West Virginia wine? I asked the same question and was surprised to learn there are 18 active farm wineries spread throughout the state. There are 3 designated American Viticultural Areas including the multi-state Ohio River Valley, Kanawha River Valley (part of the much larger Ohio River Valley) and the Shenandoah Valley AVA (which includes a small portion in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia). Wineries grow and produce a wide variety of grapes including French-American hybrids (Vidal Blanc, Seyval and Chambourcin), Native American varieties including Concord, Niagara and Delaware and even the occasional European variety. Fruit wines are also popular and include apple, peach, blueberry, blackberry and strawberry.
Mostly overlooked by neighboring states such as Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and even Ohio, West Virginia offers visitors a unique tasting experience. Most wines are only sold in tasting rooms, but several wineries participate in festivals throughout the year where visitors can taste and purchase wine. And for the true wine adventurer, why not jump on the trail (but make sure you call ahead).
This week we enjoy a taste of West Virginia from Potomac Highlands Winery and Watts Roost Vineyard. Cheers!
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