Several Saturdays ago when visiting a favorite local restaurant in Old Town Alexandria, I spotted this classic advertisement for Virginia Dare Wine on the wall; it read as follows:
“Show me the way to your homes” says Virginia Dare. “So you folks can enjoy the only wine of its kind in the world”.
Vintage Virginia Ad I spotted
As many readers already know, Virginia Dare was the first child born in the New World . Legend later would tell of a beautiful tall blond woman who lived amongst the Indians and was accidentally mistaken for a white doe and killed by a hunter’s arrow. There are various spins and variations regarding the life of Virginia Dare, but one thing is for certain; Virginia Dare came to symbolize innocence, purity and strength.
In 1835, Garrett & Company, a New York business cleverly adopted the name ‘Virginia Dare’ as a brand for their wine. They also had several other brands, but Virginia Dare would prove to be the most popular. The wines produced were vinified from the Scuppernong grape. The Scuppernong grape is a Native American white wine variety and one of the first grapes used in making wine by early colonist. The Scuppernong grape produces a sweet and aromatic wine and was known and liked for its high yield.
Early 1900's Virginia Dare wine bottle
In 1919 Prohibition forced Garrett & Company to use their alcohol in the manufacturing of flavoring extracts. After prohibition ended in 1933, and with the extract business thriving, Garrett returned Virginia Dare Wine to the market. The success of Virginia Dare Wine was short lived after the death of its catalyst, Mr. ‘Captain’ Garrett in 1940. The flavoring extract side of the business still thrived, and after being purchased and sold several times it still carries the name of Virginia Dare today.
Virginia Dare wine bottle and ad products can be found here on eBay.
Virginia Dare flavoring extract/history page can be found here.