MountainRose Vineyards, Inc. is a “dream come true” for David Lawson, part owner and winemaker of the family owned winery and vineyard located in the heart of the coal mining region of the Appalachian Mountains. David dreamed of being an entrepreneur while in high school and had a number of farm related small businesses from making molasses from sorghum cane to selling produce at the local farm... Read more
MountainRose Vineyards, Inc. is a “dream come true” for David Lawson, part owner and winemaker of the family owned winery and vineyard located in the heart of the coal mining region of the Appalachian Mountains. David dreamed of being an entrepreneur while in high school and had a number of farm related small businesses from making molasses from sorghum cane to selling produce at the local farmer’s market. He rooted 100 grape vines from an over 80 years old family concord grape vine and planted his first commercial acre before graduating from high school in 1997. While in college, his parents helped him plant more vines with the understanding that he would stay in school, majoring in engineering. David had an opportunity to work one semester while at Virginia Tech with a large Virginia winery and vineyard in the fall of 2001. David fell in love with grapes and wine and was determined to have his own vineyard. There was only one problem, David’s only land was in the mountains of Southwest Virginia and no one had ever had a vineyard in Wise County. However, Wise County had been a major producer of apples and grapes will often grow where apples grow. David read and studied everything about grapes and talked to the old timers’ in the apple business. He determined that certain varieties would not only grow here but because of the low humidity and cooler temperatures, might even have better flavor than other parts of Virginia and California. The climate is closer to New York State, so David visited the Finger Lakes area in the summer of 2002 and began studying the viticultural research from Cornell University. By the growing season of 2003, David had become very involved with the Far Southwest Virginia Vineyard Association. He was instrumental in obtaining a marketing grant for the Association and visited most of the local growers. He was growing 6 varieties of grapes and selling some of the grapes locally and to the nearby winery in Abingdon. He was also encouraging others to become interested in growing grapes. In 2004, David convinced his parents, Ron and Suzanne Lawson to become partners in building the first winery in Wise County. The winery was barely completed in time to crush the first harvest in October. David and his wife Brandi had purchased a small producing vineyard in Russell County and the combined harvest was around 10 tons of grapes. Excitement was high and the beautiful autumn weather lingered so that the grapes harvested were excellent, high in sugar and low in acidity. The first wines promised to be excellent. We want visitors to have a wine experience as good as the wine and leave with more than a bottle of wine. When visitors leave our winery, we want to have conveyed the image of a friendly family working together to create a wine tasting experience that lingers as a pleasant memory, calling one back again and again! When our visitors open their wine, we want them to recall the beauty of the mountains, the friendliness of the staff, a tranquil picture of the grapes growing, the wind and sun on the pond, and the smell of roses, so that each sip will bring a small joy to their lives. Read less
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