The DeMello family is just about to pick their third harvest. Because of farming hardships such as critters and Virginia weather, it has been a trial and error journey. It hasn't been easy starting from the ground up and I mean literally.
The DeMello family moved to the Shenandoah Valley, VA from CA to grow grapes. I know....crazy, right? They bought 20 acres with a view then started cultivating their land and planting grapes on six of those acres. In 2006 they started with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Viognier and added Syrah, Petit Verdot, and Riesling as the years went by.
They just bottled their last years Viognier harvest and have about 70 gallons of Cab-Sauv to bottle soon.
Tomorrow they are going to harvest their Riesling for the first time!
This vineyard is on its way to success, because only hard work leads to success. Ed DeMello had no idea it was going to be a full time job. The first year they were ready to harvest, the grapes were taken by the birds, so needless to say there has been disappointments.
Wendy and Ed have worked hard and have a great vision for a nice winery and tasting room (breaking ground next year!) They feel very fortunate to have such welcoming Virginian neighbors who have shed light on farming in VA soil, the weather conditions, and not to mention the pulverizing insects. There have been many people who have let Ed and Wendy pick their brains about the wine process and have donated their time to help them harvest. They are ever so grateful and despite all the hard work they are having a blast being wine makers and Virginia residents.