The Virginia Tasting Cellar Profile
Written by Brian—Feb 6, 2019
The idea was long overdue. Since 2016, The Virginia Tasting Cellar has successfully operated a space in Farmville, Virginia dedicated to showcasing the wines of multiple producers. Many of the wineries are located in less traveled parts of the state and really needed a platform that offered more foot traffic.
At first glance, Farmville might not seem a logical home for a large urban tasting room. Nevertheless, it does align with the city’s urban renewal and the Tasting Cellar is positioned to capitalize on the campaign to market Farmville as a tourist destination. Moreover, visitors to the two local universities and the Greenfront Furniture Outlet provide a relatively steady customer base. According to owner Megan Martin, visitors are also drawn from cities like Richmond and Lynchburg that are otherwise removed from Virginia “wine country.”
There are eight wineries featured at any given time. A few have been with the Tasting Cellar from the beginning. Each participating winery also has a dedicated tasting bar, but there’s a fun twist. The price of a tasting allows customers to choose from each of the tasting bars and design their own experience. It is possible to customize a tasting that includes only dry whites or exclusively red blends. It is conceptually brilliant and offers a multitude of different tastings options.
A few my favorite (but lesser-known) Southern Virginia wineries are among the regulars. If you are not familiar with Rosemont Vineyards, Stanburn Winery or Hunting Creek Vineyards, they are all under one roof. During my visit, these producers were joined by Horton, First Colony and Thistle Gate from Central Virginia. The lineup was rounded out by Shenandoah wineries Hunt’s and Rockbridge.
Located next to Greenfront, the Tasting Cellar is in the basement of a renovated brick warehouse. The charming back porch area overlooks the Appomattox River and offers visitors a fireside spot to relax with a glass of wine.
I am a strong advocate for this type of business. Such spaces are desperately needed in other parts of the state. The Virginia Tasting Cellar is setting a high bar for similar operations. If you have not been, you should definitely make the effort and, while you are there, take some time to check out what’s new in Farmville. After you do, please let me know what you think.