Friday, July 25, 2008

Virginia wine sales numbers steadily climbing

Thanks to the Virginia Wine Marketing Office -- through figures made available by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) , here are the figures on sales from the first five months of 2008. This actually was in response to a question about how much the economny might be affecting wine sales in the state. What I don't have is a comparison, say, to the past two years at the same time.

Month VA Wine Sold VA Wine Sold
by Distributor by Wineries
January 9,437 6,156

February 9,332 9,782
March 11,100 10,161
April 12,374 16,685
May 14,848 22,043

Visitors welcome, but Paradocx tours on horizon

Work continues on putting the finishing touches on the new tasting room at Paradocx Vineyard in Landenberg, Pa. Melinda Sebastian, working in the tasting room at The Shoppes at Longwood Village, in Kennett Square, said yesterday she expects at some point that tours will begin at the winery. The room opened June 20.

Sebastian said it’s too early to tell how much more business the first tasting room on the grounds of the winery is bringing in, but added that she has received a number of calls while working in Kennett Square asking for directions and times. Located at 1833 Flint Hill Road, the winery expects to use the room for other activities, including weddings, concerts and private parties. Hours currently are noon to 5, Saturday and Sunday. The winery is a member of the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail.

Commercially selling since 2004, Paradocx lists a mix of the expected (Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio) and the less expected (Viognier and a blend called Leverage, a blend of Cab Sauvignon, Cab Franc and Petite Verdot). Eight wines are featured on the winery’s PDX label; two others under the Fruit 52 label, along with a small supply of
Muscat Ottonel dessert wine. A total of 15 varieties are grown in the vineyard. It firsts tasting room was located on Route 52 in Fairville. That has since closed with the opening of the one at the winery.

You could write about its signature wine with a broad brush; its premium wine in a paint can was introduced last September and the uniqueness, sort of a takeoff on boxed wine, has made it an instant hit. The red and white table wine come in 3-liter bags that come housed inside a can. One hitch is duly noted on the winery’s
home page, asking customers who bought can of Barn Red prior to last Dec. 19 to inspect the bag and make sure it hasn’t expanded. Some apparently have caused bulges in the sides and lid of the fan. Customers are asked to return any bad ones for replacements.

Sebastian said one of her favorites is the viognier, which is fermented in stainless steel and rolls onto the tongue hints of apricots, peaches and blossoms. Finally, she doesn’t expect the 2006 Pinot Grigio to stay on the shelves very long. “Judging by the way people reacted to it last year, it should sell real well,” she said. “They really liked it.”