We’re one week into the 31st annual October Virginia Wine Month. The oldest wine month in the country, reports the office of Gov. Ralph Northam, the celebration of Virginia’s viticulture industry marks when winemakers traditionally harvest grapes off the vine and prepare their next vintages. Wine is big business in Virginia. With nearly 30 wineries, Virginia is the nation’s sixth-largest wine region. More than 2.2 million tourists visited Virginia wineries in 2015, according to the Virginia Tourism Corp. The Virginia wine industry generates $1.37 billion in economic impact and more than 8,200 jobs. That’s something to toast.
Don’t look for an explosion of leaf color this fall in Southwest Virginia. The Roanoke Times reported last week that John Seiler, Virginia Tech’s fall foliage expert, said a lack of rain will lead to a disappointing fall in the region for leaf enthusiasts. Dry conditions caused some trees to brown and drop leaves early, according to the newspaper. Some trees, though, like scarlet oaks and hickories, have potential for colorful displays if replenished by rain. “The faucet just shut off in mid-July,” Seiler told the paper. It’s so dry that even the presence of the State Fair of Virginia—known for bringing the downpours—hasn’t caused a drop to fall in RVA.
As cooler fall weather approaches, Virginians have the opportunity to enjoy some picturesque views with a discounted train trip. Amtrak is celebrating its 10th anniversary of rail travel in the commonwealth by offering $10 one-way tickets anywhere the Northeast Regional travels within Virginia, or to Washington D.C. The promotion runs through Oct. 10, and restrictions may apply. Use the promo code V110, or automatically receive the discount through the “Fare Finder” on Amtrak.com/promotions/virginia10.
The 79th annual National Newspaper Week starts on Sunday, Oct. 6. This weeklong observance recognizes the importance of newspapers and their employees to our communities. To honor the week, the Richmond Times-Dispatch is publishing an expanded Commentary section that will include a roster of some of the biggest events in American journalism, put together by the Society of Professional Journalists. The list starts in 1690 with the founding of the first newspaper in the United States, Publick Occurrences. The Richmond Times-Dispatch was founded as the Richmond Dispatch in 1850. We’re proud of our 169-year history as Richmond’s news leader.