If you are that special breed of traveler who is a fan of Civil War history and wine tasting, the Virginia Wine Board and 23 Virginia wineries have got a regiment-sized diversion for you.
When your metal-detector starts to get heavy, or you’re just tired of playing another battlefield casualty, stop by a participating winery and sample one of the dozens of specially-labeled wines commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War and Emancipation. There are themes for everyone, from James River Cellar’s Monitor Vs. Virginia red, marking the famous ironclad battles, to Democracy Vineyards’ 2010 Emancipation Merlot in celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation, to Casanel Vineyards’ 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, which pays tribute to all the men and women on both sides who suffered and sacrificed so much for their cause.
To keep track of all the great wines and stories you’ll experience, the Virginia Wine Board has created a handy and detailed Virginia Sesquicentennial Winery Passport. This compact little book contains descriptions of all the featured vintages, descriptions of the battles and people commemorated, and a fold-out map with the locations of nearby Civil War sites. To make your visit complete your passport also leaves space for that all-important stamp.
While you still have several years to fill your Passport (and glass), this October is Virginia Wine Month, an ideal time to get started and “Find Your Perfect Crush”. Ask for Virginia wine at your favorite restaurant or visit a wine festival; chances are good there’s a Civil War site waiting to be explored just minutes away.