Virginia’s First Certified Organic Winery Opens for 2016 Season
By Neil Williamson
Albemarle County’s Loving Cup Winery has received official organic certification for their production facility. First opening their doors to the public in 2014, Loving Cup has maintained their vineyard’s organic certification since 2012, however, this marks the first time anyone has received an organic certification for a wine processing facility in the Commonwealth.
Before wine can be sold as organic, both the growing of the grapes and their conversion to wine must be certified. This includes making sure grapes are grown without synthetic pesticides and in a manner that protects the environment and preserves the soil. Other agricultural ingredients that go into the wine, such as yeast, also have to be certified organic.
Karl Hambsch, founder of Loving Cup Vineyard & Winery said, “After years of hard work, my family and I are very proud to now have both our vineyard and farm winery certified organic. We look forward to introducing the public to all that is possible with organically grown and produced wines”.
County Supervisor Ann Mallek stated, “Virginia Wine is one of the fastest growing sectors of agriculture in Albemarle County. We are blessed to have a large number of high quality wineries, including the 2016 Governor’s Cup Winner as active agribusinesses on the Monticello wine trail. I am excited that Loving Cup is breaking new ground as the State’s first certified organic winery. Their hard work and dedication contributes not only to our growing agriculture industry, but also towards a growing tourism industry and in turn Albemarle’s long term rural economic sustainability.”
Loving Cup Vineyard & Winery is open Friday-Sunday and is located just two miles off US 29 at 3340 Sutherland Road in North Garden. For more information and directions visit http://www.lovingcupwine.com