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Wisteria Farm and Vineyard
by
Kathy Sullivan

Wisteria Farm and VineyardSummary: Wisteria Farm and Vineyard is located in western Virginia’s countryside town of Stanley. Wisteria is a small, boutique winery offering a cozy, comfortable atmosphere. Visitors to the winery are likely to see Romney sheep, chickens and dogs. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch or purchase a light snack in the tasting room.

Wisteria Farm and Vineyard is easy to find in Stanley, Virginia. Travelers will easily locate the winery with its white Victorian house and bright pink shutters. The original farm dates back to the late 1800s. Today the Wisteria tasting room is located in an addition, adjacent to the quaint Victorian home. An arbor is adjacent to the tasting room where guests can sit and enjoy a glass of wine during the warmer months. Inside, the small, cozy tasting room offers the ambiance of a brick fireplace and seating. Visitors will want to consider bringing a picnic or purchasing a light snack at the winery to enjoy with the Wisteria wines.

The Story of Wisteria Farm and Vineyard

Moussa and Sue Ishak are the owners and Moussa is from Lebanon. An artist’s portrayal of the village Moussa is from is painted on the wall of the tasting room behind the tasting counter. The tasting counter is from the Lebanese town where he was born. Moussa continues to visit his mother in Lebanon and helps her with the olive harvest.

Wisteria Farm and VineyardAt the time of our early November visit, Moussa was cleaning equipment in the winery production area. We walked into the winery and noticed the beautiful contrast of cedar doors with the gleaming stainless steel tanks. While we learned Moussa’s story of the winery, he noted that when they purchased the property it had been functioning as a bed and breakfast. During the 1990s Moussa, an engineer and Sue discussed what they would do as retirement age approached. They purchased the property in 2000 and it took them three years to clear the land. Much of the property had cedar growing on it. The cleared cedar was used for trellising the grapevines.

They planted the first grapevines in the vineyard in 2000. The first year they planted 200 grapevines. Before retiring they worked in the vineyard on weekends and used their grapes to craft wines for their personal use. For several years Moussa planted 200 vines each year. The first commercial vintage for Wisteria was in 2008. The winery opened commercially in 2009. Currently production is 1,400 cases and Moussa is comfortable with that quantity. Wisteria wines are sold in the tasting room and in restaurants.

Environmentalists will be pleased to learn that Wisteria Farm and Vineyard received a Certificate of Environmental Commitment. The certificate means that Wisteria “is committed to minimizing its environmental impacts by preventing pollution wherever feasible in its operations.”

Wisteria Farm and VineyardWisteria Vineyards

The vineyards at Wisteria have 5.5 acres of vines. Approximately 600 grapevines are planted per acre. Today Moussa does all the vineyard work himself. He noted that he starts pruning the vines in December and takes most of the winter to complete.

Wisteria Wines

Traminette 2014 was a light yellow color. The aroma was very floral. The taste offered notes of roses, daisies and a hint of yellow stone fruit. The finish was crisp with floral notes. Viognier 2014 was produced in oak. The wine was a straw color. The aroma and taste were of caramel and floral including daisies. The finish was floral that yielded to caramel then back to floral. Ashtaroot was a blend of apple, Traminette and Seyval. The wine was a pale yellow. The taste was crisp with a bit of sweetness. The taste lingered. This wine would be good as an aperitif or paired with food.

Wisteria Farm and VineyardPetit Verdot 2013 was a translucent dark ruby color with a dark purple hue. The aroma had black fruit notes. The taste was of blackberries, plums, cassis and leather. The wine was full-bodied with tannins. Norton 2012 was a dark ruby color. The aroma and taste offered earthy, black fruit and a hit of citrus. The full-bodied wine had mild tannins. Adonis 2014 was a blend of Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Traminette. The wine was a light translucent purple color. The wine offered notes of berry fruit and earthiness. The finish was peppery, spicy and was dry with a hint of sweetness.

Sweet Daisy is a special wine produced with artificially frozen grapes. For every bottle purchased, $1 is donated to the Page County Animal Shelter. The wine had 7% residual sugar. Sweet Daisy was pale yellow and offered yellow stone fruit particularly nectarines. The finish was sweet and the fruit lingered.

Events

Events at Wisteria Farm and Vineyard include music. Numerous events are offered for wine club members. Special wine club events include barrel tastings, Christmas and a chocolate fondu event.

Wisteria Farm and VineyardWisteria Farm

In addition to the vineyards, Wisteria has a flock of Romney sheep, free roaming chickens and dogs. Skeins of wool from the sheep are available in the tasting room. A few items crafted with wool are also available.

Plan to visit Wisteria Farm and Vineyard for a relaxing day on a small farm with vineyards and a winery.

Wisteria Farm and Vineyard
1126 Marksville Rd
Stanley, VA 22851

GPS: N38º 34.452’ W78º 28.434’

 

Article written November 2015



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