Get us talking about the creation of Hampton Roads Winery and you will need a glass of wine ( a full bottle if you are hearing the long version!) Back about 16 years ago, Diane and I were discussing our life once we retired. We talked about all the typical things, but in the end it came down to 2 choices: either sail around the world for the rest of our lives, or set up a vineyard-winery. Diane nixed the sailing option since the possibility of being kidnapped by Somali pirates didn't appeal to her. So that left us with the task of locating some appropriate land to start a vineyard.
We first looked over by Asheville, thinking Biltmore would be a good magnet for tourist traffic. The land there didn't meet our requirements, so from there we started looking over in Nelson County. Unfortunately for us, U.S.News & World Report proclaimed Charlottesville as the #1 place to retire, catapulting farm land prices five-fold upwards. It became clear we had to look elsewhere, so we focused on the Hampton Roads area.
We purchased our first piece of land in the Bacon's Castle district of Surry County, and planted our first 4 varieties in 2008. Two years later we planted another 2 Bordeaux varieties, and in 2012 we purchased White Oak Farm, located in Elberon on the opposite corner of Surry County. White Oak Farm was to be the location of our new winery.
In 2014 we started building, and the following year our son Rich joined us to manage the vineyard part of the operation. In April of 2016 we had our Grand Opening, and as they say; "The rest is history".