The Governor of Virgina has accompanied the owners of several vineyards in the US state to the UK on a mission to boost tourism.
Governor Bob McDonnell hosted a wine tasting event at Fortnum & Mason yesterday, with input from wine expert Oz Clarke. Tour operators were invited to taste samples of Virginia’s wine including the Viognier and Cabernet Franc varieties.
In addition to meeting potential stockists for Virginia wine, the delegation is also promoting the opportunities for tourism presented by the growing wine business. Many of the wineries, such as the Williamsburg Winery, also offer boutique hotel facilities, giving customers the option to remain on-site after vineyard tours.
I think this is great. While it is true that Virginia does not produce enough wine to be able to effectively distribute worldwide, it certainly produces enough wine to target select markets. And if you are going to target one market outside of Virginia, it should be London (Hong Kong would also be a good target).
Showcasing Cabernet Franc and Viognier was also a wise move. These are varietals that do very well in Virginia and produce wines that are superior to those grown in other areas.
Congratulations to Barboursville, Breaux, Kluge, Veritas, and Williamsburg Winery for doing such a great job representing Virginia's wine industry!