Buying local has never been easier or more rewarding. As Virginia-crafted spirits and wines have continued to blossom, earning accolades from industry leaders and consumers alike, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has been proudly stocking the shelves of its 350 stores with an increasing number of the finest beverages the commonwealth has to offer.
Beginning this month, Virginia ABC will mark the 25th anniversary of the state’s Virginia’s Finest® program by making it easy for its customers to spot these specially designated products made in the commonwealth. The top wines, spirits and mixers produced in the state and chosen for this program have been labeled with tags identifying them as Virginia’s Finest®, encouraging Virginians to shop for these special, locally made products and visitors to take home a taste of Virginia.
Developed in 1989 by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), the Virginia’s Finest® program identifies, differentiates and promotes only top-quality agriculture and specialty food and beverage products. Virginia’s Finest® strives to enhance the economic opportunities and success of Virginia specialty food companies, processors and agricultural producers through increased sales and enhanced awareness of top quality Virginia products. Only Virginia products that meet or exceed quality standards are part of the Virginia's Finest® program.
"Virginia ABC is proud to offer Virginia-made products and especially pleased to support the Virginia’s Finest® program,” said Virginia ABC Chairman Jeff Painter. “When you buy local products, you're supporting not only Virginia’s specialty food and beverage companies, but also a host of other local businesses and agricultural communities.”
Virginia ABC has more than 100 Virginia-made products including an extensive selection of wines, spirits and mixers. On October 1 the agency will add 13 new Virginia-made beverages to its store shelves. Several varieties of gin and vodka, in addition to new bourbons, wines, legal moonshine and simple syrup mixers will be among those offered for sale for the first time in Virginia ABC stores. With the exception of those designated and marked as Virginia’s Finest® products, the agency labels all items produced in the state with distinctive “Virginia Made” markers. In fiscal year 2014, sales of Virginia-made products in ABC stores totaled more than $4.3 million, up from $3.6 million the previous fiscal year.
"The distinctive Virginia's Finest® symbol is one of the commonwealth's most recognized logos," said Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore. "Consumers know they are buying the highest quality products and supporting local businesses when they see the Virginia's Finest® logo. I applaud my colleagues at Virginia ABC for promoting the Virginia's Finest® program and our outstanding wineries, distilled spirit makers and specialty food companies."
The Virginia’s Finest® trademark program boasts more than 400 participating Virginia businesses. Agriculture is the state’s largest industry—generating more than $50 billion in revenue and more than 300,000 jobs annually—and Virginia’s agricultural production is among the most diverse in the nation. To learn more about these programs and discover Virginia’s Finest® and Virginia Grown offerings, visit www.VaFinest.com and www.VirginiaGrown.com.
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $1.8 billion to the general fund in the last five years. The agency currently operates 350 state stores. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees more than 16,000 ABC licensed establishments while the Hearings and Appeals Division considers more than 700 cases each year. The agency also provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Now celebrating its 80th anniversary, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its control, service and revenue mission.
Virginia ABC Marks 25th Anniversary of Virginia’s Finest® Trademark Program with Special Promotion