New winery in Elkton up and running

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 6:09 PM EDT
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ELKTON, Va. (WHSV) - Back in March the Elkton Town Council gave the green light for the opening of the town’s first winery. Now after some minor delays, Chateau Virginia is open for business in the center of Elkton’s downtown.

“The first few weeks have been good. We opened a little bit abruptly for our sake as we get used to these new systems, however now that the word is starting to get out a lot of people are getting very excited and we are getting an increasing amount of traffic,” said Andrew Starkey, owner of Chateau Virginia.

The winery opened its doors in early June and has seen a steady increase in customers since then. The winery was originally a family affair and had been in the works for a few years, but its timeline was set back by a tragic loss.

“My older brother was supposed to be the owner and I was supposed to be just the winemaker, however, he passed away in August of 2020 and that stalled things quite a bit. But in his memory, I decided to continue the business anyway and here we are today,” said Starkey.

Prior to opening the business, Starkey spent two years in the Champagne region of France learning to make wine and champagne from two different champagne masters. Now he’s bringing a unique centuries-old winemaking technique to the Valley.

“I will be serving and making my own wines that are more of the Old World style than the American New World style but what I have been very surprised by is one how quickly people have accommodated to our various selections, and two how many people are coming in who are genuinely excited and know a lot about wine,” said Starkey.

Before the winery has its grand opening celebration, Starkey hopes to work with other local businesses to allow customers to bring takeout food from area restaurants into the winery he also wants to add outdoor seating.

Ultimately Starkey hopes to carry out his brother’s vision for the winery and make it something he would be proud of.

“Everything I’m doing is a memorial to my older brother and I don’t want my success just to be limited to me and him. I want his memory and everything that I am doing to benefit as many people as possible,” he said.

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