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Sweely Estate Winery
Kathy Sullivan

Sweely Estate WinerySummary: Sweely Estate Winery sits in Virginia’s countryside less than 30 miles north of Charlottesville. The winery offers a delightful time for wine enthusiasts and travelers. The large tasting room facility is welcoming and offers numerous red and white wines. The portfolio caters to dry but many will enjoy the delightful Viognier that is lightly floral and perfect with appetizers on a summer afternoon. Sweely Estate Winery is focused on creating quality wines with reasonable prices and they have been very successful in meeting these goals.

Sweely Estate WineryUpon arriving at Sweely Estate Winery, one is struck by the size and the delightful views of the Hospitality Center that includes a retail area, tasting area and large event room. A wide decorative walkway leads one from the parking area to the front doors where one will see a perfect glass circle when both doors are closed. The structure reminds one perhaps of a small elegant English castle. Note the sophisticated décor of dark wood with numerous wine related items tastefully gracing the main area. A large fireplace is to the back of this area with comfortable leather chairs in front of the fireplace.

Sweely Estate WineryVisitors walk past the fireplace into the tasting area where a large oval tasting counter overlooks windows with views of a deck and vineyards. The door leading to the deck matches the door at the entrance to the building. The deck has several tables with chairs where guests can enjoy a glass of wine in a beautiful setting.

The owners, Jess and Sharon Sweely, are focused on creating quality wines with reasonable prices and they have been very successful in meeting these goals.

Vintners Room

The winery offers private and public events. On the way to the large event room visitors will notice the way is lined with numerous art selections. Some are available for purchase while others are privately owned. A large part of the Hospitality Center is a vast entertainment room, a perfect place for a wedding and reception. Elegant smaller rooms are available for smaller events. Those planning conferences and business meetings may want to consider Sweely Estate Winery as a location. A full caterer’s kitchen is also located in the Hospitality Center. Watch for public events. Sipping to Sunset on Fridays is in the planning now.

Sweely Estate Winery     Sweely Estate Winery


The 40 acres of vineyards are densely planted with 1,800 vines per acre. Grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Muscat and Petit Manseng.

Sweely Estate WineryThe Winery

The winery building is a short distance from the event center. The winery building, designed by winemaker, Frantz Ventre opened in 2007. The facility would be the envy of many winemakers. The winery building was designed with efficiency and gravity flow in mind as Frantz wanted the gentlest possible handling of the grapes from crushing through to bottling. Flexibility is important; the winery is equipped for either mechanical punch down or pump over. The upper level of the building is the press pad where grapes are brought in through a large rolling doorway. On this level the crusher, press and other typical winery equipment are on wheels and it is easy to move the equipment to the best location for the best performance. The barrel room on the lowest level is partially underground and can hold several hundred barrels.

Current production is 8,000 to 10,000 cases of wine with the capability of producing 25,000 cases. The winery has nine wines available. At the time of our visit we tasted two whites and three red wines.

Sweely Estate WineryWhite Wines

Chardonnay 2007 was a golden yellow with notes of apple and pear with hints of vanilla. The finish was creamy and buttery with a fruit aftertaste and oak nuances. Viognier 2007 was a straw color with a floral aroma. There were rose hints on the taste and finish. The finish was crisp with citrus.

Red Wines

Merlot 2006 was a dark ruby color. The wine offered red fruit notes with a hint of earthiness. There were mild tannins on the finish. Merlot 2007 was ruby. The aroma and taste were of red fruit with earthy notes. Tannins and fruit notes were on the finish. Cabernet Franc 2007 was ruby color with notes of dark fruit and hints of violets. There were tannins on the fruity finish.

Enjoy a visit to the beautiful countryside of Charlottesville, Virginia where you will discover Sweely Estate Winery and quality, reasonably priced wines.

Sweely Estate Winery
6109 Wolftown-Hood Road
Madison, VA, 22727

GPS: N38º 21.100’ W78º 18.627’



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