International sales of Virginia wines grew by more than 74 percent in fiscal year 2013, ended June 30, to more than 5,800 cases, Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration announced this month.
A significant portion of the exports were driven by new sales to China, an area the McDonnell administration has emphasized in trade missions and other global marketing efforts.
The first commercial sales of Virginia wines to mainland China were completed in fiscal year 2012 and new export agreements have been reached since then. Sales of Virginia wines to Great Britain also continued to grow during the last fiscal year
Virginia has 230 wineries, fifth most in the United States.
Expanding the wine industry has been an area of economic emphasis for McDonnell during his four-year term. The state has created tax credits for vineyards, increased money in the Virginia Wine Promotion Fund, launched the first Virginia Wine Summit last year and heavily promoted Virginia wines in other countries. - Eric Kulisch