Nelson Co, VA - If you're looking for an excuse to explore Virginia's wineries, here's one. October is Virginia Wine Month.
This is the 24th year the Virginia Tourism Association has designated October as Virginia Wine Month. But they're hoping this year will have the most success.
With the busy harvest season wine-ding down, Nelson County's tourist season is cranking up.
The manager of Wintergreen Winery's tasting room says October is by far their busiest month of the year. They're celebrating with special discounts and gifts, a picnic by the river, and cheese and wine pairings.
At the Flying Fox Vineyard, you can catch tastings seven days a week.
"We are open every day for October. Usually during the year it's just Friday, Saturday, Sunday," explained Jane Zieman.
And it isn't just wine they're showcasing. They're selling paintings by local artists, as well.
"We change them out about once a quarter. And it's just a win-win situation for both of us," Zieman said, pointing to the colorful paintings that adorn the tasting room's back wall.
She and her husband moved from Minnesota nine years ago to help get the family vineyard off the ground.If anyone knows the importance of tourism, it's them.
"As we say, we are the small ones on the block," Zieman said.
They're part of the Nelson County 151 Trail, which includes seven wineries, three breweries, and hard cider plant. This month, they are all hoping the end of harvest season means the beginning of a great tourist season.
"Increased sales and just getting our names out there some more," Zieman adds.
For an entire list of the events, go to Nelson County's website.