It was the summer of 2003 a family trip to Williamsburg VA and the surrounding area with friends.   We enjoyed wine and this was before my journey into the wine industry.   I own a travel agency thats focus is on sending people to various wine regions throughout the world, so when I am in an area and there are wineries I try to visit a few,  even with young kids in tow.  (Kids are now 17 and 19)

Our first stop on this family vacation was Bush Gardens.  You can see here how Michael and Melanie began their introduction into the wine industry, hard at work stomping on those grapes.  They thought it was all fun and games.

After the fun at Bush Gardens there was some history to be seen.  A stop at Monticello (Thomas Jefferson’s home) led us to the Jefferson Vineyards.  Then to First Colony Winery.  We arrived at First Colony Winery with our two young kids at the same time as a rather distinguished look couple who shot us a “I can’t believe you are bringing children to a winery” look .  The owner Randy was very welcoming even to our kids and took the 4 of us and the distinguished looking couple on a tour of his new winery.  At the end of the tour he asked if we had any questions.  My son raised his hand and asked “How do you know when the grapes are ready to be picked.”  That was a great question said Randy and now the distinguished looking couple were at ease with my children.  After the tour we went in for a tasting and as you can see, my kids sat down and amused themselves playing cards, while us adults tasted and we chatted with the distinguished couple.

Now 7 years later Virginia has a booming wine industry.  I am looking forward to attending the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference this week.  God willing I will be there.  Hopefully I will get up to First Colony Winery and see how they’ve grown in the past 7 years.

I’ll be driving down I81 – anyone have any good suggestions on where I can stop on the way to taste?

Here is a look at the VA Wine Industry today.