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Experience the LOVE of Virginia

Whole Foods Market Develops a "Crush" on October Virginia Wine Month

-New partnership will feature in-store wine tastings, expanded Virginia wine selection and chance to win a trip on the Virginia Crush Bus-

RICHMOND, Va. (September 26, 2012) - Virginia is a Commonwealth of wine, with more than 200 wineries statewide.  Wine is so big that the entire month of October is dedicated as Virginia Wine Month.  This fall, Whole Foods Market is joining with the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Wine Marketing Office for a special October Virginia Wine Month: Discover Your Local Crush promotion. 

The Whole Foods Market Virginia stores will feature special Virginia wine tasting events, an expanded Virginia wine selection, in-store travel offers, and a chance to win a day-trip on the Virginia Crush Bus at www.Virginia.org/VaCrushBus.

The new partnership is a first for Virginia, which is gaining ground as one of the hottest wine travel destinations on the East Coast. 

2012 marks the 24th annual October Virginia Wine Month celebration, with special events at wineries, restaurants, hotels and wine bars as well as dozens of wine festivals found in each region of Virginia.  The event coincides with fall harvest and Virginia fall foliage season.

"October is one of the most beautiful times to visit Virginia, as 15 million acres of foliage burst into color and we celebrate Virginia Wine Month," said Rita McClenny, interim president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation.  "We are excited about this partnership with Whole Foods Market as it has great potential to encourage their customers to visit Virginia wineries this fall."

"Through promotions such as this, Virginia wines and wineries are becoming less of an insider's secret. With the caliber of the wines and the stunning beauty of Virginia's scenic wineries, this region is fast becoming one of the most talked about up-and-coming wine regions," said Todd Haymore, Secretary of Virginia Agriculture and Forestry.

The Discover Your Local Crush at Whole Foods Market promotion will include the following exciting events and opportunities for customers:

Expanded Selection of Virginia Wines - The Virginia Wine Marketing Office partnered with Whole Foods Market to create a new selection of more than a dozen different Virginia wines which will be available for purchase at Virginia stores throughout October.

Virginia Wine Tour Dates - Whole Foods Market stores have created a special Virginia Wine Tour schedule that will feature Virginia wine makers doing tasting events at store locations throughout October. 

Special In-StoreTravel Offer - People who love wine will have more incentive to visit Virginia wineries during October Virginia Wine Month.  Every bottle of Virginia wine sold in Virginia Whole Foods Market stores will be marked with a special offer, redeemable for a free Virginia is for Wine Lovers gift at select Virginia wineries during October.

Win a Day-Trip on the Virginia Crush Bus - Whole Foods Market fans can enter to win a day-trip for two on the Virginia Crush Bus.  Virginia is giving away two day-trip excursions for up to 12 winners each - one to Loudoun County: DC's Wine Country and another to wineries along the Monticello Wine Trail in the Charlottesville/Albemarle County area.  Visit www.Virginia.org/VaCrushBus and enter to win by October 20, 2012.  See the site for specific rules and details.

Virginia is home to more than 200 wineries and vineyards, seven American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), nearly two dozen wine trails and rates fifth in the nation for wine grape production.  Just this year, Wine Enthusiast magazine named Virginia one of the 10 best wine travel destinations for 2012, noting the state's picturesque pastoral landscapes and affable winemakers set Virginia apart as an excellent wine destination on the East Coast.                                                                                                                                                             
"Loudoun County is pleased to welcome visitors to DC's Wine Country this fall.  With more than 30 wineries and growing, the winners of the day-trip to Loudoun will discover wine touring in our region and we hope will be inspired to come back and experience a weekend getaway in DC's Wine Country," Patrick Kaler, President & CEO, Visit Loudoun.

"We are thrilled that Charlottesville and Albemarle County have been chosen as a destination for one of the Virginia Crush Bus day-trips," says Kurt Burkhart, Executive Director of the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau.  "There are some thirty wineries in a 30-mile radius around Charlottesville (that is one for each day in October!) and we know the winners will have a wonderful time exploring our area, meeting our passionate winemakers and tasting their award-winning wines."


Visit www.Virginia.org/wine to learn more about wine travel in Virginia.  Go to www.VirginiaWine.org to request a free, 2012 Virginia Wine Guide and map and see a complete list of Virginia wineries, wine varietals and more on the Virginia wine industry.

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