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Monroe Bay Vineyard Expands Winer Operations And Production Center In Westmoreland County, Virginia

02/03/2016
Monroe Bay Vineyard will expand the operations and production center at its farm winery in Colonial Beach, Virginia. The company will invest more than $385,000 to build a tasting room and production facility for its wine and hard cider operations.

Established in 2013, Monroe Bay Vineyard produces wine and hard cider next to James Monroe’s birthplace in Westmoreland County. The company will expand its existing vineyard and orchard, working directly with Virginia producers to grow more than $1.4 million in grapes, apples and other fruit, or approximately 84 percent of its total agriculture needs, over the next five years. This expansion will enable the company to dramatically increase production of its wines and hard ciders.

Kiki Apple, Owner of Monroe Bay Vineyard, added, “We are honored to have the funding to bring our dream of a tasting room on the Monroe Bay to reality. We are the first winery on the Northern Neck to offer hard apple cider in addition to our wines. Being located on the land of James Monroe Birthplace Farm, our goal is to restore it back to a working orchard, and we have already planted ‘Virginia Hughes Crab’ apples in the orchard – the same variety James Monroe grew and loved.”

In addition, Monroe Bay Vineyard will purchase more than $1.4 million in Virginia-grown grapes, apples and other fruit over the next five years. This is the first economic development announcement in Westmoreland County during Governor McAuliffe’s administration and the first Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development facility grant announcement for the county.

The state’s First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe said, “Connecting locally grown food with locally produced wines and ciders, along with craft beer and distilled spirits, represents a huge opportunity to further leverage Virginia’s culinary resources for tourism and economic impact. High quality products, like the ones Monroe Bay Vineyard is producing, contribute significantly to growing the new Virginia economy, and I am pleased that customers across the region will have access to these Virginia-grown products.”

“This expansion for Monroe Bay Vineyard represents another step forward for Virginia as we cement our reputation as key players in the nation’s wine and cider sectors,” said Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore. “Virginia wine sales are up by more 25 percent since 2010, and sales of Virginia cider increased more than 200 percent from 2014 to 2015. Indeed, these craft beverages and others are contributing positively to cities and rural communities across the Commonwealth, adding to the Governor’s call to build a new Virginia economy. I am pleased that the AFID fund was able to support this project, the first economic development announcement in Westmoreland since April 2013.”

The Commonwealth is partnering with the Northern Neck Planning District Commission, Westmoreland County and Monroe Bay Vineyard on this project through the Governor’s AFID Fund, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Governor McAuliffe approved a $30,000 grant from the AFID Fund to assist with the project, which Westmoreland County is matching with local grant funds.

"The Northern Neck Planning District Commission is delighted for the strong support of the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund for a winery and cidery facility in Westmoreland County,” said Jerry W. Davis, Executive Director of the Northern Neck Planning District Commission. “The Northern Neck Economic Development Plan identifies small business growth and entrepreneurship as priorities for the region, along with continued support of the tourism sector and products made in the Northern Neck. Small businesses such as Monroe Bay Vineyard continue the Northern Neck's agricultural tradition, provide places of interest for visitors, and augment existing efforts to brand the Northern Neck as a heritage area."

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