The Middleburg Virginia AVA encompasses approximately 200 square miles in Loudoun and Fauquier Counties, and becomes the seventh TTB-recognized AVA in Virginia.
The Middleburg, VA, AVA is located 50 miles west of Washington, DC and encompasses the Town of Middleburg. The AVA is bounded by the Potomac River to the north and mountains to the east, south and west. The proposed viticultural area covers 121,600 acres and contains 229 acres of commercial vineyards and 24 wineries.
The AVA is comprised of Purcellville, Tankerville, Philomont and Middleburg soils, considered among the best in this region of Virginia, the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province, for growing wine grapes as they are lower in natural fertility and in available water capacity. These soils are underlain dominantly by fractured granites and gneisses intruded with occasional greenstone dyke.
The region is cooler than Virginia's other AVA's, which presents a major benefit. Perennial soft breezes coming from 1,027 ft Ashby Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains dissipates morning fog, lessens the effect of frost and reduces the incidence of mildew during the growing season of April through October. Ashby Gap also lies between Middleburg Virginia AVA and the Shennandoah Valley (VA) AVA to the west.
Illustration by Robert Eversole
Since Thomas Jefferson first tried to cultivate European vinifera in Virginia, the state has been a decided piece of American wine country. Over the years better knowledge, equipment and materials have all contributed to an advancing wine industry, but the more recent decade or two has brought out the real potential that can be found.
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