Hours: Year Round
It all started with a crabapple tree one fall not too long ago. This tree's fruit had been picked and made into jelly by a friend ever since we planted it, but one year the friend was too busy. My father and I couldn't let all that fruit go to waste: so we followed an internet "recipe" and made a crabapple wine that wasn't half bad. Whether for good or not, this early success set off an explosion of (legal) winemaking from every fruit we could get our hands on: apple, pear, cherry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, persimmon, autumn olive, and finally...grape. Wow, grape perfect in every way: sugars and acids are balanced; it settles nicely; the wine practically makes itself. And we were hooked.
We had just sold the family business and were getting in each other's way trying to stay busy when it occurred to us that what we needed to do was plant grapevines. But as we learned more about growing grapes in Virginia, we were disheartened by the amount of pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides that we would have to use. We had almost abandoned the idea when we realized that there might be another way.