Celebrate American winemaking roots with Virginia Dare wines.

Virginia Dare wines first came to fruition in North Carolina on the grounds of the state’s first commercial winery, Merdoc Vineyard. Two brothers purchased the vineyard in 1865 and began producing Virginia Dare wines, named for the first child of English lineage born on American soil — in the lost colony of Roanoke. With the start of Prohibition in 1919, the Garrett brothers were forced to move operations, first to New York and then to California, where the business evolved into the Virginia Dare Winery. It was one of the first wineries to sell wine after the repeal in 1933 and was considered a booming business for much of the late ’40s and ’50s

Now, having been revitalized by the famed Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Sonoma County, California, the Virginia Dare label celebrates its American roots and the country’s rich winemaking history. Since its resurrection in 2014, the label has introduced four new wines, all tied to the legend of Virginia Dare — who is said to have been raised by Croatan Indians, turned into a magical white doe as a young woman, and upon death by a hunter’s arrow, turned America’s wine grapes red.

Manteo — a robust blend of syrah, petite verdot, cabernet sauvignon, and petite sirah — is named for the Croatan chief who swore to protect the young girl while acting as a liaison between the colonists and Native Americans ($27). 

For more information on Virginia Dare wines, visit their website.

From the July 2017 issue.

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