Like wine for chocolate: 32nd area winery to open
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.