The US state on the mid-Atlantic coast with its capital Richmond is considered one of the cradles of North American viticulture. Virginia was founded as the earliest English colony by the famous privateer Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) in 1585/1586 and named by him in honour of his "virgin queen" Elizabeth I (1533-1603). It was here that the Declaration (Bill) of Rights was proclaimed in 1776, which served as the basis for the later American Constitution. Virginia was one of the 13 founding states of the USA; in 1863, the now independent state of West Virginia was separated. The English colonists found masses of wild grapevines of the species Vitis labrusca growing in the forests and made wine from them for the first time in 1607. This was undrinkable due to the foxton, so European grape varieties were introduced, which were first planted in Jamestown in 1619.
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