I was in a wonderfully outfitted general store on Diamond Hill Road over in Moneta, Virginia the other day. I was told by the proprietor that he stocked the largest selection of Virginia wines anywhere. Based on the tonnage I saw there, I wouldn't argue with him.
Wine Production Up, But Vintners Face Challenges
By The Associated Press
(AP) - Virginia vintners can raise their wine glasses to 2004 grape production.
The state's 250 vineyards produced more than 3,700 tons of commercial grapes last year, up nearly 3 percent from 2003.
If Mother Nature cooperates, 2005 could yield an even heftier harvest.
"It's looking good so far," said David Sawyer, co-owner of Fincastle Vineyard & Winery. "Cross your fingers."
Virginia ranks 10th nationally in commercial production and ninth for grape-bearing acreage. (link)
My stroll through the store was an unforgettable experience.
If you're ever heading south toward Moneta out of Bedford, turn right on Diamond Hill Road and drive about four miles. There you'll find the general store, out in the middle of nowhere, your entry into which will be like stepping back in time (it even features a pot-belly stove in the middle of the wine room). It's a beautiful little storehouse of all things rural, and has an excellent assortment of the "fruit of the vine" as well.
Consider this today's travelogue.