Gabriele Rausse is often referred to as the father of modern Virginia wine. Google the name for the complete (long) background on Rausse's contribution to the industry, beginning with his work to launch Barboursville Vineyards in the 1970's and through to his current role as Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello.
Rausse has made wines in Virginia for decades, but only recently opened a public tasting room, with the help of his son. If you are lucky enough to visit while he's on the property, let go of the rest of your day's schedule and ask him a question about Virginia, or wine, or Virginia wine, or just life. You will be charmed, as is everyone lucky enough to spend a few minutes in the company of this pioneer.
The wines are excellent, as you might expect.
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