Mike Kenny, Diane, Mike discussed on Purity Products
I welcome you back to Washington D. C in the four Seasons Hotel right here on Pennsylvania Avenue with the Georgetown section of the city and we are live on remote today. Stop five of our big Let's go America tour. So, Robert, this D C area is really special to us. We were married here and on Thursday. We've And turned out to Purcellville, Virginia and Loudon County, where we officially type in that. And while we were there, we had the chance. To visit with Mike Kenny and I want Mike, along with his wife, Diane. They are the owners of Sunset Hills Vineyard. They bought the land back in 1997. They've been growing grapes there for over 20 years. They had their first harvest back in 2000 and one. The rest, they say, is history as today. It's one of the top vineyards in Virginia. And here's that interview with Mike Kenny. Well, Mike. Well, Mary and I were getting married in this area back in 1995. You and your wife, Diane were here staking out the perfect sight for a vineyard. And that certainly was the time to do it for sure, because we've seen a lot of growth there as personnel in Hillsboro and the surrounding areas have really just boomed in growth. So you've aided many acres since that time, including the 18 seventies barn that we're in right now, Can you share how your original version is still reflected in the vineyards today? When we first started, our plan was to grow to see if we could grow good grapes in Virginia When we first started. It was a very new idea, and we started with planting three acres of chardonnay up the hill. And that turned out pretty well. And over the years we've expanded again and again to now we have five farms in Northern Virginia and we farm about 80 acres of mature grapevines, and they've really have done well. You've had quite a history here Over the years since 1995 and Robert we should've bought that land. For sure. The growth really is amazing here, talk with us about the grapes and the wines because one of your sayings is from our vines to your glass. I know a lot of vineyards use grapes from other regions, and that's fine. But your wines are all based on grapes that are grown here in Virginia. Correct and about how many varieties do you have? Yes. So I think it's an authenticity for us. It was always important to Diane and Iowa. They started to grow our own grapes. You know, if you think in the glass, everything that's in your glass had to come out of a great so if you can control the quality of the grapes, you can control the quality of the wine. Over the years. It's been matching the different kinds of grapes with the different growing conditions that we have, because when the grapes are happy when they're doing well, and on that parcel of land, that's when you're able to produce the best grapes. So over the years we've increased what we grow. We now have 15 varieties of grapes that we grow five different farms read out over about 100 miles, and it's matching that grape variety with the right climate has really done well. And these grapes are all of your winds are made from Virginia grapes. That's right. In fact, all of our wines are made from our grapes. We grow more than we actually use. And we keep the best and we sell the rest so that we're able to use the best grapes for our own wines. That recipe for success for sure. So you know, the years between 2000 and eight and 2011 saw the opening of your tasting room here, which were in as we speak. Uh and I mentioned you've also purchased other vineyards. It's no small operation for sure. I'd like to know how many farms do you currently have. You can talk about that a little bit, but You know, I always say if you're going to do something, go at it. Full ferocity be the best at it. Clearly, you're look you're doing that. So I'm sure you and Diana must have an ultimate goal for the vineyards Do not Well, we do, but we got into it by really a goal of, uh it's a it's quality. We always do whatever we can to make the very best quality wine we possibly can and the best customer experience because I think that you have to go hand in hand. And it's hard because the vineyards when you buy them and plant them, it's five years before those grapes show up as wine and somebody's glass. So you have to be forecasting out where the business needs to be five years from now to plant the grapes now so that you have them in five years. In a way we have a longer product cycle than General Motors does for cars, So you really have to be forward looking and where you want the business to be Mike. We know your wines have won many state and national awards, But the people here in Virginia have also voted you best winery several times. I'm looking at some signs here. Best of Loudon County winner What does that mean to you? Your wife and your team. I think the first we're very flattered These awards the best in Loudon County. The last two years. We also had won the best in Virginia for three years about 10 years ago. What it really means to me. These are people voting our customers and other customers voting on what they perceive as the best winery. And I'm very flattered that hundreds and thousands of people that come here would think that we are the best. I mean, I know how hard we work, but it's really a great compliment to us that That hard work that we do that the customers really see that and they value that. You know, Mary and I, As I said, So, here we are. In Percival, Virginia. We were married here. The area has just mushroomed. As I've said, Has that surprised you at all? And just how many wineries and vineyards are actually here now? It does surprise me. When we first started. I think we were number five in the area and at the time it was a long shot that this would even work. What we worried about is planting grapes and what used to be cornfields and cow pastures. We were hoping that it would that this area really would take off and it's a credit to the quality of the wineries nearby. That the industry has really taken off to where now it is a viable weekend destination for so many people Definitely destination to come. Try some wine, which is what I think we're going to be doing right now. Mike, our time is up today. We've really enjoyed our time being back in Percival and we appreciate the tour and all that you've done and that you've built so our best to you, Diane, Your wife and your team. Thank you..