It seems like only yesterday that a new winery in Fairfax was fighting with local authorities to be able to open its doors. Looking back at all the struggles Paradise Springs faced initially, and all of the winery’s subsequent success, the opening of their new facility - and their successful opening weekend - serves as a nice reminder to all Paradise Springs has overcome and accomplished in its brief history thus far. To recap: yes, there are still rural parts of Fairfax County. Yes, Paradise Springs makes good wine. Yes, the new facility will help Paradise Springs take their operation to the next level. The fact that they are just a quick trip from downtown DC – I-66 permitting – is just an added bonus to plan a visit.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Paradise Springs is All Grown-up
Paradise Springs is receiving ample support from both the Virginia wine industry and from local and state officials now that they have established themselves and their Chardonnay has won the Governor’s Cup. Their award-winning Chardonnay was one of the wines served at the Grand Opening. The other was their Cabernet Franc, which readers of this blog may have heard once or twice, is one of the varietals that grows extremely well in Virginia.
Gone are the days when Fairfax County zoning officials tried to claim that the winery was actually a manufacturing plant and not a farm. Even with the new facility, Paradise Springs is very much a farm, a winery, and a welcome addition to the exploding wine industry in the state. Virginia Wine Time has a good run down of all the big wigs, fat cats and honchos who were in attendance as well as lots of pictures of the event.
As for the new facility itself, there are essentially three different areas: a tasting room with bar large enough to accommodate several busloads of guests at a time, a production facility/barrel room and a large patio with a fireplace, tables and wooded views. The new building fits in with the current feel of Paradise Springs. Prior to the new facility opening, tastings were done in an old farmhouse and overflow crowds could taste in the barn as well. There was almost always overflow because, as charming as the old farmhouse is, it wasn’t big enough to accommodate the crowds. The barn and the new facility are adjacent to one another with the new facility mimicking the look and feel of the old barn’s exterior. The inside balances modern with traditional very well. The tasting bar side has a cozy feeling to it, despite being a large, airy space.
A portrait of Thomas Jefferson hangs on the wall, and I’m sure he’d be proud of what Paradise Springs, and Virginia wine in general, has accomplished.