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Virginia

Virginie (F)
Virginia (ES)
Virgínia (PO)
Virginia (I)
Virginia (N)
Commonwealth of Virginia (GB)
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). In 1776 the "Declaration (Bill) of Rights" was proclaimed here, which served as the basis for the later American Constitution. Virginia was one of the 13 founder states of the USA, in 1863 the today independent state West Virginia was separated. The English colonists found masses of wild vines of the species Vitis labrusca in the forests and made wine from them for the first time in 1607. This was inedible due to the Foxton, so European grape varieties were introduced, which were first planted in Jamestown in 1619

As a result, attempts were made for a long time on the entire east coast to obtain quality wine from European varieties without success. But all attempts failed because they were susceptible to the plagues of phylloxera and mildew, which were unknown in Europe. From the beginning of the 18th century onwards, Huguenots expelled from France brought their wine-growing knowledge with them and fertilised viticulture. The third US president Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was born in Virginia as the son of a tobacco grower. For decades he was intensively involved in viticulture and (mostly unsuccessful) experiments with European varieties on his estate Monticello (today the name of an AVA). His neighbour and friend was the Italian-born viticulture pioneer Philip Mazzei (1730-1816)

The French hybrids, made popular by the American viticulture pioneer Philip Wagner (1904-1996), were also cultivated in Virginia from the 1940s onwards. It was not until the middle of the 20th century that European vines were successfully cultivated. Today, the almost 1,000 hectares of vineyards are planted with 80% Vinifera varieties, as well as 20% hybrids and American varieties. The European varieties are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Marsanne, Mourvèdre, Merlot, Riesling and Viognier. The areas classified as AVA are Monticello, North Fork of Roanoke, Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace, Rocky Knob, Shenandoah Valley (not to be confused with the AVA of the same name in California) and Virginia's Eastern Shore. The Charlottesville area is the most important wine-growing region in Virginia

Virginia is now one of the fastest growing US states in the East in terms of viticulture, with around 70 production plants. The best known are Abingdon Vineyard & Winery, Am Rhein Wine Cellars, Autumn Hill Vineyards & Blue Ridge Winery, Barboursville Vineyards & Historic Ruins, Château Morrisette, Ingleside Plantation, Jefferson Vineyards, Kluge Estate Winery & Vineyar, Meredyth Vineyards, Misty Mountain Vineyard & Winery, Montdomaine Cellars, Oakencroft Vineyard & Winery, Prince Michel & Rapidan River Vineyards, Stone Mountain Vineyards, Tomahawk Mill Winery, Williamsburg Winery and Windy River Winery.

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