Become the Vintner
Learn wine making from the grape to the glass at Virginia's Vint Hill Craft Winery
Even if you don’t know the difference between a raisin and a petit verdot, an innovative new Virginia winery wants to put you in the vintner’s seat. The program is the first of its kind on the East Coast and comes courtesy of longtime winemaker Chris Pearmund. Along with selecting the overall profile of your wine, including the grapes and barrel, you’ll have the opportunity to participate throughout the various stages of the yearlong process, getting hands-on instruction in sorting, crushing, fermenting, you name it. Production takes place at the state-of-the-art Vint Hill Craft Winery, just outside of Washington, D.C., and there are even webcams set up if you can’t be on site. In the end, you’ll wind up with an entire barrel’s worth of your own personal wine (that’s about 300 bottles).
Prices start at $6,000 for the whole shebang, which works out to around $20 a bottle. Groups are welcome to share the cost (and the wine), and the winery is offering $500 off through Labor Day to celebrate its grand opening. Not sure what type of wine you want? Bring in your favorite bottle, and the staff will help craft a recipe to match. And yes, you also get to design the label. But the best part? Enjoying the fruits of your labor, of course.