New World Wines: Varied Bordeaux Blends From Virginia

Spent an exciting day visiting wineries in Virginia. Glad to be back after a long hiatus. Really interesting Cabernet franc blends, Viognier, Petit Mansang and even Tannat. Wonderfully hospitable people. Thanks #virginiawineries.

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As Thanksgiving approaches, I am thinking about all of the American wines that I have tried over the past few years. Some stand out, others less so but all interest me in terms of the evolution of the wine industry in the USA.

This past year at the Society of Wine Educators conference, I attended a seminar about wines from Virginia entitled, “Virginia: the Bordeaux of North America?” A pretty big claim but I was willing to listen because the speaker was none other than Jay Youmans from the Capital Wine School. Jay is a wonderful speaker and a lovely person to boot, as well as being an incredibly knowledgeable member of the wine community.

We learned during the lesson that male settlers in Virginia in the 1600s were called to plant at least 10 grape vines. We also learned that Thomas Jefferson tried to grow grapes in…

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