Report: Virginia wineries are growing, adding more jobs

Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 3:53 PM EDT
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CROZET, Va. (WVIR) - A report from the Virginia Wine Board says wineries are contributing more than $1.7 billion to Virginia’s economy.

The board says the commonwealth also ranks at number 10 in the nation for wine production.

These growing numbers are causing some wineries to hire more people and increase production.

“We have seen some growth in the past couple of years,” James King, co-owner of King Family Vineyard, said. “We’re putting in five acres of grapes next spring and 25 acres over the next five years. So with vineyard expansion, you need more people.”

Also, more people are getting in on the wine-making process.

“When King family vineyards opened in 1998, or guess when we became an LLC, we were the seventy-first winery in the state. Today in 2022, there’s over 300 wineries. So over the last 10 to 15 years there’s been tremendous amount of growth. More people are taking the risk of getting in the Virginia wine industry to give it a shot,” King said.

King adds that one of the most important parts are the people: ”The vineyard crew that does 90% of the handwork in the vineyard to keep the vine viable and alive. They are the most important part of that whole pyramid of work that it takes to be able to make a bottle and so they are vital,” he said.

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