Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives

Oakencroft Farm

Oakencroft winery had been making wines in Virginia since the '80s, back when Virginia and wine did not go together in most people's minds. So when the winery was sold, many wondered what would happen to the wine.

Some people dream of getting their hands (feet?) down and dirty in the winemaking world, but the new owners of Oakencroft had a different juice in mind – one fit for the whole family. They decided to concert the whole operation to making grape juice! But not just any grape juice: complex, naturally made grape juice that starts out with wine grapes.

Oakencroft relies on its extensive knowledge of grape varietals to make each impressive bottle and provide on-the-nose tasting notes. They’re currently working with Seyval Blanc, Traminette and Chambourcin grapes, using the rich terroir in Charlottesville to provide everything from aromatic white to luscious red juice. It all tastes surprisingly like our favorite wines, just without the hangover.

They kept only the grapes that were resistant to the major diseases affecting grape vines in Virignia, so they could cut their use of pesticides and start farming in a much more earth-friendly way. They added an environmentally friendly pesticide regimen and a canopy management program, which provides proper air circulation and sunlight penetration into the grape arbors. The big idea? "Healthy water, healthy wildlife, healthy forests, and healthy meadows equal a healthy farm."

Could we love them more? Yes we could, as soon as we got a chance to sip their delicious, festive sparkling grape juices. We love that they are rich and complex, and taste way more refined than what we used to think of as grape juice. We consider them a must-have at any holiday party or group get-together.