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Record breaking wine sales in Virginia in 2012

485,000 cases of wine were sold last fiscal year.

January 14, 2013|Elizabeth Harrington | Reporter

BEDFORD Co., Va. — It's time to raise a glass to Virginia wines.

Wineries in our state enjoyed record-breaking sales this past fiscal year.

477,000 cases were sold in 2011 fiscal year.  485,000 cases were sold last year.  That's a new sales record in Virginia.

Winery owners expect even higher numbers in 2013. But one man is concerned about his sales this month.

Danny Johnson has run the Peaks of Otter winery since he opened it in 1996. Nearly two decades later, it's still going strong.

"Right now I think my favorite is the margarita cause I love margaritas," says Johnson.

Flavors range from apple to blueberry, strawberry and a wine that's very hot. It's called "Kiss the Devil"

Johnson says sales were pretty good last year and he's hoping for a bigger year in 2013.

"We'd like to think that we do fun wine," says Johnson, "We think it's fun to make, fun to sell, fun to taste and fun to drink."

But in the last month sales have been off.  Johnson believes customers are confused.

"I had a call the other day from a lady who said I just wanna know if anybody has your wine anywhere and I said well we have it here," says Johnson, "She said I thought you all were out of business."

The Peaks of Otter Lodge and Restaurant closed in November. The lodge sold bottles of Johnson's wine.  But that's the only connection.

"Different business. We're at the bottom of the mountain, they're at the top of the mountain," says Johnson, "We are alive and kickin' and makin' wine."

Wine that's ready to be bought and uncorked.

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