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WHEREAS, centuries of Virginians have cultivated their grape vines and produced matchless wines, from the founding fathers to the entrepreneurs of today; and
WHEREAS, the grace, grit, and experimental spirit embodied by our wine is also reflected in our people; and
WHEREAS, a small, eclectic group of pioneering Virginia winemakers chose to build up viticulture in the Commonwealth in the 1970s, despite the skepticism of the global wine community; and
WHEREAS, fifty years later, the Virginia wine industry has grown from six wineries in 1979 to more than 300 wineries today and now ranks sixth in the country in wine grape production; and
WHEREAS, Virginia harvests over 4,000 acres with nearly 7,400 tons of wine grapes equating to a total crop value of $16.6 million; and
WHEREAS, Virginia wineries and related businesses contribute over 8,200 full-time equivalent jobs to the Commonwealth, and over $94 million in tax revenues; and
WHEREAS, more than two million two hundred thousand people visit Virginia wineries annually; and
WHEREAS, during Virginia Wine Month, guests can enjoy drinking Virginia wines at restaurants while following current safety and social distancing guidelines and purchase them at local wine shops around the Commonwealth;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize October 2020 as VIRGINIA WINE MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.