Return to Virginia
Few regions in the United States share California’s climate and environmental conditions for growing grapes. Yet the desire to produce fine table wine has been a longstanding dream for many Americans, including Thomas Jefferson, whose attempts to plant vines imported from Europe (Vitis vinifera) were foiled by the humidity and cold winters of Virginia’s climate.
Scientists at Virginia Tech’s Agricultural Research and Extension Centers, working with growers and winemakers, developed successful practices for producing wine from the state’s diverse soils and climate conditions. While production of the popular French varietals like Cabernet and Chardonnay eventually became possible, some Virginians also experimented with and embraced different types of grapes that thrive in their state.