Stephan Heyns, the winemaker at Crosskeys Winery in Mount Crawford, says wineries in the Valley are thriving.
"Every year we've had increases in sales," says Heyns. "A lot more people are showing up, people are starting to know more about us, which is good. It's good for business; it's also good for the community. It just shows you a lot more people are coming out and supporting Virginia wine; a lot more local people, which is what you want. You want your local community supporting you."
Wineries also welcome many tourists this time of year.
Sally McGrogan, visiting from North Carolina, thinks wineries are a great option for folks penny pinching in a tough economy.
"Wine is a very affordable product," says McGrogan. "People are going out to dinner less and less, so just being able to bring home a bottle of wine and drink it with your friends is a real perk."
Heyns says he also thinks simple economics has helped wineries.
"A lot of people like to come out and buy their wine instead of going to a restaurant and having a meal," he says. "They might go get a bottle of wine; maybe sit out and have a picnic."
While many crops suffered from the extremely dry conditions this year, Heyns says it was perfect for winemaking. He says the dry weather enhances the fruity flavor of the grapes, which means wine drinkers can look forward to tasty wine next year.
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