ELKTON, Va. (WHSV) – Last March, Elkton City Council gave the go-ahead for the opening of the town’s first winery. Now, after some minor delays, Chateau Virginia is open for business in the center of downtown Elkton.
“The first few weeks were good. We opened a bit abruptly for ourselves as we get used to these new systems, but now that word is starting to spread, a lot of people are getting very excited and we’re getting an increasing amount of traffic,” said Andrew Starkey. , owner of Château Virginie.
The winery opened in early June and has seen a steady increase in clientele since then. The winery was originally a family affair and had been in the works for a few years, but its timeline was delayed by a tragic loss.
“My eldest brother was supposed to be the owner and I was only supposed to be the winemaker, however, he passed away in August 2020 and that stalled things a bit. But in his memory, I still decided to continue the business and we are where we are today,” Starkey said.
Before opening the business, Starkey spent two years in Champagne in France learning how to make wine and champagne from two different Champagne masters. Today, he brings a centuries-old winemaking technique unique to the valley.
“I will serve and make my own wines which are more Old World style than New World American style, but what really surprised me was how quickly people adapted to our different selections, and two how many people are who are really excited and know a lot about wine,” Starkey said.
Before the winery has its grand opening celebration, Starkey hopes to work with other local businesses to allow customers to bring takeout from area restaurants to the winery, it also wants to add seating to the outside.
Ultimately, Starkey hopes to fulfill his brother’s vision for the winery and make it something he would be proud of.
“Everything I do is a memorial to my older brother and I don’t want my success to be limited to him and me. I want his memory and everything I do to benefit as many people as possible,” he said. he declared.
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