About DEMOCRACY: The Farm
Located just off U.S. 29 on Rt. 718 in gorgeous Nelson County, Democracy Vineyards grows six varieties of grapes at an elevation between 800 and 1,00 feet.
Noted Virginia Viticulturalist Chris Hill coordinated the planting of Democracy Vineyards. By design, the rows are set to run North/South to take advantage of the prevailing wind patterns and to provide the greatest sun exposure to the fruit in the summer months. The alignment will also provide easy tractor and worker access to the vines.
Democracy Vineyards is appropriately located in the richest part of Virginia’s wine country the Monticello American Viticultural Area. According to the Jeffersonian Grape Growers Society:
“The wineries of the Monticello appellation fulfill a vision of Thomas Jefferson, whose aim was to produce exceptional quality wines like those he had tasted on his travels to Europe. Today, 500 acres of vitis vinifera vineyards surround Jefferson's historic Monticello estate. In just over two decades, the wine industry in the Charlottesville area has flourished, achieving national and international acclaim. Within the boundaries of this federally designated area are twenty-one farm wineries, the largest concentration of such in Virginia.”
Ben Margulies serves as Democracy’s Vineyard Manager and Winemaker since 2013. Margulies studied Chemistry at Maryland before heading west to learn Viticulture and Enology at the University of California at Davis. Since 2009, he has worked with vineyards and wineries in the Commonwealth of Virginia including Leogrande Winery, Blenheim Vineyards and Chateau Morrisette. Margulies believes in the earth connection to the wines. He said, “making the wines at Democracy Vineyards gives me the opportunity to follow the vintage from bud-break, to berry, to bottle. Making wine in Virginia, there is always the need to improvise from year to year, but that's also a chance for some tinkering and creativity. The wines benefit from modern vineyard and winemaking techniques as well as the close attention they can get at smaller production levels. My ultimate goal in the winery is to use the diversity of flavors that our vineyard site gives us to make a variety of winesfor our customers' palates.”
Our goal is to work with the land to grow excellent wines from the ground up. Democracy Vineyards is committed to building a sustainable farming operation to enhance the farm and promote agritourism in the region.