Create your own wine at Vint Hill Craft Winery in Virginia

Did you ever want to make your own wine—something better than the typical home brew? At Vint Hill Craft Winery, about 12.5 miles west of Manassas, Virginia, you can become a vintner and produce your own individual blend.Vint Hill Winery

“It’s a very different, very cool new philosophy of winery operations,” says Chris Pearmund, executive wine maker with 25 years of experience in the business. Vint Hill allows anyone interested in wine-making to create special spirits that reflect their personal style—a unique service provided by only one other winery (which is on the opposite coast in California).

“At other wineries, you taste what someone else produces. At Vint Hill our focus is on the skill, art, and passion of winemaking.  Customers choose their level of participation, and wine is crafted to their specifications with their name, label, and unique story behind it,” Pearmund, managing partner at Vint Hill, says.

Vint Hill provides everything necessary in their facility–from selecting and crushing grapes to choosing barrel type and processing options, to bottling your blend. Clients receive hands-on instruction in every aspect of the process—and end up with a distinctive blend to enjoy and share.

“We bring in fresh-picked whole-cluster fruit from the East and West coasts to give customers the best choices,” says Ray Summerell, COO of Vint Hill.  “We work with customers over a period of nine months to a year to design and produce whatever wine they like,” he adds.

Vint Hill Craft WineryFamilies or groups of friends often collaborate on a barrel, which at 300 bottles, may be more than an individual wants or needs. Restaurants can create custom wines to serve in their establishments, and corporations have used the experience of fostering wine-makers for team building.

“It’s really a wine-making school, and the more ‘hands-on’ you are, the greater the reward,” Summerell says. From the second floor of the building, visitors and novice vintners can observe the wine-making process, which some choose to do weekly—others not at all. Videos are available to show clients what’s happening with their batch of wine, no matter where they live.

Wineries normally offer eight to ten kinds of wine, but Vint Hill has more than 80 styles, including cases of selected client-created wines. During public tastings, customers can compare stylistic differences through horizontal flights of wines in the same general category.

Located in the historic barns at Vint Hill Farms Station, the winery buildings have evolved from an early turn-of-the-century dairy to producer of farm products used to feed cadets in World War I, and then into a listening station where the U.S. intercepted messages from Germany during World War II. Today it’s in the cultural center of the revitalized Vint Hill community.

Vint Hill Craft Winery is open for public for tastings and wine purchases on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  www.vinthillcraftwinery.com

Photos by Larry Burmeier

Read more travel stories by Beverly at Going on Adventures and Austin Adventure Travel

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