Third Hill Winery at DeMello Vineyards will be joining us this year at the August 5, 2018 Wine and Oyster Festival On Sunny Slope Farm in support of the Artisan Center of Virginia. Come on out to taste their wine as well as wine from 10 other Shenandoah Valley Virginia Wineries.
Edward and Wendy originally came to the Shenandoah Valley to retire, and here they are today! Wendy was born in D.C., and her family migrated to California when Wendy was two. However, their extended family stayed on the East coast. They traveled to Virginia, Maryland, and the New England area at least every other summer to visit grandmothers, uncles, aunts, and her cousins. When they returned, her heart always stayed on the East coast. Wendy met Edward, a California boy, in high school. They raised three amazing kids and generally loved life, but Wendy always wanted to go back and retire on the East coast. So, Wendy dragged her California man East and began searching for a place to spend the rest of their life.
They finally settled here in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Did they always want to start a vineyard and run a winery? No! When they bought this place they met a couple who had purchased property in Woodstock with a small vineyard on it. That’s where they got the idea to plant some vines for their own consumption. After talking to a vineyard consultant, and having their soil tested by Virginia Tech, they went for three acres. Well, that evolved to six acres, which then evolved to deciding to build a winery! Now, nothing just happens, they encountered a lot of heartache and failure, as well as triumphs with a lot of hard work. Despite the few hardships, they love their new life!
No, they never knew anything about viticulture or wine making. Ed was in precision sheet metal, and Wendy was a surgical tech for labor & delivery in California. They found perseverance and learned as much as they could for their new adventure.
They are constantly in the vineyard, pruning, hedging, spraying, and mowing. You end up touching each plant during a season at least 7 times a year. They start with winter pruning and end with the actual harvest in the fall.
“So much goes into one bottle of wine! It starts with your soil- your terrior, the weather that particular year, your pruning technique, and in Virginia, your pest regime. They have fungus in the summer due to our humidity, and if they get a lot of rain that particular summer, they have insects and an abundance of WEEDS! You have to stay on top of everything. They’ve also previously been wiped out by birds!
When it comes to the flavor, it’s the yeast you use, the type of oak barrel, and how long you ferment it that contributes to what you love in a quality wine. So, when you drink a glass of wine, savor it, it’s a labor of love.”
Ed and Wendy love to enjoy our wine in a comfortable, fun setting, and so they built an outdoor pavilion just in time for summer. It’s a wonderful place for our musicians to play during the warm summer afternoons, not to mention, a cool spot to sit and relax when the music isn’t playing.
The winery is tucked in the Shenandoah Valley with a jump off 81 and a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The large tasting room has a great event venue and sits above a spring in Quicksburg, VA.
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