Virginia Is Ideal For Vineyard Cultivation

Whether you are scouring the Internet for real estate in Charlottesville/Virginia wineries for sale or just want to enjoy some notable wines, you might as well visit Monticello, the historic plantation home of President Thomas Jefferson and the only American home listed as UNESCO’s World Heritage site.

This is where the “first distinguished viticulturist” and great patron of wine and winegrowing, Jefferson, took a shot at growing grapes for the first Virginia wines more than 240 years ago. Although unsuccessful, his advocacy of viticulture put Charlottesville on the map as the birthplace of American wine.

Vineyards and wineries in Virginia have become an economic engine and have come along way since the efforts that took place at Jefferson’s beloved Monticello in the 1770’s. And it’s no wonder: the fertile, granite-based clay soil that surrounds Charlottesville provides an excellent environment for grape growing. Charlottesville also enjoys a growing season of more than 200 days each year, a fact that enables winemakers to nurture and craft products with interesting flavors and textures.

Virginia Land, Climate, and Wine

According to the Virginia Wine educational resource at, Virginia’s terroir, or the unique land attributes that affect wine, is ideal for viticulturists. And there are five distinct land regions in Virginia that are well suited for growth and their agricultural pursuits:

  • Appalachian Plateau
  • Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region
  • Blue Ridge
  • Piedmont
  • Atlantic Coastal Plain

From the clay soil of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the sandy soil of the eastern part of the Commonwealth, Virginia land is a natural asset that continues to fuel the economy. In addition to geology, five distinct climate regions support the industry with temperate weather and enduring growing seasons:

  • Tidewater
  • Piedmont
  • Northern Virginia
  • Western Mountain
  • Southwestern Mountain

In addition, approximately six of the 187 American Viticultural Areas (AVA) grape-growing regions are in Virginia: Eastern Shore, Monticello, Northern Neck, North Fork of Roanoke, Rocky Knob, and Shenandoah Valley.

The History of Virginia Wines

The history of Virginia wines dates back four hundred years to when the Jamestown settlers fatefully attempted to produce wines for the motherland back in England. Under British law, each male settler had to plant at least 10 grapevines to support the wine production initiative.

The effort to grow European wines failed, and the British shifted focus to tobacco, which was easy to grow in the new world. A century later, Thomas Jefferson rekindled the interest in winemaking and the rest is history. Smart man!

Virginia Vineyards are Flourishing

Today Virginia is the fifth largest producer of wine in this country and more than 70 Central Virginia wineries flourish in this region, where many Charlottesville vineyards mark the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Award-winning Virginia wines have become a staple inline with a new agrarian renaissance that includes farming and locally grown produce.

Virginia vineyards are flourishing and you can find many of the same wines you would find in California and Europe right here in our Blue-Ridge backyards. Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Viognier, Zinfandel, and others are all grown and sold in Virginia.

The Monticello Wine Trail

Monticello Wine Trail, which branches out from Charlottesville, leads wine enthusiasts, sightseers, and tourists to more than 25 boutique wineries via four wine trails in the Monticello AVA through the countryside of Albemarle, Greene, Nelson, and Orange Counties. The Monticello AVA comprises one third of the Commonwealth’s vineyard acres; because of the large number of wineries in the Monticello appellation, four Wine Trails were created to lead tourists to groups of wineries in specific areas.

Learn more at and enjoy!

Northern Trail

  • Glass House Winery
  • Grace Estate Winery
  • Kilaurwen Winery
  • King Family Vineyards
  • White Hall Vineyards
  • Stinson Vineyards
  • Stone Mountain Vineyards
  • Mountfair Vineyards

Eastern Trail

  • Barboursville Vineyards
  • Burnley Vineyards
  • Horton Vineyards
  • Keswick Vineyards
  • Reynard Florence Vineyard

Western Trail

  • Veritas Vineyard & Winery
  • Afton Mountain Vineyards
  • Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery
  • Pollak Vineyards
  • Flying Fox Vineyard

Southern Trail

  • Jefferson Vineyards
  • Blenheim Vineyards
  • First Colony Winery
  • Del Fosse Vineyards & Winery
  • Gabriele Rausse Winery
  • Lovingston Winery
  • Democracy Vineyards
  • Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards
  • Trump Winery
  • Virginia Wine Works