Stigma, Bias and Choice: Tasting Blind at RdV Vineyards

The Armchair Sommelier

“The biggest challenge we face is overcoming the stigma of Virginia wine.”  ~ Rutger de Vink, RdV Vineyards

I’ve been visiting Virginia wineries and tasting Virginia wines for over two decades.  And I wish I could tell you that’s the first (or even the 31st) time I’ve heard that.  As an evangelist for Virginia wines, I don’t like it, but that doesn’t make it any less true.  There is a stigma surrounding Virginia wines.

Twenty (even fifteen) years ago, I’d visit a Virginia winery and pass altogether on the red wines. Because (how to put this delicately) they weren’t good.  By way of illustration, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Virginia Meritage wines (Bordeaux style blends) were earning scores in the mid to high 70s from Wine Spectator (WS is by no means the absolute arbiter on whether a wine is good, but it does illustrate a generalized trend).  By 2005, those scores started to…

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