Welcome to Virginia Peninsula, the newest appellation in Virginia and a nested American Viticultural Area (AVA).

Welcome to Virginia Peninsula, the newest appellation in Virginia and a nested American Viticultural Area (AVA). An AVA is a geographically defined grape-growing zone with boundaries determined by the U.S. government. Drawn to reflect the region’s subtropical climate and extended growing season in addition to maritime features that impact the topography, Virginia Peninsula is the eighth federally recognized winegrowing region in Virginia. The Virginia Peninsula AVA was granted approval by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau that was published in the Federal Register on Aug. 25, 2021 and went into effect on Sept. 24, 2021.

The 673,059-acre Virginia Peninsula encompasses the counties of James City, York, New Kent and Charles City in addition to the cities of Poquoson, Hampton, Newport News and Williamsburg. Bound by the James and York Rivers, the narrow AVA is roughly 50 miles in length and varies from 5 to 15 miles in width. The distinguishing features of the Virginia Peninsula AVA include its subtropical climate; moderate to mild winters; weather-related challenges relating to the humid temperatures and frequent raining during harvest season; and topsoil with an underlying bedrock primarily comprised of sandstone, marine vessels and clay. These soils are conducive to viticulture.

Six wineries — Williamsburg Winery, New Kent Winery, Upper Shirley Vineyards, Saudé Creek Vineyards, Gauthier Vineyard and Jolene Family Winery — fall within the Virginia Peninsula AVA.

A variety of wine types and styles are produced within the Virginia Peninsula AVA. Among them: classic vinifera grapes— Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling and Viognier among them and the more obscure vinifera grapes, such as Tannat, Petite Verdot and Petit Manseng. Hybrid varieties—including Norton, Chambourcin and Vidal Blanc—thrive throughout the region as well.

The other seven AVAs that call Virginia home are Middleburg, Monticello, Shenandoah Valley, North Fork of Roanoke, Rocky Knob, Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace and Eastern Shore.


Tractor at Williamsburg Winery hauling grapes

Williamsburg Winery

At the Wessex Hundred farm, nestled in 400 acres of woods, fields, gardens and vineyards, you’ll find one of the Commonwealth’s most storied wineries that is a pioneer in Virginia winemaking.


New Kent Winery

Unparalleled southern hospitality defines this family-owned and operated farm winery and brewery that welcomes wine enthusiasts and beer lovers.


New Kent Winery exterior

Saude Creek Vineyards aerial

Saudé Creek Vineyards

Spectacular defines the view from the top of the hill that is home to this winery overlooking the Pamunkey River. Sip on a bottle of wine while relaxing on one of Saudé Creek’s decks, patios and firepits.


Upper Shirley Vineyards

The wine lifts your spirits, and the scenery snags your breath at this bucolic riverside estate just 30 minutes from Richmond. The gentle breeze and Tidewater’s rich soil nourish the fruits of labor spread among 22 acres.


Upper Shirley Vineyards

Gauthier Vineyard sunset

Gauthier Vineyard

Two retired Navy captains own this working farm, world-class equestrian center, vineyard and winery in New Kent County near the intersection of the Lafayette and Washington-Rochambeau trails to Yorktown.


Jolene Family Winery

This farm winery right off Pocahontas Trail overlooks 18-acre Tom Brooks Lake on one side and the vineyard on another. Three siblings inherited this scenic property and combined the first names of their parents, Joseph and Helene, to name it.


Jolene Family Winery salsa night