Promotion of the Virginia wine industry both domestically and internationally is one of Governor McDonnell's many economic development and jobs creation initiatives. During the last two sessions, the McDonnell administration has worked with the General Assembly to establish a reimbursable tax credit program for the establishment or expansion of vineyards and wineries and to more than the double amount of funds from the wine liter tax placed in the Virginia Wine Promotion Fund for research, education, and marketing programs. Governor McDonnell also has promoted the sale of Virginia wines during trade and marketing missions to the United Kingdom, Japan, China and South Korea. In addition, First Lady Maureen McDonnell has made the promotion of Virginia wines and winery tourism a key component of her First Lady's Initiative Team Effort (FLITE). She too has promoted the sale of Virginia wines abroad and has visited wineries across the state with restaurant owners, sommeliers, chefs, grocers, retail shop owners, and others since FLITE was launched.Imagine a world where comparable efforts are used to promote the Virginia craft beer industry. Now THAT would be news! Of course, given the Governor's stated preference for Miller Lite, that day is probably a long way off.
Maybe Governor McDonnell should have a discussion with Colorado's Governor John Hickenlooper, who knows a thing or two about craft beers.
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