Here’s what’s going on during Virginia Wine Month

WASHINGTON — The 29th Annual October Virginia Wine Month is bringing a month of special events at wineries, restaurants, hotels and wine bars, and dozens of wine festivals across the commonwealth.

This year’s theme is “Discover Your Local Crush.”

You’ll have the chance to do just that at more than 230 events at wineries and restaurants throughout the state, including wine pairings and music festivals and “pop-up pairings” at venues, many of them throughout Northern Virginia.

In case you don’t get the memos from the Virginia wine industry, here are some current facts about the size of Virginia wine production:

  • There are 3,800 acres of winery and vineyard locations in Virginia.
  • The state is home to 420 vineyards.
  • Virginia wine now generates an estimated $1.37 billion in economic impact.
  • Virginia wine sales reached a record 587,500 cases last fiscal year.

“The continued growth of the commonwealth’s wine industry, one of Virginia’s fastest growing agricultural sectors, is a priority for my administration as we work to build a new Virginia economy,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe in a statement.

“I’m proud that these vineyards are bringing jobs and tourism to many rural localities across our beautiful commonwealth,” he said.

October Virginia Wine Month is called the oldest wine month in the country, starting in 1988 as a way to promote the state’s wine business. In 1988, there were 40 wineries in the state.

Virginia now ranks fifth in the number of wineries in the nation and, according to the Virginia Tourism Corporation, Virginia’s wine industry drew more than 2.2 million tourist visits in 2015.

You can find a full list of Virginia Wine Month events — it’s a long list — at the Virginia Wine Marketing Office’s website.

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