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The Virginia Dare Story

In 1587, an expedition organized by Sir Walter Raleigh established an English colony on the island of Roanoke, off the coast of present-day North Carolina. On August 18 of that year, the first English child was born on American soil. Named Virginia, her mother was Eleanor Dare, the daughter of John White, governor of the colony.

Before long, Governor White was forced to leave for England to secure much-needed supplies. When he arrived, he found the country to be at war, threatened by the Spanish Armada. In need of his expertise, Queen Elizabeth extended his stay and it was not until 1590, three years later, that he was again able to set sail for Roanoke with supplies for the little colony.

Upon his return, he found that the settlement had vanished... and it came to be known in history as Sir Walter Raleigh's "Lost Colony."

The name Virginia Dare came to symbolize wholesomeness and purity, and when Garrett & Company was founded in the region in 1835, the name was adopted as a brand for its wine produced from the native Scuppernong grape.

With the institution of Prohibition in 1919, Garrett & Company was required to reduce the alcohol content of its wine. It was then that they decided to utilize their uncommonly-fine alcohol in the manufacture of flavoring extracts of the best possible quality. Dr. Bernard H. Smith, a noted flavor chemist, was charged with establishing this line of flavors that would carry the name Virginia Dare. With time, the company's flavoring extract business flourished, and in 1923 the Virginia Dare Extract Company was incorporated. Since then, its record has been one of constant growth and leadership.

Today, the quality of Virginia Dare products is as consistent as when we first started, and the spirit of discovery and innovation continues.