Hours: Year Round
The story of Chateau MerrillAnne begins inÂ early 2004. Kenny White, the owner of MerrillAnne, a Virginia farm, was looking for a way to produce enough income from the farm to pay for its taxes and maintenance. Seeing the huge growth in the Virginia wine industry he decided that growing grapes may be the answer. InÂ the fall ofÂ 2004 Kenny commissioned aÂ vineyard feasibility study. This study was completed in November of 2004. The results were very promising as 3 potential vineyard sites were identified on the property.Â It also included aÂ detailed blueprint for row spacing,Â vine spacing, row orientation, suggested varieties, rootstocks and soil tests. This work was the foundationÂ on which Chateau MerrillAnne was built.Â Â With this information in hand Kenny spent the next several years researching the wine industry and trying to decide if taking on the mammoth challenge of a winery was something he was capable of doing on his own.
In 2008 Kenny married Emily Roberts. With her help and support they decided to move forward with the Vineyard/Winery. In the spring of 2010, following the blueprintÂ that the feasibility studyÂ had supplied,Â the first vineyard was planted at Chateau MerrillAnne. This was done with the help of many family, friends and volunteers. Without their help this could not have been done. Over the next couple of years Chambourcin, Cayuga, Chardonnay, Viognier, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were planted. The first harvest was in 2012. There was also vineyard space leased in Loudoun County and Albermarle County. During these yearsÂ Kenny and Emily took many classes offered by Piedmont Community College in Charlottesville thru their Viticulture and Enology Program. Program Manager Greg Rosco has done a great job of bringing theÂ best ofÂ the Virginia grape and wineÂ industry to the classroom/vineyard. These classes were invaluable.