The Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau (CACVB) is thrilled to announce that the Charlottesville area and the Monticello American Viticultural Area (AVA) in Virginia have won Wine Region of the Year in Wine Enthusiast’s 2023 Wine Star Awards. The Charlottesville area was just one of five wine regions nominated around the world for this prestigious award and was the only nominee located in North America. Wine Enthusiast’s executive media team made its winning selections based on many factors, including impact on consumers and trade in the wine space, company or brand vision, and trendsetting. The Wine Star Awards celebrate the innovation of individuals and entities that have significantly contributed to the success of the wine and alcoholic beverage world.
The region’s history with wine dates to the days of Thomas Jefferson, who believed Charlottesville and Albemarle County’s terroir to be ideal for growing grapevines. While Jefferson’s intuition about the land was correct, the varieties of grapes he chose were not. After several failed grape-growing experiments at Jefferson’s mountaintop home of Monticello, the region did not see successful vineyard ventures until the mid-1970s, when winemakers began experimenting with grapes better suited for the land. Since that time, the Monticello Wine Trail was created and has flourished, currently boasting more than 40 vineyards within a 25-mile radius of Charlottesville. The Monticello Wine Trail regularly receives major accolades in the annual Virginia Governor’s Cup wine competition and in 2023, won nearly half of all the gold medals awarded.
“Words cannot express my excitement on behalf of our community, our wineries and the CACVB,” said Courtney Cacatian, Executive Director of the CACVB. “I am beyond thrilled that our high-quality wines and our approach of collaboration, inclusivity and welcoming has won us this recognition on a global stage. We look forward to welcoming visitors from all over the world to taste our wine.”
“For more than 40 years it has been the goal of grape growers and winemakers in the Monticello AVA to show the world the quality of wine that we can produce here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains,” said George Hodson, CEO of Veritas Vineyard and Winery. “We are dynamic, creative, cooperative and inclusive and those things have led us to quickly progress in the quality of our winemaking and grape growing. We truly believe that this is just the beginning of the recognition that our grape growers and winemakers deserve. We are grateful for the cooperation and support of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the commitment that we have from the administration and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.”