Monticello AVA wins 2023 Wine Star Award
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Monticello American Viticultural Area has earned international recognition.
The Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau reports the Monticello AVA has been selected as the Wine Region of the Year in Wine Enthusiast’s 2023 Wine Star Awards.
According to a release, the Charlottesville area was the only nominee in North America for the honor and was one of just five areas that had been nominated globally.
Wine Enthusiast says its selections were made based on several factors, including impact on consumers and trade in the wine space, company or brand vision, and trendsetting.
Historically, the wine industry in the Charlottesville area dates back to Thomas Jefferson, who believed this region would be ideal for growing grapevines.
However, he struggled for years to get a winery going due to the types of grapes he was trying to grow, which did not adapt well to this region.
The first successful vineyards in the area began to appear in the 1970s when winemakers looked for grapes that were better suited to this type of terroir.
Since then, more than 40 vineyards have been established within 25 miles of Charlottesville and vintages from this AVA frequently earn high accolades from the Virginia Governor’s Cup.
“For more than 40 years it has been the goal of grape growers and winemakers in the Monticello AVA to show the world the quality of wine that we can produce here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains,” said George Hodson, CEO of Veritas Vineyard and Winery. “We are dynamic, creative, cooperative and inclusive and those things have led us to quickly progress in the quality of our winemaking and grape growing. We truly believe that this is just the beginning of the recognition that our grape growers and winemakers deserve. We are grateful for the cooperation and support of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the commitment that we have from the administration and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.”
The release says the Wine Star Awards celebrate the innovation of individuals and entities that have made significant contributions to the success of the wine and alcoholic beverage world.
This area is also known for multiple breweries, cideries and even meaderies.
The other four wine regions that were nominated for this honor were Lambrusco, Italy; Provence, France; Swartland, South Africa; and Victoria, Australia.
Barboursville Vineyards was also nominated for American Winery of the Year along with Black Stallion Estate Winery in Napa, California; Chamisal Vineyards in Sal Luis Obispo, California; Ramey Wine Cellars in Healdsburg, California; and Ravines Wine Cellars in Geneva, New York.
That honor went to Black Stallion Estate Winery.