Pittsylvania Co., VA - According to Governor Bob McDonnell, Virginia wine sales are at an all time high. But not all wineries in Virginia are noticing the record-breaking numbers.
Corky Medaglia stays hard at work at his Pittsylvania County vineyard. But grapes do not always make the big bucks every year.
"People aren't spending money," said Medaglia.
Medaglia says his sales have been slowly decreasing at Tomahawk Mill Winery since 2008.That's a big difference from the numbers recently put out by McDonnell.
According to the Governor's report, Virginia wineries hit a record high, selling more than half a million cases from summer 2012 to 2013. McDonnell attributes a portion of the increase to some Virginia vineyards selling to China.
"The small winery can't do it and make money," said Medaglia.
Medaglia says he simply can't get his costs that low to ship that far.
"I would have to wholesale it at a ridiculous price," said Medaglia.
Still, Danville-Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce President Laurie Moran says with or without the local exports, Virginia wine really makes an impact on the local economy.
"The spill over effect of how wineries impact a region is far greater than just the individual business," said Moran.
Moran says having vineyards in our area increases tourism, helps local farmers, and bottom line brings in money.
"That just means increase revenue for the community," said Moran.
Medaglia agrees that McDonnell's numbers are good for the Commonwealth but wishes he too could see an increase.
"I think it's great for the economy of the state of Virginia," said Medaglia.
McDonnell says export sales increased more than 74% in fiscal year 2012. And Virginia received more than $1.7 million in wine liter tax revenue.