This news release is from the previous Governor's administration.
For Immediate Release: March 14, 2016
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, 804-225-4260, | Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office, Annette Boyd, 804-402-1896,

Governor McAuliffe Announces 4th Annual Virginia Wine Summit

~Wine Experts, Enthusiasts to Gather in April at Salamander Resort & Spa to Discuss Virginia’s Burgeoning Wine Industry~


RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced the fourth annual Virginia Wine Summit, to be held at the Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg on Tuesday, April 5, 2016.  The event will bring wine experts and industry leaders from around the country to discuss, taste, and celebrate Virginia’s wine and food culture.  Panels, tastings and discussions will be held throughout this day-long event, featuring remarks by keynote speaker Jon Bonné, one of the leading American voices writing about wine today.

Speaking about the Virginia Wine Summit, Governor McAuliffe commented, “We are pleased to host this annual event to showcase our world-class Virginia wines, and invite national and international opinion leaders to see and taste the recent developments in the Virginia wine industry.  The caliber of wines being produced in Virginia continues to rise, and it is an exciting time to be a part of this growing sector of Virginia’s diversified agricultural economy.” 

Bonné will be joined by some of the nation’s foremost and influential wine professionals, including:

  • Andy Chabot, Sommelier and Director of Food & Beverage, Blackberry Farm (Walland, Tenn.)
  • Belinda Chang, Director of Wine & Service, Maple & Ash (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Julie Dalton, Sommelier, Wit & Wisdom Tavern (Baltimore, Md.)
  • Fred Dexheimer, Master Sommelier (MS), Creator of Rx Wine Lab, POPUP Wine Bar (Durham, N.C.)
  • Anthony Giglio, Wine writer and personality (New York, N.Y.)
  • Helen Johannesen, Director of Operations and Wine Director, ANIMAL and Son of a Gun! (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • Jennifer Knowles, Sommelier and Wine & Beverage Director, The Jefferson Hotel and Plume Restaurant (Washington, D.C.)
  • Richard Leahy, Wine consultant and author (Charlottesville, Va.)
  • David Lynch, Contributing Editor, Bon Appetit and Owner & Wine Director, St. Vincent (San Francisco, Calif.)
  • Jack Mason, MS, Wine Director, Marta (New York, N.Y.)
  • Frank Morgan, Founder, Drink What You Like (Chesapeake, Va.)
  • Kathy Morgan, MS, Beverage Consultant (Washington, D.C.)
  • Andy Myers, MS, Wine Director, Think Food Group (Washington, D.C.)
  • Erik Segelbaum: Advanced Sommelier and Regional Wine Director, STARR Restaurants (Washington, D.C.)
  • Chris Tanghe, MS, Wine Portfolio Manager & Educator, Vinum Wine & Spirits Importing & Distributing (Seattle, Wash.)
  • Neal Wavra, Founder & Sommelier, FABLE Hospitality and Riverstead (Marshall, Va.)
  • Andy Wedge, Sommelier, Husk Nashville (Nashville, Tenn.)
  • Jay Youmans, MS, Educational Director, Capital Wine School (Washington, D.C.)

These esteemed wine professionals will join some of the most talented Virginia winemakers to discuss the regional and vintage differentiations that are continuing to raise the profile of the Virginia wine industry.  Experts will address an audience filled with restaurateurs, sommeliers, media, wine-shop owners, winemakers and other industry professionals.

“Virginia’s thriving wine industry, now the fifth largest in the country, continues on its path to prominence with increased sales and recognition, both nationally and internationally,” said Todd Haymore, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry.  “Governor McAuliffe continues his pledge to build on these achievements in the coming years as we work in partnership with our wineries and grape producers to build the new Virginia economy.”

Governor McAuliffe is making the continued growth and success of the Virginia wine industry a priority during his administration.  In addition to hosting the Virginia Wine Summit, the McAuliffe administration serves and promotes Virginia wines at the Executive Mansion, during business recruitment visits throughout Virginia, and on domestic and international trade and marketing missions, furthering the profile and recognition of the Virginia wine industry around the world.

The past few years have been an exciting time for Virginia wines, which have recently established a track record for being an outstanding example of the caliber of wines the East Coast can produce.  In addition to being the nation’s fifth largest wine producer, Virginia has been recognized regularly as one of the country’s most promising emerging wine regions.  The climate and soil of Virginia places its wines stylistically between the West Coast wine region and European neighbors to the east.  Virginia wines tend to be fruit forward like West Coast wines, but also embody higher acidity and balance, similar to European wines.

Virginia Wine Summit attendees will enjoy a lunch celebrating the food and wine of Virginia, courtesy of the Salamander Resort & Spa, as well as remarks from keynote speaker Jon Bonné and panel discussions throughout the day.

The Virginia Wine Summit will be held on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at the Salamander Resort & Spa in Middelburg.  Tickets to the day-long event, priced at $225, are open to the public and include entry to the lunch and post-summit reception.  To register for the event and for more information on panel topics, please visit

For more information about the Virginia wine industry, please visit the Virginia Wine Marketing Office's website at or call 804-344-8200.