Effingham Manor in Prince William County opened in summer 2017, joining the impressive ranks of Virginia wineries setting up house in historic properties. The pre-Revolutionary War manor, now on the National Register of Historic Places, lives on into a new era thanks to the perseverence of owner Chris Pearmund, of Pearmund Cellars and Vint Hill Craft Winery, and his partners.
Renovating a 250-year-old relic is challenging, especially when combining the rehab with the prickly labyrinth of opening a winery in a residential area. But done well, as Effingham is, and the impact is multiplied: preservation of national history and local culture (with private funds), continued agricultural use, and a new, interesting winery to add to Virginia's growing wine tourism industry.
The gracious house - which, by the way, was built by the great grandson of John Alexander, the namesake of Alexandria, VA - offers visitors a patio for lounging, a big fireplace, and the chance to check out the fermentation and barrel room. Wandering the property brings lots of little surprises, like a blacksmith shop, smokehouse and former slaves' quarters.
Chambourcin now grows on the grounds, and the tasting room offers a wide variety of wines from other vineyards, including Norton, Tannat, Viognier, Traminette, Sparkling Wine, Merlot, Chardonnay, Rose, and the popular Bordeaux-style blend, King's Ransom.
Important: Effingham is an adults-only winery. Dogs are also not permitted.
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