Virginia named one of the top wine destinations of 2012

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The Wine Enthusiast Magazine has named Virginia one of ten must see destinations for wine lovers in 2012.

The state is home to more than 200 wineries and numerous historically significant sites. While the majority of wine produced in the United States comes from California, Virginia has been producing its own wine since the 17th century.

“The fact that Virginia has wineries in every region of the Commonwealth sets us apart as a wine travel destination,” said Alisa Bailey, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. “Where else in the world can you enjoy bluegrass music at a winery, kayak to a winery, taste local wines at a national park, sip local wines at a National Historic Landmark or bike from winery to winery? All those experiences are found in Virginia.”

Chardonnay is the most produced grape variety in Virginia, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, and Cabernet Franc.

Virginians are quite pleased with being included among viticultural big-wigs like Napa Valley and Santa Barbara, and are hoping to reap some extra tourism thanks to the magazine.

“Virginia is in excellent company in this list of Wine Enthusiast’s 10 best wine travel destinations for 2012, and I applaud our wineries and wine makers on this achievement,” said Governor Bob McDonnell. “We are well on our way to being recognized as the premiere wine destination of the East Coast, which is one of my administration’s top agricultural and tourism priorities. I have great confidence that this article will bring even more tourists to visit our wineries across the state and continue to build our reputation as the ideal travel destination for people who love to try new wines.”

Virginia is the nation’s fifth largest wine producer and seventh largest wine grape producer.

The other destinations on Wine Enthusiast’s list of “2012 Ten Best Wine Travel Destinations” are Mosel Valley, Germany; Priorat-Cambrils, Spain; Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand; Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary; Champagne, France; Colchagua Valley, Chile; and Veneto, Italy.

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