We are Virginia’s Moonshine Heritage Trail

Our moonshine heritage has deep roots, tracing back to the region’s early
settlers who relied on the production of illicit distilled spirits as a means of
survival and income. While its perception is dramatized today on the small
screen, the true reality of our moonshine heritage is more complex, told in the
stories of independence, ingenuity, tradition, and family.

The rugged terrain and isolation of the Appalachian Mountains shaped our
legacy, influencing the ingredients and techniques used in creating that perfect
batch. These back woods were also an ideal setting for the secretive production
of moonshine, away from prying eyes and law enforcement.

Families passed down the art of distillation through generations, creating a
rich cultural tradition around the craft. They used shine to barter and trade
for life’s necessities, and shine was used for medicinal purposes and of course
commerce. Despite the legal challenges of the prohibition era, moonshining
persisted, and was ingrained in the fabric of our way of life in a manner that
touched everyone.

Those traditions are preserved and celebrated in our festivals and museums,
mountain music, craft and even stock car racing – but also our legal craft
distilleries that pay homage to the resilience and resourcefulness of our people.

We welcome you to come and experience the spirit of our people and their
craft. We are still here, still living, still crafting, still proud, and still shinin’.