Back to Proclamations

Proclamation Header Image

By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Monticello AVA - Wine Region of the Year

WHEREAS, Virginia, rich with history, is the birthplace of American wine with the practice of winemaking credited to centuries of Virginians cultivating grape vines and producing unrivaled wines – from the Jamestown settlers to the Founding Fathers to the innovators of today; and

WHEREAS, in 1818, Thomas Jefferson – Founding Father and third president of the United States – stated that “in nothing have the habits of the palate more decisive influence than in our relish of wines;”

WHEREAS, upon Thomas Jefferson’s vision and inspiration of grape growing and winemaking, a superior American Viticultural Area (AVA), Monticello, was built some 200 years later on the eastern slopes and rolling countryside of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Central Virginia producing outstanding and award-winning varietals; and

WHEREAS, in 1984, upon the proposal of the Jeffersonian Wine Grape Grower’s Society (JWGGS), the Monticello AVA was established based on its name recognition, the historical significance of its boundaries, and most importantly, its fertile geographical features; and

WHEREAS, surrounding the City of Charlottesville in Albemarle County, the historic wine region of Monticello is the Commonwealth’s oldest AVA harvesting approximately 30 varieties of grapes most notably Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and Viognier; and

WHEREAS, today, the Monticello Wine Trail, a subset of the JWGGS, is an active association of wineries, all within 25 miles of Charlottesville, each honored to play a part in fulfilling Thomas Jefferson’s dream of producing wines of state, national, and international acclaim; and

WHEREAS, the more than 40 wineries on the Monticello Wine Trail offer a deep historic significance and winemaking heritage, lush vineyard views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and a people who embody the grace, grit, and experiential spirit of our Virginia wine; and

WHEREAS, more than two million people from around the world visit Virginia wineries each year to toast the local bounty of our region and enjoy the Commonwealth’s winemaking heritage; and

WHEREAS, Wine Enthusiast Magazine is an esteemed, internationally recognized wine publication, and 2023 marks the 24th anniversary of the magazine’s Wine Star Awards; and

WHEREAS, honoring centuries of Virginia winemaking and recognizing the high level of quality achieved by the Monticello AVA, the category of 2023 Top Wine Region has been awarded to Monticello AVA by the magazine’s executive media team over four other distinguished 2023 nominees including Lambrusco, Italy; Provence, France; Swartland, South Africa; and, Victoria, Australia;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize MONTICELLO AVA as WINE REGION OF THE YEAR in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.