The Virginia wine industry combines agriculture with rich historical roots and now spans across the entire state with over 300 wineries.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, October 28, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — Ivy Life & Style Media, publishers of Wine & Country Life, is pleased to share a variety of local wine content in recognition of Virginia Wine Month, including an authoritative guide to the state’s best Cabernet Franc, a new “Meet the Winemaker” series and an in-depth profile on Gabriele Rausse, considered the father of the modern wine movement in the region. The Virginia wine industry combines agriculture with rich historical roots and now spans across the entire state. Virginia is home to 10 wine regions, which include more than 300 wineries and over 4,000 acres of grapes.

Wine & Country Life magazine’s “Meet the Winemaker” series highlights the top crafters of some of the Commonwealth’s best wines and the artisans who give voice to the terroir of the Commonwealth. The series includes Kirsty Harmon of Blenheim Vineyards (yes, the vineyard founded by Dave Matthews!), Rutger de Vink of Rdv Vineyards and the following:

Nathan Vrooman of Ankida Ridge Vineyards
The son of Ankida Ridge’s owners Christine and Dennis Vrooman, Nathan Vrooman traded his mutual funds officer position in Colorado for a vital part in the family’s business. Devoted to crafting Virginia’s finest wines, he ensures that all wines are made on-site in French oak barrels, creating a beautiful tribute to the quality of Virginia produce and craftsmanship.

Stephen Barnard of Keswick Vineyards
Currently the president of the Monticello Wine Trail, Stephen Barnard began his winemaking journey at the oldest winery in South Africa. He has since helped Keswick Vineyards bring home an impressive list of awards over the last 15 years.

Kirsty Harmon of Blenheim Vineyards
Rock and roll front man, Dave Matthews of the Dave Matthews Band once said, “…my response to being overpaid is that I should pay it back to my community in some way.” By establishing Blenheim Vineyards and hiring rock star winemaker Kirsty Harmon, he definitely has. Although Harmon is, in most respects, a traditional winemaker, her vast scientific background allows her to maintain better control over some of the more technical aspects of the winemaking process.

Gabriele Rausse, Father of Virginia’s Vineyards
Considered the father of Virginia wine, Rausse has been instrumental in the development of the modern Virginia wine movement since the 1970s, when he helped choose a site for Barboursville Vineyards with the Zonins and the Virginia wine industry began to take root. His career has culminated in a role at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, where as the Director of Gardens and Grounds he oversees the vegetable gardens, orchards and woodlands, as well as the vineyards that replicate some of the varietals planted by Jefferson in 1807.

Wine & Country Life is proud to announce the recent addition of wine experts Erin Scala, Richard Leahy and Frank Morgan to their team of regular contributors. Each is well known for their extensive knowledge of wine and in particular, Virginia wines. They all frequently write, participate in speaking engagements and judge at high-level wine competitions. Scala is the owner of In Vino Veritas Fine Wines in Keswick, and the sommelier at Common House in downtown Charlottesville. Leahy is the author of “Beyond Jefferson’s Vines: The Evolution of Quality Wine in Virginia”, now in its third edition. He works with numerous wineries, associations and state agencies, and is the Conference Manager for the largest wine industry trade show on the East Coast, the Eastern Winery Exposition. Founder of, Morgan is also the wine columnist for VA Growler Magazine and The Virginian-Pilot online. He contributes to Piedmont Virginian Magazine, Savor Virginia Magazine, edibleDC, Snooth and PBS.

To learn more about Virginia wine, including artisan profiles, special experiences, pairings tips and much more, visit Wine & Country Life.

For a list of special events and happenings this Virginia Wine Month, including harvest parties, tasting dinners and more, visit the Wine & Country Events Calendar.

For more information, interviews and professional images, please email co-Publisher Jennifer Bryerton at [email protected], or call us at 434-984-4713.

From Ivy Life & Style Media, founded in 1998, publishers of Wine & Country Life, a semi-annual luxury magazine of Life & Style in Virginia wine country, Wine & Country Wedding Planner, an annual art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Virginia, and CharlottesvilleFamily Life & Home Magazine, a bi-monthly parenting magazine. ​​

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