I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since I first planted vines at our Madison County country property. This year we at DuCard Vineyards will be celebrating our 10th anniversary as a Virginia farm winery. Time flies of course. Back then, the industry was mostly individual entrepreneurs like me – just guys with a few acres wanting to make some great wine and hoping some tourists roaming the countryside would stop in, try it and take some home.
There are more and more options for local consumers today. Farm wineries like us, of course, but also other types of wineries. And there are also countless new categories of alcoholic beverages: cideries, urban microbreweries, ‘farm breweries’ and distilleries.
The more options, the more challenging it is to differentiate yourself and appeal to a particular ‘niche’ market of some kind. At DuCard, we have emphasized being a boutique winery. We operate in a ‘green’ and sustainable fashion in a gorgeous mountainside setting. We offer artisanal, high-quality wines made from grapes grown and lovingly tended and controlled by us and made the old-fashioned way in small quantities that are sold only on-site at our tasting room.