Come along with us below as two of the Traveling Winers, with Grandkids and dog in tow, tour Devault Family Vineyards.
The Devault Family Vineyards, located in Concord, Virginia, was the beginning of our very first Family Friendly Trail. A beautiful drive through the Shenandoah Valley with the Blue Ridge mountains in the distance, made the time pass quickly. Our arrival had the feel as if we had pulled into your uncle’s farm for a visit: brick farm house with big old porch, lots of trees around and a long drive to the business area of the farm.
We got out at what appeared to be a horse stable, but was actually the tasting room. (On a side note, there was a stable built by a construction company of Russians from Pennsylvania. They did such good work that Sharon and Terry wanted them back to build their tasting room. Heavy sighs in PA. The construction company said it was too far away. Sharon pleaded with them saying that they did such excellent work they just HAD to come down and do the job. Apparently, when you say that to a Russian, they DO have to come down. The rest is history.) Anyway, that is where we met Tom Adams who was our guide for the walk about in the vineyards.
We told Tom that this was our first trail strictly devoted to ‘family friendly’ places and he was quick to point us to the basketball court (filled with an assortment of toys, bikes and pogo sticks), which was right next to the indoor swimming pool (with loaner swim suits), and just up the lane from the walk-in doll house. We asked him if there were any places that kids couldn’t go and he said “the main house”, which was for the family. He laughed and added that exceptions were made if that was the closest bathroom.
New Jersey Pizza Maker to Virginia farmer
Back to the tasting room where we met Sharon DeVault, co-owner, who gave us the lowdown on the vineyard. She and her husband Terry had moved from New Jersey, where they raised six kids and Terry was a-slinging the nice-a pizza pies. Wanting to get back to his farm roots (Terry is a 5th generation farmer), they bought 32 acres of land in Virginia, made the move, and in 1999 put 11 acres into vines. Why family friendly? They have 6 kids, lots of grand kids and they are all about friends and family. How could they not?
The Money is in the Barrel
Well, they grew and sold grapes until 2006 when they went from grape growers to wine makers. They did this because, as Sharon put it, ‘the money is in the barrel’. Now they bottle 13 different wines, both sweet and dry, and are producing 2500 to 5000 cases per year. Two of the wines won a bronze medal at the Finger Lakes competition in 2012 and 2013.
We tried several of their wines including the Norton, made with the native Virginia grape. It had excellent color and what we call a ‘short’ finish that still left a lingering flavor of apples. We bought a bottle of ‘Mr. D’s Blend’, a sweet red (believe it or not), which was a combination of Norton and Niagara grapes, and the ‘Old Time Watermelon Wine’, a real surprise that was well chilled, excellent AND not made with watermelon.
Family All the Way.
So then, Devault Family Vineyards. It’s all in the name, really, and everything else just re-enforces that idea: tennis court, toys, play house, swimming pool, and LOTS of room for a good ramble. It was a delightful experience that really topped off the family friendly tour. If you’re ever down in the area of Roanoke or Lynchburg, maybe doing a Civil War trail, I recommend you stop in with the family. You’ll be more than welcome.
The Winer’s Experience
|AMBIANCE||GROUNDS & SCENERY||TASTING ROOM|
|The feel and ‘sense’ of Devaults is one of welcome and family. Comfortable.||The grounds are well kept and the place is obviously a working farm (horses, cattle, chickens, etc.). The tasting room is set on a ridge overlooking the vines as they creep down and then up the hills.||The tasting room is built in a stable complete with stalls that are actually restrooms.|
|WINE TASTING EXPERIENCE||CUSTOMER SERVICE||TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE|
|Nicely done. Very casual and friendly from the moment you walk in until you leave.||The service was excellent and gave you the sense they had plenty of time to spend a lazy summer day with you.||Very informative with none of the star gazing that happens when someone is making up an answer. The information regarding the native grape, Norton, was of particular interest.|
Vineyard & Winery Information
|Devault Family Vineyard||247 Station Lane Concord, Virginia 24538|
Monday through Saturday from 11AM – 6PM.
Sundays: No promises. However, if you call or stop by for a visit and we are in, we will be more than happy to have you
|MUSIC||WINE CLUB||TASTING FEE|
|Yes||Special event||Too many to mention|