Wine has been produced in Virginia since the early days of European colonization in the 17th century. Virginia has hot humid summers that can be challenging to viticulture, and only within the last twenty years has the industry developed beyond novelty status. By tonnage, Vitis vinifera varieties represents 75% of total production. French hybrids varieties account for nearly 20% of total wine grape production in the state, while American varietals make up only about 5% of the total. As of 2012, the top 5 varietals produced are Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Vidal blanc and Viognier.
As of 2012, the state has approximately 3,000 acres (12 km2) under cultivation, with a total harvest of over 7,500 tons. The state ranks fifth in the nation for both bearing acreage and grape production. The central and northern Virginia counties, in particular those located just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, account for the significant majority of the state’s production.