Complete with Grape Stomping
By Bridget Hill
Kirkwood Winery has the distinction of being the first vineyard in this region, and is located in a rural valley three miles north of Summersville, West Virginia. With his two sons, Rodney Facemire planted his vineyards in spring of 1984, only to lose the vineyards to the harsh winter that year and the ensuing droughts of 1985. Determined to succeed, the vineyards were replanted in the following years and now consist of over six acres that produce 40 tons of grapes annually. During this period, the orchards already on the farm were expanded. Blackberry, raspberry and blueberry fields were planted and a rhubarb patch was established. The old family oak press featured on their label has been used since trial production first began almost two decades ago. Harvests from these fields now yield over 4,000 gallons of wine annually from which more than 30 different varieties of French Hybrid American varietal, mead, vegetable and other fruit wines are produced.
Sales, tasting and tours of the vineyards and winery are available throughout the week and no prior appointment is necessary. If you are unable to visit Kirkwood personally, shipping is available.
Since the winery first opened in 1992, it has been host to the Kirkwood Grape Stomping Festival held each year on the third weekend in September. People young and old are invited to come and try their hand at stomping grapes. For 2004, the festival is on September 18-19. Kirkwood strives to maintain a strong family atmosphere during the festival believing it to be the most conducive environment for the continuing preservation of Appalachian history and culture. The goal of the festival continues to be the selection and promotion of the very best of the multi-talented people of West Virginia, most of whom provide demonstrations of their artistic and musical gifts.
Also at Kirkwood is the Isaiah Morgan Distillery. Delight your palate with Southern West Virginias finest Southern Moon Corn Liquor, Rye Whiskey, and Grappa Brandy. Tour the facility and see the nations smallest licensed still.
Kirkwood Winery is located at 1350 Phillips Run Rd., Summersville, WV 26651. For further information please contact Rodney Facemire at 1-888-4WV-WINE or visit www.kirkwood-wine.com.