For Virginia Wine Month, we’re sharing briefs on the industry.
When Potomac Point Winery opened in 2007, Virginia had fewer than 150 wineries. In 10 years, the Virginia wine scene has grown to over 270 wineries, with 90 in Northern Virginia alone.
“Over the years, there has been an increased interest in Virginia as a wine destination, as well as increased interest in Virginia varietals,” says Chelsea Sparaco, the sales and marketing manager at Potomac Point Winery and daughter of founders Cyndi and Skip Causey.
The huge growth in such a short time has brought some issues like shortages of grapes, Sparaco says, and of course, everyone is concerned with the temperamental Virginia weather. But with those pitfalls, the growing Virginia wine scene has brought attention to Virginia and its expanded list of varietals.
Three of Potomac Point’s wines won silver in this year’s Governor’s Cup Awards, a competition that the Stafford winery has medaled in four times in the past 10 years. The winery’s medalists this year included a 2015 viognier, Virginia’s official state grape.
Even with all of the recognition, Sparaco says what’s holding Virginia back from being a recognized wine region like Napa Valley is Virginia itself because most of the wines carried by in-state restaurants are usually from out of state or out of country. “Once we get Virginia on board with following Virginia wines, it will be easy to get the rest of the country on board.”