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A newly released economic impact study shows that Virginia’s burgeoning wine industry contributes $747 million annually to Virginia’s economy, an increase of 106 percent over the figures from the last economic impact study conducted in 2005.

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The 2010 Economic Impact Study of Wine and Wine Grapes on the Commonwealth of Virginia, which was completed by Frank, Rimmerman + Co., a nationally recognized accounting and consulting firm that specializes in the wine industry studies, was commissioned by the Virginia Wine Board (VWB) and completed in January 2011.  It is the first economic impact study of the Virginia wine industry since 2005.  That report showed that the Virginia wine industry employed just over 3,100 people and contributed more than $360 million to the Virginia economy on an annual basis.  The study reflected the impact of approximately 130 wineries in 2005.

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In comparing the figures from 2005 and 2010, the full economic impact of wine and wine grapes on the Virginia economy has more than doubled, from $362 million to $747 million, a 106 percent increase.  The number of wineries increased from 129 in 2005 to 193 in 2010, a 49 percent increase.  The number of full-time equivalent jobs at wineries and vineyards rose from 3,162 to 4,753, a 50 percent increase, and wages from jobs at wineries and vineyards increased from $84 million to $156 million, an 86 percent increase, during the same time period.

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Air Force to Cut 10,000 Airmen, Shift Aircraft WASHINGTON (AP) - The Air Force says it will cut the service by nearly 10,000 ...

Indian Rosé

Ohio St. Defends Meyer's Recruiting Tactics COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith has jumped to the ...

Indian Sauvignon Blanc

The Super Bowl offers a simple proposition: There are two teams; you pick one and root for it. When it comes to food and wine, however, the typical Super Bowl party is a free-for-all.

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RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s growing wine industry seems to be bearing fruit, according to an economic impact study released by Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office Thursday.

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Between 2005 and 2010, the wine industry’s economic impact has more than doubled to nearly $750 million in contributions to the state’s economy every year. During that time, the number of wineries has increased from about 130 to nearly 200 and the number of full-time jobs at wineries and vineyards rose from about 3,160 in 2005 to more than 4,750 in 2010.

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Sales of Virginia wine also increased more than 11 percent in fiscal year 2011 to a record high of more than more than 5.5 million bottles sold.

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The Hickinbotham Vineyard at Clarendon, the source of some of Australia’s finest Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, now has an American owner. Jackson Family Wines has announced its purchase of the 445-acre McLaren Vale property. The sale comprises 207 planted acres on rolling hillsides, some steep and wooded, and two architecturally significant homes. Although no purchase price was announced, industry sources estimate it was more than $10 million.

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“It says something that an iconic American wine company wants to have a stake in Australia and in the Clarendon Hills,” said David Hickinbotham, who managed the family vineyard. The family put it up for sale after the death in 2010 of Alan Hickinbotham, David’s father, who bought the estate several decades ago and greatly expanded the plantings. “We had six offerings and we all agreed that this was the best fit,” David told Wine Spectator .

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Although grapes from the vineyard have found their way into such iconic wines as Penfolds Grange and Hardys Eileen Hardy, the Clarendon Hills winery most famously put a spotlight on it. Proprietor Roman Bratasiuk, who labeled single-vineyard Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings as Hickinbotham Vineyard, will continue to have rights to the same portions of the vineyard under terms of the sale to Jackson. “They didn’t have to do that,” Hickinbotham noted, “but they agreed to honor what was a handshake agreement for the past 15 years.” Jackson’s portfolio of high-end wine brands, mostly in California, also includes Yangarra Park, a 420-acre wine estate less than two miles from Clarendon. Yangarra winemaker Peter Fraser will make the Clarendon wines in that facility, which was modernized in 2009.

Indian Rosé



Wines from Eastern Europe (from left): 2009 Khvanchka from Georgia, 2009 GrŸner Veltliner from Austria and a 2009 Zweigelt from Austria.

Chenin Blanc India

Food trend watchers say Eastern European cuisine is poised for big success this year, so raise a glass of kékfrankos to goulash, pour a blatina with roast pork and pair a sweet rkatsiteli with walnut torte.

Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (dessert Wine) India

Chefs may venture into the cuisines of Hungary, Romania, Slovenia and other eastern European countries in 2012, but will diners continue on to the region's little-known wines? Hungarian food blogger Suzanne Urpecz says she hopes so.

Indian Cabernet Shiraz



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