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March 1, 2011

Colonial Williamsburg Selects Virginia Grapes for Private Label Wine

Colonial Williamsburg has selected the juice from Virginia grapes produced by Prince Michel Winery for its Colonial Williamsburg private label wines served in the Williamsburg Lodge and available for purchase in Colonial Williamsburg stores. Prince Michel Winery is located in Leon, Va., near Charlottesville.

The wine varieties include chardonnay, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and a foundation reserve made from a blend of merlot and cabernet created especially for Colonial Williamsburg.

Colonial Williamsburg chefs and beverage staff tasted about 50 different wines from across Virginia before selecting Prince Michel. “We gave our distributors the criteria we were looking for in the wines, and then we blind tasted the selections so no winery was given any preferential treatment,” said Williamsburg Lodge executive chef Rhys Lewis.

Retail price for the chardonnay, merlot and cabernet is $12.95, and the reserve is $14.95, available for purchase in the Lodge gift shop, Williamsburg Craft House and Everything Williamsburg located in Merchants Square, and Revolutions located at the Visitor Center.

The Williamsburg Lodge restaurant has been recognized by Virginia Wine Lover magazine for including a wide variety of Virginia wines on its wine list. Every Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Chesapeake Room in the Lodge, Lewis and his colleagues conduct “Wine, Wit and Wisdom,” a wine tasting and pairing that explores a different wine region of the world each week. A Virginia wine that fits the regions studied is included in the tasting, and the emergence of Virginia’s wine industry is part of the discussion. Colonial Williamsburg’s Foundation Reserve blend was included in a tasting of California cabernets, and the Virginia blend was positively received and stood above the California wines.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, restoration and presentation of the 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg offers more than 1,000 guest rooms among five hotels, including the landmark Williamsburg Inn, four historic dining taverns and six other restaurants, a full-service 20,000-square-foot spa, 45 holes of golf at the Golden Horseshoe golf courses and 67,000 square feet of conference space centered at the renovated and expanded Williamsburg Lodge. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the Foundation’s preservation, research and educational programs.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280