By: Richard Leahy
Welcome to the Monticello American Viticultural Area! This wine region, legally recognized by the U.S. Government (Tax and Trade Bureau) takes its name from Monticello, the home of third President Thomas Jefferson (also founder of the University of Virginia in nearby Charlottesville). This region of the upper Virginia Piedmont includes Albemarle and Nelson counties and parts of Greene and Orange counties, in the heart of the Central Virginia countryside. Two thirds of the U.S. population lives within a day’s drive of Charlottesville. In fact, this small university city renowned for its culture, arts, and leisurely lifestyle is less than a three hour drive from, and serves as a scenic complement to the federal and military seats of power in the Washington Metropolitan and Tidewater areas respectively. The Monticello AVA is also the only one in the country host to three homes of former U.S. Presidents (two of whom were Founding Fathers), and each of the three is also host to its own wine festival.
Virginia wine is hot today, for a number of reasons. A wide range of people, from consumers who tried them 20 years ago (and were not impressed), to leading world wine authorities agree that the Virginia wines of today are world-class. In 2010 the influential London-based Circle of Wine Writers made Virginia their official wine region destination and came away highly impressed with both the wines and the state itself as a travel destination. In 2011 the annual Wine Bloggers Conference was held in Charlottesville, introducing many of the attendees to Virginia wine for the first time. In 2012 Wine Enthusiast listed Virginia among its “Top Ten” wine destinations in the world. In October of that year, at the first Virginia Wine Summit, Steven Spurrier (a member of the Circle of Wine Writers), whose landmark blind tasting of French vs. California wines in 1976 was featured in the movie Bottle Shock, remarked in his keynote address that today he prefers Virginia wines to those of California categorically ... (continued)
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Paperback - ISBN 978-1-304-05730-3