The rapid growth of Virginia’s vibrant wine industry has made it one of the fastest-growing agricultural sectors in the Commonwealth. Sales of Virginia wine hit a record high in fiscal-year 2016, with 6.6 million bottles sold, generating an economic impact of $1.37 billion.
Here are five statistics that illustrate how Loudoun County contributes to that success:
- 44 of Virginia’s 280 wineries (16 percent) are in Loudoun – the most of any county in the Commonwealth;
- Loudoun comprises just 1 percent of the land in Virginia, but our 738 acres of vines grow 19 percent of Virginia’s wine grapes;
- 1,387 tons of grapes were harvested in Loudoun last year;
- Loudoun County’s annual grape harvest is valued at more than $2 million;
- Loudoun County’s annual wine production is valued at $36 million.
And it isn’t quantity over quality. This February, The Barns at Hamilton Vineyards became Loudoun’s first overall winner in the 2017 Governor’s Cup Wine Competition:
— Loudoun Biz (@LoudounBiz) February 22, 2017
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) February 22, 2017
Five Loudoun wines from three wineries were among the 23 gold medal awardees in the competition, beating out a field of 494 entries from 102 wineries. These are just a few of Loudoun’s latest U.S. and international wine awards.
This didn’t happen by accident. The Loudoun Department of Economic Development, along with the private sector, laid a foundation 20 years ago to grow Loudoun’s agriculture and rural economy. The county’s elected officials put money and staff behind it, and continue to support us to this day.
People ask us all the time, “How many wineries are enough wineries for Loudoun County?” We don’t know, because we’re not there yet. Every winery that we talk to says that they’re growing year over year and we’re adding new wineries year over year. That didn’t happen by accident. We’re planning for agriculture.
For any questions about bringing a wine or agriculture-related business to Loudoun County, call 1-800-LOUDOUN.