Virginia Wine AVAs: Northern Neck...
Yes, Virginia does wine...
encompasses about 800,000 acres (325,000 hectares) of
central Virginia. It is named after Thomas Jefferson's estate, one of America's first
vineyards planted with European (Vinifera) grapes. While the summers are warm, the winters
are cold and spring frosts are common.
Popular grape varieties grown include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Viognier.
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Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace
Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace AVA
is probably the
longest named AVA. It occupies almost 60,000 acres (over 24,o00 hectares) on the western
shores of Chesapeake Bay in eastern Virginia. The local soils are sandy and loamy.
Popular grape varieties include Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay.
Virginia's Eastern Shore Vineyards
Rocky Knob AVA
encompasses about 9000 acres (about 3600 hectares) on the eastern
slopes of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. This AVA is quite small and not well known.
Its well-drained soil consists mostly of loam and gravel. It offers the hybrid Seyval Blanc
Shenandoah Valley AVA
englobes about 2.4 million acres (almost
a million hectares) in Virginia and West Virginia but almost all its grapes come from
Virginia. Its best soils are rich in limestone. The local Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains
create a moderate climate, drier and warmer than its neighbors. Popular
grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.
Virginia's Eastern Shore
Virginia's Eastern Shore AVA
occupies over 430 thousand acres (some 175 thousand
hectares on Chesapeak Bay. Its well-drained soils are sandy and loamy and its climate is
maritime with a fairly long growing season. And yet very few acres are covered in vines,
mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and Riesling.
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