Okay, maybe it's not quite as big as the gold rush was to California, but Virginia is experiencing a big "grape rush," as more than 250 wineries now call Virginia their home. Only four other states in the US have more.
Our August breakfast will feature two encorepreneurs who are examples of why this is such a fast growth industry in Virginia and why it is attracting so much business talent. They will tell us what led them on the journey from corporate life to starting a winery from scratch in nine months.
Stan Joynes and Paul Kreckman were both senior executives in large, growth oriented firms in mature industries in Richmond.
Stan was a co-founder, president and shareholder of LeClairRyan, one of the fastest growing law firms in the US.
Paul was the Richmond Division vice president for Highwoods Properties Inc. and a well-known leader at Innsbrook Corporate Center.
Today, they are owners and managers of Valley Road Vineyards LLC, a start-up winery in the grape-friendly foothills of the Blue Ridge in western Albemarle County. Their wives and three other couples have joined them in this encorepreneurial venture.
Valley Road has opened for business and is already creating local interest. The operation has bottled 2,000 cases of six wines: viognier, chardonnay, Destana (viognier, chardonnay and petit manseng blend), rosé, merlot and a 2014 meritage. Other wines from the vineyard will include a pinot gris, a second viognier, a petit verdot, a viognier-based sparkling wine and a red “spaghetti wine” in the fall.
Valley Road will have its official grand opening on August 19-21, just a few days before our breakfast, so we will be able to get a first hand update on its progress.
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1801 E. Cary Street - Richmond, VA 23223 - 804-986-1403