Inspirational Women of Virginia

Influential Women who Helped Shape this Great Commonwealth


This Virginia native is the person who is arguably most responsible for the Commonwealth’s now distinguished place as a winemaking destination. Upon being told by authorities on the topic that wine producing grapes would not grow in Virginia’s climes, Ms. Randel determined that she could figure it out without the agriculture teams at distinguished state universities.

Randel then established Shenandoah Vineyards with her husband in the early 1970’s, and they began to understand that hybrid varietals were better suited to the climate and soil conditions of the valley. Rather than accepting that it could not be done on a large scale, the Grand Dame of Virginia Wine treated the land as a legitimate wine enclave and educated others so that they could bring viticulture to the region’s farmland, creating both new agricultural revenue and tourism streams of income.

Seeing past the notion that wine could not come from Virginia, and giving birth to a regional wine industry makes Randel one of Virginia’s most influential women.

Learn more about Emma Randel here….