Horton Vineyards, founded by Dennis Horton of Virginia, is a name brand in the Virginia Wine Industry today. Dennis Horton began his adventures in the wine industry in the early 1980s outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. He is credited for bringing the Norton grape back to the state of Virginia in the late 1980s and early 1990s. During Prohibition, the Norton grape vines were ripped from the grounds around the state. Horton reintroduced the Norton grape from the state from Missouri where it had been grown and preserved through Prohibition. Thanks to Dennis Horton, the Norton grape returned home to its native state where Dr. Daniel Norton first discovered his “Virginia Seedling.”
In addition to bringing back the Norton grape, Dennis Horton was also one of the first to grow the Viognier grape vine in Virginia. The Viognier vine was another resilient vine that grew well despite Virginia’s harsh climate. Horton helped further the growth and production of this vine, which would go on to be named the state grape of Virginia by the Virginia Wine Board nearly two centuries later.
Dennis Horton is an innovator who has helped further the progress of the Virginia wine industry, and assisted in transforming it to what it is today. Learn more about Horton and his wine-making history on the Horton Vineyards website. Also, watch this video and listen to its recording from Dennis Horton on a brief history of the wine industry in Virginia: