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WHEREAS, Thomas Jefferson, America’s first epicurean and wine aficionado, and he is widely known as the father of American wine; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia wine industry has grown from six wineries in 1979 to more than 280 wineries today and now ranks sixth in the country in wine grape production; and
WHEREAS, the grace, grit and experimental spirit embodied by our wine, is also reflected in our people; and
WHEREAS, Virginia harvests 8,500 tons of wine grapes with a total crop value of $17.8 million; and
WHEREAS, Virginia wineries and related businesses contribute over 8,218 full-time equivalent jobs to the Commonwealth, and over $94 million in taxes; and
WHEREAS, more than 2.2 million people visit Virginia wineries annually, and during Virginia Wine Month, guests can enjoy drinking more of Virginia’s wines at restaurants and purchasing them at local wine shops around the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, Virginia wineries and all agencies of Virginia state government recommend that wine consumption be done safely and responsibly;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam do hereby recognize October 2018 as VIRIGNIA WINE MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.