From the Virginia Tourism Corporation:
Love by the Glass, Virginia Wine and Dine Month, highlights Virginia wines and great culinary dishes together at more than 300 particpating restaurants and wine shops across the state.
Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following proclamation:
Love by the Glass: Virginia Wine & Dine Month
WHEREAS, more than one and one-half million people visit Virginia wineries annually and during VIRGINIA WINE & DINE MONTH, guests can enjoy drinking Virginia wines at restaurants and purchasing them at local wine shops around the commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, Virginia’s burgeoning wine industry has been ranked as one of the “Ten Best Wine Travel Destinations” in the world by Wine Enthusiast Magazine for 2012; and
WHEREAS, in Fiscal Year 2011, Virginia’s wineries sold more than 462,000 cases of wine, or more than 5.5 million bottles, totaling almost $90 million in retail sales; and
WHEREAS, Virginia is the home of Thomas Jefferson, America’s first epicurean and wine aficionado; and
WHEREAS, Virginia wineries realized Jefferson’s vision and today produce major varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Petit Manseng and Norton; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia wine industry has grown from six wineries in 1979 to more than 200 wineries today and now ranks fifth in the country in the number of wineries; and
WHEREAS, Virginia ranks 7th nationally in grape production, harvesting 7,000 tons of wine grapes with a total crop value of $11.2 million;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert F. McDonnell do hereby recognize March 2012 as VIRIGNIA WINE & DINE MONTH in theCOMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.