October 5, 2018
Here’s to 30 years of Virginia Wine Month.
Let’s take it all the way back to 1988.
For a few years, Virginia Farm Winery Month had been held in the sweltering heat of August in conjunction with the Virginia Wine Festival and the Virginia Governor’s Cup Competition. But a small committee from inside Virginia Wine knew it was time for a change.
Forty wineries dotted the landscape of the Commonwealth. Annette Boyd, now the Director of the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office, knew October would be a refreshing change from the hot, dusty August weather, and the picturesque views of ripe grapes on the vine against the backdrop of breathtaking Virginia foliage would make people eager to visit Virginia’s most rural areas for a glass of local wine. The plan was quickly presented and adopted—
October would be known as Virginia Wine Month.
The very first Virginia Wine Month was announced in style with a kick-off reception hosted by Governor Gerald Baliles in the Rose Garden at the Executive Mansion in Richmond, VA. He gave a rousing speech about the importance of building local industries and pledged to assist the nascent wine region. A year later at the 1989 Governor’s Cup Wine Competition, he reflected on his remarks,
That same year, the first advertising campaign surrounding Virginia Wine Month was launched: To Fully Appreciate A Virginia Autumn, You May Need Glasses. The promotion continued to grow every single year, bringing in restaurants, wine shops, localities, area publications and wineries all celebrating and lifting a glass to Virginia Wine Month in their own way.
Eight governors later, Virginia’s wine industry has seen tremendous growth and an increase in popularity and respectability. Fresh-faced vintners stepping on Virginia soil for the first time in the 80s are now beloved mentors of a new generation of winemakers who plant their hopes and talent into Virginia soil. Their wines continue to draw in an inquisitive crowd looking for a unique and authentic Virginia experience that can’t be duplicated anywhere else in the world.
What do the next 30 years of Virginia Wine Month hold? We hope you’ll take the journey with us and find out yourself.
More Virginia Wine Stories
October 11, 2022
Celebrating Virginia’s Home-Grown Holiday: Harvest Party
October 15th is a day for the Commonwealth to come together to toast the richness of our region with Harvest Party. People in the city, the country and on the […]Read More
September 22, 2022
Fall into Virginia Wine Month this October
The arrival of fall is celebrated with the annual tradition of Virginia Wine Month. Dating back to 1988, each October is a chance to toast to the bountiful harvest and […]Read More
October 21, 2021
Unfounded Utterances Every Virginia Sommelier Hears
A guest post by Jason Tesauro, Modern Gentleman These might not be the hills I’ll die upon, but man oh man, I have definitely unsheathed my Laguiole corkscrew in the […]Read More
October 4, 2021
Toast Local with Harvest Party
Learn How to Celebrate Virginia’s Home-Grown Holiday Each year, on the third Saturday of October, people from all over come together to toast the richness of our region with Harvest […]Read More
September 21, 2021
Planning for Virginia Wine Month
October is Virginia Wine Month. Dating back to 1988, Virginia Wine lovers from all over have embraced the season by supporting local farmers and producers, adventuring through Virginia’s vineyards and […]Read More
October 15, 2020
A Guide to Harvest Party
It’s time to celebrate Virginia’s home-grown holiday, Harvest Party. October 17th is a day for the Commonwealth to come together to toast the richness of our region with Harvest Party. People […]Read More
September 30, 2020
5 Ways to Celebrate Virginia Wine Month
October is Virginia Wine month! There’s something magical about October in Virginia wine country. A hint of a chill enlivens the air, the foliage bursts with brilliant color, and glasses […]Read More
October 29, 2019
Love at first site- Crushing on a vineyard and falling in love with a community
A guest post by Sarah Walsh, DipWSET It all started because of a site. The kind of potential in a vineyard that makes the hair on your arms stand up, […]Read More
October 22, 2019
The Dirt Speaks. We Listen.
A guest post by Matthew W. J. Brown, DipWSET While it is true that every corner of the wine-growing world experiences variation from vintage to vintage, there are few places […]Read More