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Because I have nothing better to do with my life I decided to count how many wineries are listed in the brand new 2014 "Virginia Winery Guide."  There are now a total of 249 which is 17 more than were listed a year ago.  The Winery Guide breaks the state down into a number of areas including generally which is labelled "Northern Virginia" and includes I 95 to Skyline Drive/Blueridge parkway, from the Potomac River south to an area just south of Culpeper.  There are a total of 86 wineries in this area.

I should note that all of this is within a 90 minute drive-at the most-from downtown D. C.  Much of it is less than an hour from the Beltway.  This includes Delaplane which is the new ground zero for wine in this region.

The area that is labelled "Central Virginia" includes Charlottesville and is generally bounded to the north near Culpeper, south to Lynchburg or so, west to Skyline Drive and the Blueridge Parkway and to the east approximately a third of the way to Richmond.  For years this has been thought of as the heart of Virginia wine country.

But no longer.  There are 78 wineries there which is eight less than in the "Northern Virginia area" which is the state's fastest growing.

New Northern Virginia wineries include:  Blue Valley in Delaplane (opening in late spring; this is a huge winery almost next to Barrel Oak (different owners) and will cater to a similar crowd with apparently large turnouts as well as a number of special events, Stone Tower off of route 15 south of Leesburg is an attempt to turn out 10 to 15,000 cases of better wine (generally about the size of Breaux or Barboursville) in a beautiful tasting room and an events center which like Blue Valley will features weddings and other celebrations.  There is also Leaves of Grass on route 50 in Middleburg, Stonehouse Meadery in Purcellville, Nova Ridge Cellars in Waterford, Quievremont Wine in Washington, VA, Winding Road Cellars (next to Philip Carter) in Hume, Winery 32 in Leesburg and Wilderness Cellars in Spotsylvania.  And, the landmark RDV is opening a high end tasting room this year to the public in Delaplane.

I would suggest that Delaplane really is ground zero for this with more than twenty wineries within several miles of the intersection with I 66.   The most spectacular settings of all are Delaplane Cellars which is halfway up the side of Lost Mountain with floor to ceiling plate glass windows overlooking the valley below.  RDV is situated on a steep, rocky mountainside with an almost cathedral like silo which is a temple to wine and I believe will house the new tasting room.

Bluemont has a spectacular, perhaps 30+ mile view and Hillsborough feels like the Tuscan countryside.  To these I must note Glen Manor and Linden which are each beautiful and have outstanding wine that any state or country would be proud of.  (Glen Manor '10 Petit Verdot and Hodder Hill, Linden '10 Boisseau and '09 Hardscrabble Red; they both also have excellent dessert wine to put away for ten or more years.  Petit Verdot, by the way, is an outstanding grape for Virginia.)   Delaplane Cellars (especially their '10 Williams Gap) and RDV are similar "destination" wineries for what they are making.

249 Wineries in the state of Virginia.

I must note that last year we visited a wine festival at Reston Town Center.  Afterwards we stopped in Great American Restaurant Group's Jackson's at Town Center for dinner.

Jackson's does not sell a single bottle of Virginia wine.

It felt odd with the wine festival a block away.

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