Rappahannock Cellars Expands Winery

By Posted on Jan 05 2012 | By

Growth of Wine Club Leads to New & Expansive Members Lounge 

When John Delmare, owner of Rappahannock Cellars in Huntly, opened the doors to his tasting room in 2001 there wasn’t a single California-styled wine club operating in Virginia. Today, the Old Dominion has dozens of such clubs scattered throughout the state.

John Delmare

“I was surprised that no winery was operating a club that regularly ships wine to its customers, while at the same time offering special privileges at the winery to those loyal supporters. It’s a sound way to build your business and to connect with a group of people who can act as ambassadors for both your business and the state in general,” says Delmare.

Today, Rappahannock Cellars is a leader in the Virginia wine industry. “About sixty-five percent of our wine is shipped to our membership,” states Delmare.

Such growth dictated an expansion of both the winery’s warehouse and its members’ club room. On December 10th, the new room officially opened. Not one to think small, Delmare created a 2,000 square foot venue located over top of a new equally-sized warehouse facility. The club room can comfortably seat 150 people for casual tasting, wine dinners and other similar events.

As one enters the warmly appointed room, multiple picture windows offer views in every direction of vineyards, forests and mountains. Sipping wine in such an atmosphere is a sure cure for chasing away the workweek blues. “Many of our members visit us on weekends to relax and enjoy the beauty of Rappahannock County. The room can serve as their ‘country club’ and its expansion is our way of saying thanks for their loyal support,’’ says Delmare.

The room will also be available for lease during the week to public and corporate users.

The growth of Virginia wine might well be labeled “explosive”. The first commercial winery was licensed in 1967 and today there are some 230 wineries in the state. Industry experts predict that the acceleration of the industry will result in a doubling the Nation’s wine consumption in the next decade. If that comes to pass,Virginia could well be home to some 500 wineries by 2021. In Rappahanock County there are currently seven tasting rooms in operation: Chester Gap, Gadino, Gray Ghost, Little Washington,Narmada, Rappahannock Cellars and Sharp Rock.

“I welcome our county neighbors to come and visit us. We’d love to give them a tour of our expanded facilities and share with them the benefits of being a club member. Most local members save on the expense of shipping by picking up their monthly allotments here at the winery.  Plus, it creates an opportunity to spend a few hours of relaxation in a beautiful setting,” says Delmare.

The Delmare family is large and guests will often be greeted by family members who work and manage winery operations. Rappahannock Cellars is opened seven days a week from 11:30am to 5pm, and on Saturday till 6pm. Learn more about their extensive wine list and events by visiting rappahannockcellars.com.    


Published in the January 5, 2012 edition of the Rappahannock News.

Categories : WINE ARTICLES