR story said, "Thomas Jefferson was the nation's third president, our first ambassador to France, an inventor and master gardener. He may also have been America's first wine connoisseur � something historians are learning more about as they renovate Jefferson's wine cellar."

   The Monticello (Jefferson Home) website goes even further saying, "Thomas Jefferson has been described as America's 'first distinguished viticulturist,' and 'the greatest patron of wine and winegrowing that this country has yet had.'"

   When he planted his first vineyards, Jefferson had no way of knowing that a little over 200 years later Virginia would come into its own as one of the greatest wine centers of the United States. In the July 2007 issue, Travel and Leisure Magazine called Virginia �one of the five top new wine destinations in the world.� Virginia was also the only wine region in North America to be referenced.

   In recent years, the loss of revenue from some traditional crops, has made vineyards and wineries an important part of Virginia's agricultural economics. Statistics vary according to source, but all agree in the past 25 - 30 years, the wine and grape production of Virginia vineyards has grown exponentially. In 1979, Virginia had just six wineries and only 286 acres devoted to wine grape production. Today, with more than 130 wineries, and over 2,400 bearing acres, Virginia is ranked between 5th and 8th in the Nation as a grape and wine producer. According to Annette Boyd, Director of the Virginia Wine Marketing Office, in 2007 retail sales of 351,840 cases of Virginia wines had an approximated value of $70.3 Million.

    Vineyards and wineries not only generate revenue from grape and wine sales, they help boost the economy in other ways. With the increasing popularity of "Agritourism" in many rural areas, wine tours, wine trails and harvest festivals are fast becoming a very real source of income not only for the producers, but for the local community as well.

   In a News Release (Dated April 18, 2008) on the VDACS website;

   Todd P. Haymore, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says in part,

   "The wine industry is a fast-growing and important part of Virginia agriculture, not only because of the products produced but because of the added value of wineries as tourist destinations. �Our winemakers are good stewards of the land,� he said. �They produce a product that is renowned worldwide, and draw many tourists into Virginia."

   With around 60 varieties of wine grapes grown in Virginia, there are bound to be some to suit the palate of even the most discriminating wine connoisseur. Among the most popular "Viognier, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc are really coming into national recognition", says Boyd. To learn more about Virginia wines, you can order a Virginia Wine Guide for free from the Virginia Wine Marketing Office. On the same page you can download a "Winery Passport". Visit participating wineries, enjoy a tour or tasting, get your passport stamped and you could be eligible for prizes.

   Remember October is Virginia Wine Month.

   For other fun and interesting ways to celebrate, visit the Virginia Wine Month page of the Official Tourism Website of the Commonwealth of Virginia, or check out some of the resources below.


-= Credits, Links and Additional Reading =-

Special thanks to:

Janet Sweat
NASS Ag Statistics Hotline

Annette Ringwood Boyd
Director of the VA Wine Marketing Office.

Your help and information (and patience with my endless questions) was invaluable.


VirginiaWine.org - Your Guide to Everything Virginia Wine

Official Tourism Website of the Commonwealth of Virginia
October is Virginia Wine Month

Virginia Vineyards Association

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

National Agricultural Statistics Service of the USDA

Wineries and Grapes of the Virginia Growing Region - Appellation America

The Monticello (Jefferson Home) website - Vineyards

NPR - Thomas Jefferson's Love Affair - With Wine.











Discover Southside
PO Box 1061
South Boston, VA 24592
URL: http://www.discoversouthside.com
Copyright © 2008-11 Discover Southside