Like wine for chocolate: 32nd area winery to open

dish-glasshouseGlass House Winery grapes are ready to deliver.

According to the Hook's latest count, there are 31 area wineries, which is enough to give Dish a hangover just thinking about trying to visit them all. Indeed, we appear to be surrounded by an army of wineries!

Well, it appears we will now have 32 wineries.

In early December, the Glass House Winery in Free Union plans to have its grand opening. Owners Jeff and Michelle Sanders, who moved here in 2006 and were featured in a story about "the lifestyle farming trend" in USAToday, have thrown their hats into the grape smashing ring with a few unusual twists.

Michelle is a chocolatier, so visitors will also be able to enjoy hand-made chocolates. But that's not all. The tasting room features some unusual architecture, including a giant wine barrel turned into a doorway (which will be stained to smell like wine during the early December grand opening), a geothermal heat and cooling system, and a glass conservatory attached to the tasting room to house tropical and exotic plants. As for the wine, well, there are seven of them, including a Merlot, a Pinot Gris, and one named C-Villian, which is a gossipy blend of chambourcin, cabernet franc, and merlot grapes

"They wanted to create a warm oasis for the winter months and a magical garden in the warmer ones," says Sabrina Youry, a tasting room worker helping to promote the grand opening. "They also plan to host weekly music nights once things get going. There's seating, and people are encouraged to bring in food and enjoy the wine and greenery all day."

Renowned local vintner Brad McCarthy consulted on the operation with assistance from Chris Hill, who was introduced to the world in the recent film about the Virginia wine industry Vintage: The Winemaker's Year.

"When we moved to the area, we brought with us our passions, and tied them into the winery idea," says Michelle. "Jeff, although his history is in executive management, is a farmer at heart and, among other things, ran a tropical plant nursery on an island in Honduras. I have a lifelong love of making chocolates, and got my professional chocolatier's certificate two years ago. We're thrilled that both of us were able to bring these passions into our new business. "

The grand opening will be held on Saturday and Sunday December 4 and 5. Saturday hours are noon-8pm, Sunday it's noon-5pm. They will have live music in the glass conservatory both days, and there is a $10 cover charge that includes the music, food, and a wine tasting.


More rich people getting that "FARM " tax break.
Whats next tax breaks for cheese with their wine?????
A tropical plant farmer eh?

Hey Bonnie...You should open a casino on the James in Scottsville...Very sound logic there...Raymon Thacker's Thundering Shifflette Casino and Lounge. What Charlottesville really needs is a nice Putt-Putt, and a Go-Cart track!

? Whats wrong with a go cart track. Isnt that how NASCAR got started?? The C-Ville 500 .They'll serve wine and cheese not Bud light and Hot dogs .Well dress rednecks filling the stands !!Thats it.The only differance is theres only right hand turns in this town!

miss mj Get a life you can only eat so much drink so much hug a tree so much. As for history once you know it its still history .
How about a good sports bar . A place that wont cost you an arm and a leg. With real food real drinks and real people.That would tickle more fancies than you could count.

...digging the sound of this new winery and looking forward to visiting! I think we're fortunate to have history, food and wine entertainment and it makes the other places more cheesy and great vacation spots to visit!! I agree that tourism is a real plus for our wallets... just wish we had some nice roads and bypasses to assist in the traffic!

Wow, we have more wineries than McDonald's. We sure are a progressive little town aren't we!

Charlotesville already has a Go-Kart track. Just travel 29 North near Fashion Square any Friday or Saturday night and you'll see all the loud exhaust ricer karts racing up and down the highway.

whats wrong with another winery? charlottesville is all about food, wine, history, nature and good ole uva. if one of these doesn't tickle your fancy, then move.

ugh! to another about adding places to ballet,theatre, casino, museum, art gallery, planetarium, aquarium, garden ..public...more shopping malls...
boring city..except for Monticello

"once you know it it's still history"

Thanks for writing that. Now I don't HAVE to ask your wife.

Those wineries save each and everyone of us thousands of dollars in personal income taxes each, because of the tourist dollars they bring into the community! I say go for it. The more tourist we can get the better my pocketbook likes it.
On the flip, there really isn't anything to do in C'ville that isn't food, wine or history related. I love all three, but would welcome a change of pace without having to go to Richmond, Roanoke or VA Beach. Bring on a public shooting range, a go-cart track, a great putt putt, it will not only add enjoyment to my life, but it'll bring the tourist as well and they'll spend more money here and I'll pay less in taxes! It's a win, win situation!

Oldhoo72 Spoken like an old hoo .You've been drinkin the cool-aid to long .

Build another winery, boring people have to do something.

"You've been drinkin the cool-aid to long"

Aside from the fact that it should have been "You've been drinking the Kool-aid too long" (you see, "drinkin" does have a "g" on the end, Kool-aid is spelled with a "K" and "too" in this case really does have that pesky little extra "o" on the end) that particular phrase stopped being witty after the 10,264th time we all heard it.

Maybe if you went to the tasting rooms at the wineries more often you'd meet some real people who are different from those you rub elbows (and God knows what else) with in the sports bars and pick up a few new catch phrases.

Starting yet another winery seems a bit bold considering the $35,000,000 foreclosure of Ms. Kluge's Estate Winery and Vineyards.

Hugh Depayen Oh My heart goes out for Ms. Kluge .It wasnt her cash anyway . She just pis@ed it away like it was and 'cause she could . She still got the TAX MAN off her back didnt she?
Bold move! Was it bold when the Germans bombed pearl harbor, was it bold when Bristol Palin makes it to the finals of DWTS Now thats BOLD

You're only seven months behind on this story. Good job, Hook. Not.

I'd rather drink moonshine myself, a better reflection of local history and such.

Dustbag Drink some shine and watch Animal House and you.ll know what I was talking about!

Local history? Go cart track and Putt Putt golf?

Rt. 29 North archaeologists know there is a mini golf course buried in front of Keglers and that Botox & Laser (not tag) fans can play mini golf and ride go carts before or after treatments...

And Free Union is more than one road, who, what, when, why and don't forget where?

oh and great sports bar? In Crozet it is now the Mudhouse...go figure

Wify got him a blackberry with the GPS locater so she can find him when he gets lost

I think he really doesn't know anything

ripley Things move slowwwwwwwwwwww in C-Ville ya know . They wanted to get it right the 1st time .

Oldhoo72 I suppose I should have used spell check . Oh well I didnt know spelling counted . Maybe if I was a UVA grad I'd have know that. Besides its hard to type, drive ,drink coffee all at the same time .thank you

So when exactly did the Germans bomb Pearl Harbor?