Helping push the industry, is Virginia's First Lady. Maureen McDonnell is encouraging more restaurants and retailers to sell local wines. It’s one of the four initiatives she took on while her husband is in office.
Ben Slocum is on the hunt.
"I carry 24 Virginia wines," said Slocum.
He owns Café Assorti in Arlington, Va. and is searching for new wine to sell in his bar.
"I can tell you from having two glasses already this morning of their Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s intense, great. I’ll probably easily bring that one into my restaurant,” said Slocum.
Arlington hasn't really bought into the "local wine" movement yet, Slocum said.
"They want their California, French, they want their Italian,” he said.
But he’s betting they will soon
“I trying to corner the Virginia thing, before it really picks up there," he said.
Slocum is a success story for Maureen McDonnell, who's helping her husband push jobs and economic development through the budding wine industry.
"The best way to really show them how good we’ve become and how fast we’re growing, is to go on our wine tour," said the governor’s wife Maureen McDonell.
McDonell took about 30 restaurant owners and retailers on a wine tour and tasting at Chateau Morisette, Villa Appalachia and the Foggy Ridge cidery on Monday. This is the second year Virginia's First Lady has done these wine tours, pushing the Virginia wine industry.
“Bob’s all about jobs and economic development, and I thought this is one way I could help support that,” she said.
“They're only a few miles from us, but they have an incredible product," bragged Lloyd Blevins.
"The more exposure Virginia wine gets, the better it’s going to help all of us who live in this area, live in all of Virginia," said Blevins.
And for those outside of the area, these tours encourage them to give Virginia wines a chance
"Virginia wine has come leaps and bounds," said Slocum.
As the first lady would say: Wine Not?
"I think it will only get bigger and better, who knows where we’ll be in 10 years," said Slocum.