Virginia Wineries To Plant More Grapes As Demand Grows - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Virginia Wineries To Plant More Grapes As Demand Grows

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Spotsylvania, VA—Virginia wine is apparently as popular as it has ever been, and now, state lawmakers are encouraging local winemakers to grow more grapes to keep up with demand.

Janette Evans owns the Mattaponi Winery in Spotsylvania. She says the demand for her company's wine has increased dramatically.

"We seem to have doubled up our production every year. We have to make more wine just to meet more demand."

Virginia now ranks fifth in the number of wineries in the country. According to Gov. McDonnell's office, Virginia produced nearly 485,000 cases of wine last year—an all-time high.

As winemakers across the state expand to meet the needs of their customers, some have seen a  slight increase in production costs, meaning prices for the consumer may have risen.

"There is a lot of labor that goes into making wine," explain Evans. "That goes into consideration when you price out your wines."

Evans also hires more than 20 people a year during harvest, which also increases production costs.

Across the state, nearly 5,000 people are employed by the wine industry.

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