Set on 166 acres in Linden, Crimson Lane Vineyards opens its doors for the first time on March 5, but this winery has been more than a decade in the making.
The property offers valuable land for growing grapes, thanks to its slope, elevation, and sunlight — and that also means beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
“This has been a very purposeful thing that we’ve done,” says owner Tom Herrity, who began looking for the ideal property for a vineyard with his wife, Deanna, in 2011. They purchased the site at Crimson Lane in 2014 after years of negotiations.
“We looked for a very long time for the perfect spot to grow quality grapes in Virginia. … We found all of this by listening to everybody who came before us — all of the hard lessons that they that they’ve learned.”
The winery is a passion project for Herrity, who grew up in Springfield. He and his wife raised their four children in Arlington. Their youngest left for college in August. Deanna’s brother, Dominick Fioresi, is the winemaker at Crimson Lane. Fioresi was an apprentice of Jim Law, owner of nearby Linden Vineyards, who’s considered a pioneer of Virginia wine.
Tastings are available by reservation only in a new building designed by the architects Backen & Backen. Known for its work at Napa Valley vineyards, this is the first tasting room Backen & Backen has designed on the East Coast. Tables, couches, and bar seating as well as spots on the porches overlooking the mountains are available.
“We really want people to be able to enjoy our wines, to have our staff spend time with people and really talk about the wines and about us and what we’re trying to do, and a little bit about the property, and really give people an experience. It’s not just not just the wine tasting,” Herrity says.
“And of course, the view — everybody who’s come here says, ‘I’m not sure if there is a better view at a winery tasting room.’”
Visitors will get the chance to taste varietals such as albariño, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, sauvignon blanc, petit verdot, and several red blends. Small bites will be offered, including cheese, charcuteries, and empanadas.
“We want people to come in, feel at home, make this their go-to place, when they think about wine tasting,” says Fioresi. “It’s a place to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city or life in general.”
Feature image courtesy Crimson Lane Vineyards
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