Virginia has been making wine since the 1600s. Yes the 1600s. It all started in Jamestown when the settlers were actually required at one point to plant vines to help viticulture thrive giving the British an offshore wine market.
So why isn’t the Commonwealth a big name on the national wine map? Well, a couple of things got in their way. First was Phylloxera. That nasty little mite that just loves to munch on vitis vinifera roots. As the settlers tried to no avail to make decent wine with the scourge at their doorstep the population began to lose interest. Tobacco was thriving and focus turned toward this as a cash crop. Beer and whiskey became popular because it was easier to make and wine was shown to the way to the back burner.