McDonnell Pushes Virginia Wine in China

Local wineries in spotlight on trade mission to Asia

Gov. Bob McDonnell is touting the virtues of Virginia wine on an 11-day trade mission in Japan, South Korea and China.

Wines from Virginia wineries have been served at dinners with Chinese ministers and business executives, while wine events introduced restaurants, merchants and retailers to some of the products from the Commonwealth’s vineyards.

“We’ve done everything we can to put the high quality wines in front of as many people as possible,” Va. Secretary of Agriculture Todd Haymore told the Loudoun Times. “They are very interested in our wines.”

He said as many as 15 wineries in the state want to export their product to Asia.

To court prospective buyers, cases from at least six wineries -- including Jefferson Vineyards, Williamsburg Winery, Philip Carter Winery of Virginia and Breaux Vineyards -- were shipped to Asia, Annette Boyd, director of the Virginia Wine Board marketing office told the Loudoun Times. Many of those same wineries have been talking with South Korean authorities about exporting there, she added.

The vast and emerging Asian market presents a remarkable opportunity to local vintners, and China in particular is ripe for the picking.

Bhere is one significant barrier to all this potential wealth: The state’s wine industry is too young and too small to be in a position to export, despite the growing interest in wine from abroad, Williamsburg Winery founder Patrick Duffeler told the Loudoun Times.

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