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New craft distillery to open in nearby Culpeper County VA

Owners of Old House Vineyards will open a new craft distillery called Old House Distillery on their family farm in Culpeper County, becoming one of only a few joint winery and distillery operations in Virginia, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

Old House Vineyards will invest $229,000 and create three new jobs in Culpeper County, while sourcing 82 percent of its grain, grapes, and honey from Virginia agricultural producers. 

The Commonwealth of Virginia is partnering with Culpeper County and Old House Vineyards on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID), Gov. Terry McAuliffe said.

The news release quoted McAuliffe as saying, “Today’s announcement is an excellent example of the important role that our diverse agricultural industry can and will play in building the new Virginia economy.  This AFID grant to Culpeper County leverages one of the Commonwealth’s greatest assets to bring together multiple aspects of economic development in one operation – agriculture, entrepreneurship, manufacturing, tourism and community development, among others.  Virginia’s status as a world-class wine, cider, beer and spirits producer is rising, and we aim to raise it even higher.”

The new craft distillery will use agricultural commodities to produce handcrafted spirits, bringing a new economic development and agritourism opportunity to Culpeper County through a long-established family business in the region.  The new operations for Old House Distillery help to raise the profile of the craft distillery industry in the state, merging the interests of agriculture, tourism and community development.

According to Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore.  “With more than 260 wineries and cideries, 100 craft breweries and 20 craft distilleries, Virginia is quickly emerging as the preeminent craft beverage player on the East Coast.  These entrepreneurial ventures are creating jobs and generating revenue, especially in rural areas, and helping to build the new Virginia economy.”

Old House Distillery will invest in the site improvements, buildings, and equipment needed to open a new distillery, tasting room and remote-licensed ABC store on the 75-acre property. 

The company’s signature product will be a Virginia Brandy – 100% grown, harvested, fermented, distilled and bottled on site.  I

Also Old House Distillery will provide distilling services for local wineries to distill their wines into fortified spirits for a 100% Virginia Port-style wine.  Old House Distillery will also begin a Virginia Brandy collection in partnership with other wineries across the Commonwealth.

The news release quoted Patrick Kearney, owner of Old House Vineyards, as saying, “We have been tremendously fortunate to live and operate in a state and county so supportive of both agricultural commodities and new industries,” said   “I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the citizens of Culpeper for their incredible support both today and over the past 15 years that we have been able to call this county home.  We look forward to welcoming everyone to the opening of our new craft distillery and World War II Tasting Room later this year!”

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) worked with Culpeper County to secure this expansion for Virginia.  Governor McAuliffe approved a $20,000 grant from the AFID Fund to assist Culpeper County with the project.  Old House Distillery is also committing to purchase more than $101,000 in Virginia grapes, grain, and honey over three years, or more than 80% of agricultural products needed for the new production venture.

According to a 2013 economic impact study conducted by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, agriculture and forestry are two of Virginia’s largest private industries with a combined economic impact of $70 billion annually.  Agriculture generates more than $52 billion per annum, while forestry generates more than $17 billion.  The industries also provide more than 400,000 jobs in the Commonwealth.  More information about the Weldon Cooper Center’s study can be found at

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