Bottom line up front: with VirginiaWineLove.com now up and running, the Virginia Wine in My Pocket app and website will be retired on January 31, 2023.
Virginia Wine Love has the maps everyone loved on VWIMP, and more targeted and useful content, such as "Where Can I Find...?" lists of wineries where you can find the things that matter to you most (pet-friendly, family-friendly, winery lodging, winery dining, and more). Also, How to Get Around to help those out of state get here and find their way, a Featured Wineries list of some of our favorites, Extras including articles, profiles, and itineraries I've written for magazines, Winery Events, a Learn section with resource links for media and enthusiasts, a growing page of Virginia wine-related and other Gifts, and plenty more. Much of the content comes from the community at the Virginia Wine Love Facebook Group--we hope you'll join us there, too.
From Virginia Wine in My Pocket to Virginia Wine Love
My husband, Rick Collier, and I started Virginia Wine in My Pocket back in 2011. It was one of the country's first travel apps. Then Rick added a VWIMP website, and later we hired pros to build a shiny newer site. It was all a place to put our love for Virginia wine and our travels around the state. We thought the name "In My Pocket" was genius for a travel app. In My Pocket...get it??
For a while, we planned to dominate the world of wine travel with our apps. We bought the domain names for all the larger winemaking states - Maryland Wine in My Pocket, New York Wine in My Pocket, Texas Wine in My Pocket. People loved apps! How hard could it be?
A whole lotta hard, as it turned out. Just keeping up with one state in any authentic way was plenty. Every year, twenty-plus new Virginia wineries came on board. And we'd (I'd) made the overly-enthusiastic mistake of thinking that 1) I must write all the winery descriptions myself, and 2) I must pack in as many details as possible about every winery so that it would be THE MOST USEFUL TRAVEL GUIDE TO VIRGINIA WINERIES ANYONE HAD EVER SEEN.
Which it may well have been, if winery hours never changed. Upkeep was a challenge for a one-woman show.
Over time, the tech company we used lost interest as they moved on to other gizmos, so our platform withered just as DIY websites became truly DIY. (Wix! Canva!) Then, Covid: the catalyst for a new way of doing business for wineries, and also for us. I set up a Facebook Group (clunkily titled Support Virginia Wineries During Covid) and the Group grew quickly as it became the place to find out what's what in wine country. A year later I changed the Group's name to Virginia Wine Love.
What better name for a web site? What better expression of what hundreds of thousands of people feel for the 300+ family-owned wineries, cideries, and meaderies making a go of it on Virginia farms that have been in the family for generations, or just mere months?
Virginia Wine Love was born, and now, Virginia Wine in My Pocket takes a bow. Thanks to all who've been with us from the very beginning. Virginia Wine Country may be an even more interesting place than it was when we all started, don't you think? ;-)
Cheers, everyone. With much love,
P.S. Be sure to retrieve any info you've stored on VWIMP before January 31. Go back to Virginia Wine in My Pocket here.