Old Dominion Spirits
Photo by Rey Lopez

Old Dominion Spirits

If Townsend Lunsford made a living selling corporate jets, he can probably sell you some vodka. “Vodka’s never gonna go out of style,” says Lunsford, 46, the founder of Old Dominion Spirits, which currently has one liquor in its lineup: Belle Vodka. “Why would you dump that kind of money in an unproven product?” Instead of opening a distillery with a tasting room and taking years to let bourbon age in barrels that take up space and don’t bring in money, he started with the quick spirit, vodka. In other words, Lunsford says, he is “building the brand versus building a building.” The Fauquier native outsources the making of the quadruple-distilled grain vodka, though it’s still considered a Virginia product with Warrenton as the base of operations. “We tried to emulate an American vodka that matches all the pretty bottles out there,” says Lunsford, name-dropping Ciroc, Grey Goose, Ketel One, Belvedere and, what he believes is his closest competitor, the small-batch persona of Tito’s. By the end of the year, Belle will be in more than 500 restaurants and bars across the region. Eventually, he’d like to go the route of creating a space for Old Dominion Spirits here in Virginia. But the consummate businessman knows the crowding scene: “Distilleries today are wineries 15 years ago—you can’t walk around the corner without tripping into one.”


• Belle Vodka


Established: 2016

Tours: N/A

Tasting: N/A

Purchase: ABC Stores

(July 2016 Distilleries Guide)