Distillery Tour Charlottesville / Vitae Spirits

Located in the heart of Charlottesville, in the Rose Hill area, is the unique, quaint and absolutely delightful Vitae Spirits Distillery!


Vitae Spirits is a family owned and run craft distillery in Charlottesville, Virginia that produces small batch spirits made from molasses to glass with a focus on quality and hands-on artisanal values. Our customer connoisseurs drive us to innovate and provide exciting new tastes as well as deliver products that we believe someday will be called classics. We focus on authenticity and transparency and welcome our customers to visit behind the scenes as frequently as possible so that they recognize their central role in our mission.



Vitae Spirits Distillery prides itself on taking basic raw ingredients and turning them into faithful expressions of their botanical origins. To do this we rely on our custom built copper pot still from Vendome Copper & Brass Works in Louisville, Kentucky and custom built temperature-controlled fermentation tanks from Custom Metalcraft of Springfield, Missouri. Additionally, we do not pass our spirits through fine filters or activated carbon that can strip delicate flavors nor are the spirits ever stored in plastic, only stainless steel, wood, and glass.


At Vitae Spirits we aim to redefine “terroir”. What makes our products unique isn’t solely the influence of the region’s physical environment, but also their place within a community. In one way or another each liquor made by Vitae Spirits strives to reflect a unique combination of influences from those that call central Virginia their home. For examples, take a look at our Golden Rum or Coffee Liqueur, or Damson Gin, or even our collaboration with the award winning botanical artist Lara Call Gastinger. It is all of these small contributions from a community that added together make Vitae Spirits products unique, not just the physical makeup of the ingredients, and it is through this uniqueness that patrons are drawn to visit the community; the only way to begin to grasp what makes a community special is to bathe in it and absorb it first-hand.


Our still was custom designed in collaboration with the engineers and artisans at Vendome Copper & Brass works, America’s premier still manufacturer. It is a 250 gal copper pot still with a rectifying column and a tapered alembic helmet that harkens back to the distilling traditions of Scotland and France. These features make our still ideal for fine-tuning the capture of the very best spirits from our small batch productions.



A former Professor of Microbiology at the University Of Virginia School Of Medicine, Ian has had a profound fascination for over twenty-five years for microbes and how they sculpt our macroscopic world. An experienced brewer, winemaker, cheesemaker, meat curer, kefir culturer, veggie pickler, wild mushroom forager, and infectious disease specialist, anything having to do with microbes turns him on; having trained at the Pasteur Institute of Paris, founded by the father of modern fermentation Louis Pasteur.

With all of his experience constructing and running medical microbiological research laboratories under his belt, a deep involvement with his family’s wine businesses in Arizona, and a voracious appetite for luxury libations, for Ian distillation is a perfect match. Founding a distilled spirits enterprise gives life to so many aspects of his personality and training that it seems something akin to destiny; when the stars align you run with it!


Called a “pioneer” of the Arizona wine industry and the area’s “best known vintner” by the Wine Enthusiast, Eric is a renaissance man of the alcohol industry; having founded two wineries, Page Springs Cellars & Vineyards and Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, and cutting his chops at the esteemed David Bruce Winery in the Santa Cruz mountains as Co-winemaker and Director of Production.

As with all great pioneers, Eric kept his eye on the next frontier and saw small batch artisanal distilled spirits on the horizon. To Vitae Spirits Distillery’s team Eric brings a profound knowledge of building, managing, and running family-owned beverage alcohol companies.


When you are born in a land that drinks beer for breakfast and your grandma is rushed to the hospital because her still exploded, it sticks in your blood. Zu’s impeccable eye for design brought her into the alcohol beverage industry as the developer of multiple wine and beer labels and led her ever deeper into the distilling rabbit hole. If you see something that pleases your eye at Vitae Spirits Distillery there is a good chance that Zu had something to do with it.

Next time your in Charlottesville be sure to stop in and have a drink or 4! You won't be disappointed!