A New Virginia Winery Takes Top Prize

Pswlogo Last month, the Virginia Governor’s Cup for white wines was awarded to Paradise Springs
winery of Clifton, in Fairfax County, for its 2009 Chardonnay. This was
noteworthy because Paradise Springs is one of Virginia’s newest
wineries. But it is also worth celebrating because the winery’s owners
fought stiff opposition from the county government and from neighbors
who feared that a winery would just be an events venue for jazz
festivals, weddings and drunk fests and such. This award, plus a gold
medal in January for their Norton in the Governor’s Cup judging for red
wines, shows that Paradise Springs is more interested in quality than
buzz.

I wrote about the award last Thursday on The Washington Post‘s All We Can Eat
food blog. But while I commend my scintillating writing for your
enjoyment, I hope you will notice the comments added by Post readers.
The first asks, “Why would I drink local wine when I can drink cheap,
delicious, imported wine for half the cost?” Someone then replies,
“Because you don’t know the difference.” (The third comment is simply
spam for someone selling bootleg clothing.)

This exchange is illuminating. Local wines – be they from Virginia,
Maryland, Texas, Michigan or elsewhere – face the challenge of
demonstrating their value. Sure, if I just want to spend $8 or less on a
bottle of wine, I will find many from France, Spain, Argentina and
Chile that will suit me just fine, thank you very much. A wine that
speaks of terroir, especially local terroir, that
demonstrates through some subliminal message that it is somehow
connected to the place where it was grown, is another story. And yes,
such a wine can come from Virginia, or Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, New
York, Texas …

This entry was posted in Cheap Wine, DrinkLocalWine.com, Eastern US, Local Wine, Regional Wine Week, Terroir, Virginia, Washington Post, Weblogs, Wine and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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