This is the amazing story of the King Family Vineyards! Not just an amazing vineyard with some of the best wines around but, a truly fantastic family owned and run vineyard. The entire family is exceptional as well and you never know, you could be getting your tasting poured by Ellen King herself, as she is always in the tasting rooms helping out in any manner she can!! Just a short drive from Charlottesville, VA and located in the Crozet, area lies this picturesque vineyard with it’s impeccably kept grounds, warm and cozy tasting rooms and of course, the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop. Oh and did we mention that from Memorial Day Weekend to mid-October, on Sundays, they have polo matches? Well, they do! This is definitely one of our most recommended and visited vineyards due in part to the outstanding, above and beyond customer service they provide. Here’s their story.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
After moving to Charlottesville from Houston, Texas, in 1995, we purchased the original 327 acre farm in 1996. In late 1998, a young man named Tom Vandenberg, knocked on our door and asked if he could lease ten acres for a vineyard. Sparked by his curiosity and research, we did our homework, and soon hired a vineyard consultant. A nursery in California had a few extra vines, so six months of hard work later, our first eight acres of vines had been planted.
Initially the plan was to simply sell the fruit, but in the interest of learning as much as possible, we decided to make wine with a portion of the harvest and sell the rest. 480 cases in 2000 became 1,050 cases by 2001, and it all sold! After a quick visit to California for ideas, we designed our winery on the back of a napkin and by October 1, 2002 opened our real, honest-to-goodness winery. Since then both the vineyard and the business have grown.
WHERE WE ARE TODAY
The Carriage House, our event space, was added in 2007 and we moved from the original winery to our new winery in 2013. More importantly, our team has expanded. Since Carrington King started working as the Vineyard Manager in 2002, both Stuart King and James King have joined the full-time staff in 2006 and 2012 respectively. Our first two full-time employees, Ray Wyant and Amanda Gee-Taylor, both of whom helped plant the original vineyard, are still with us. Michael Shaps, our winemaker from the beginning, was succeeded by Matthieu Finot in 2007 and we now have 12 full-time and 35 part-time employees.
“While our production is now 10,000 cases and our Tasting Room is open year round, it still feels like yesterday that we planted our first vines.”
VIRGINIA WINE FARMERS SINCE 1998
King Family Vineyards is a family owned and operated winery located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Crozet, Virginia just fifteen minutes from Charlottesville. The winery specializes in the production of premium wines that showcase the remarkable quality and terroir of the Monticello AVA. Beginning with carefully selected grapes, winemaker Matthieu Finot creates wines inspired by the old world, but are uniquely expressive of Virginia.
Our passion is the customer, our craft is the wine.
“WHEN YOU VISIT OUR TASTING ROOM, YOU ARE COMING TO OUR HOME.WE HOPE YOU ENJOY THE FRUITS OF OUR LABOR AS MUCH AS WE ENJOY SHARING THEM WITH YOU.”
-THE KING FAMILY