The Washington Post

Virginia wineries report record sales in 2012

Full barrels of wine at a winery purchased by Jean Case and her husband, AOL's Steve Case, on December 2, 2011, in Madison, VA. (Jahi Chikwendiu/WASHINGTON POST)

Virginia is for lovers — of wine.

Wineries in the commonwealth are reporting record sales in fiscal year 2012. Gov. Robert F. McDonnell on Monday announced sales of almost 485,000 cases of wine last year, compared to 477,000 in fiscal year 2011, which set the previous record.

The Virginia Wine Marketing Office also reports exports of wine from the commonwealth more than tripled, with a significant portion of international sales in China and Britain.

Virginia boasts more than 230 wineries, the fifth highest number among wine-growing states, and also ranks fifth in wine grape production. The wine industry is also a tourist draw, with 1.6 million visitors to Virginia wineries in 2011.

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