Virginia wine pioneer honored for contributions to booming industry

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WRIC) — Today Virginia is a destination for wine lovers, and Chris Hill helped to make it happen, according to the Virginia Vineyards Association (VVA).

The VVA presented Hill with its Lifetime Achievement Award on February 23.

Hill co-founded the 15-acre Glendower Vineyards near Scottsville in 1981. By the 1990’s, his work helping other vineyards open evolved into a consulting business.

“Chris not only provided the support that many vineyard owners needed to get started, he supplied the skill and expertise that helped them grow high-quality wine grapes,” says VVA president Nate Walsh. “His work is one of the reasons that Virginia’s reputation as a source of great wine has grown so quickly.”

Adds Tony Wolf, a professor of viticulture at Virginia Tech and technical advisor to the VVA, “Many would say that Chris’s effectiveness is his combination of knowledge, 30-plus years of first-hand grape growing experience, an ability to connect people from agricultural workers to vineyard and winery owners, and his unwavering pragmatism.”

Hill, a past VVA president and Virginia Wine Board member, was the first recipient of the VVA’s Grower of the Year award in 2005.

“It has been very affirming and exciting to watch our industry grow,” explains Hill. “It is extremely pleasing to help others get their dreams in motion and to watch them become successful.”

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