Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace (AVA)
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“What’s in a name?” asked William Shakespeare. In the case of one Virginia AVA, the name has meant plenty … of controversy. Two names were proposed for the Northern Neck of George Washington Birthplace appellation before it gained AVA status in 1987. The final decision was to combine both names, but the name disappeared from labels, since consumers found it too long and confusing. The appellation encompasses the most northern of Virginia’s peninsulas or ‘necks’ jutting into Chesapeake Bay. It hosts two wineries - with another near completion - and more than a dozen vineyards. Bordered on the east by Chesapeake Bay, the region is flanked by the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers north and south, and in the west by the King George /Stafford County border. With only 10-20 miles separating the rivers at any point, the climactic key is proximity to water, which means less temperature variation, a milder winter and more frost-free days than most of mainland Virginia. Both vinefera and French-American hybrids are grown, with Chardonnay and red Bordeaux varietals enjoying much of the spotlight.

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The AppellationAmerica database identifies 11 wines labeled with the Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace designation.

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