Iron Hearts don’t Skip a Beat!
The day has FINALLY arrived! We are beyond thrilled to share the exciting news of the launch of Iron Heart Winery. As the 2016 grape harvest is just around the corner, we are ready for our farm winery to make its maiden voyage! As we prepare for harvest season and our first wine fermentation, we would like to share a glimpse into our farm’s history.
Our first bottle of wine will be corked in February 2017 but our story started over two centuries ago. When trying to name our winery, we had to find a moniker that captured the property’s spirit. The farm holds stories about a patriot that mined Salt-Peter from the banks of the New River to produce gunpowder for the Revolutionary War effort. Another patriarch in the farm’s history was a Confederate soldier that survived 2 gunshot wounds, pneumonia, being held as a prisoner of war and then went on to found an iron empire while rubbing elbows with the great iron industrialists of that era. The latest chapter in the farm’s tale depicts a crazy father-son team as they create a sustainable farming platform on the hallowed ground.
In the spring of 2010 we planted a five acre vineyard, housing three white and two red varieties of wine grapes. We laughed and enjoyed the ease of that first summer, simply watching the tiny plants begin to mature. By year two, reality set in and we quickly had to learn the ins and outs of growing fruit. After reading many how-to books, attending seminars, and conversing with other grape-growers in Virginia, we are finally starting to feel more comfortable growing fruit on a large scale. Through trial and error, inconvenient weather, cold winters, late-season frosts, bugs, lost fruit sales, and the resulting wrinkles on our foreheads, we never gave up hope of establishing a vineyard that would one day supply our farm winery.
In the winter of 2015, we excitedly broke ground on our winery building and began the lengthy permitting processes that made for a busy year! Just as we finish the building and harvest, we will start a new chapter related to wine making (being guided by a seasoned winemaking consultant). The project has presented, and continues to offer, challenges along the way. The road to owning and operating a farm winery has been lengthy and at times difficult, requiring steadfast determination. We attempted to capture the farm’s history and our own sentiment in the name Iron Heart Winery.
We proudly share the good news that in the spring of 2017 a tasting room will open to the public but the winery work starts now! We hope that you will keep track of our progress and checkout our website to learn more about the rich history, our farm-stay experiences, the event venue components of the business, the wine varieties that will be produced this year, and upcoming activities planned on the farm.