King Family Vineyards
King Family Vineyards is a family-owned and operated boutique winery located in Crozet, just fifteen minutes from Charlottesville at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The 327-acre farm was purchased by Ellen & David King in 1996. In 1998, a young man knocked on their door and asked if he could lease some land for a vineyard. Sparked with curiosity, they started doing their homework, which included hiring a vineyard consultant and doing soil samples. Six months later they planted their first vines of Merlot and Viognier. Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Petit Verdot were planted shortly after.
Sitting at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the vineyard is located at 800 feet of elevation which helps keep the grapes cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Dyke silt loam soil nurtures the fruit while the ballerina shoot positioning allows access to abundant sun.
Throughout the year the vineyard is tended by hand. All leaf pulling, pruning, canopy maintenance, green harvesting (which limits the crop to about four tons per acre), and harvesting is done by hand. King Family prides themselves on utilizing the best management practices to avoid soil degradation and express the terroir in the grapes. (Terroir can be very loosely translated as “sense of place,” as in the land from which the grapes are grown imparts a unique quality specific to that place.)
The 2000 vintage was the first with just a few hundred cases. In 2002, the winery and tasting room building were completed and opened to the public in the fall. Today, the winery produces just over 10,000 cases per year. All of the fruit comes from the Monticello American Viticulture Area (AVA), with about 88% of the grapes coming directly from King Family’s twenty acres of vines.
The covered veranda, expansive lawn, and brick patio are perfect for outdoor picnics, while the Tasting Room and warm stone fireplace are inviting on cooler days.