Friday, May 04, 2007

Washington's Wine

Not THAT Washington. The other one. Martha's husband, aka George.

Building on the country's growing understanding of the wine-drinking habits of founding fathers and Virginia residents Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, Virginia has announced that it is "first in wine." I don't think this is true: not in terms of the amount of grapes grown, the numbers of bottles sold, not even in historical terms. (I think New Mexico might be ahead in this department.) But who cares about historical details when there are grapes involved? If you are a driver in Virginia, you can show your support for the wine biz in your state by getting one of these snazzy new license plates. Commemorating the 400th anniversary of wine in the state, proceeds of this vanity plate go towards the Virginia wine industry.

And, what is wrong with California?? If there were grape vanity plates I'd sign on in a minute. Can we lobby for such a thing with rolling vine-covered hills in the background where the whale's tale is? Currently you can support Lake Tahoe Conservation, the Coastal Commission, the Arts Council, Child Health and Safety, UCLA, Yosemite, and Firefighters. All worthy causes. But lets get wine in there! Who has the Governor's phone number?

Unless you live in Virginia, you probably don't drink much Virginia wine thanks to insane post-Prohibition wine regulations , which make it pretty much impossible for anyone outside the state's borders to find or purchase them. Dan Berger has a good overview of the Virginia wine scene in a new post over on Appellation America, and bloggers like Dezel at the Virginia VineSpot blog are a great resource if you want to know more about the area's viticultural past and present.

So if you're headed to Jamestown for the big anniversary this summer, to the Outer Banks for kite-flying and eating fried seafood, or to Williamsburg to check out how things used to be when people wore perukes and mob-caps, try to squeeze in a visit to Virginia Wine Country while you're at it. Your taste buds will thank you, even if your children won't.

5 comments:

John said...

As a resident of the Southeast, thanks for plugging the Virginia wine industry. Virginia is home to some great wineries and is an excellent example of the potential of "non-traditional" wine states.

North Carolina is trying very hard to replicate Virginia's success, and there are some wineries to watch there as well. Whether it's Ohio, Virginia or New Mexico, we all should encourage the growth of regional wineries and notify local politicians regarding our views.

Nate said...

Wow - Virginia has a wine plate now, eh? I'll have to keep my eyes peeled next weekend when we're driving around VA wine country!

Dr. Debs said...

My pleasure John. Wonder if the Queen got any Virginia wine on her visit. And if you see one of those plates, Nate, take a picture! I'm not sure they've been released quite yet, though. Maybe Sonadora can get her hands on one?

el jefe said...

Well, we could try such a thing as the plates but we would have some tough competition for $$$ (kids, firefighters, etc.) It looks like it would take an organization like the Wine Institute to apply for it...

Dr. Debs said...

Yep, stiff competition, but it would be kind of nice to be able to support the wine business as well as the whales!