I tried visiting WineTree Vineyards before when I was in the area, but I was driving from the opposite direction, and there were no signs really indicating where it was. So we passed it up. THIS TIME, I took I-77 right to the Emerson Avenue exit and found WineTree Vineyards with no problems at all.
WineTree Vineyeards is a farm, vineyard and winery all in one. Craig and Candice Bandy purchased the WineTree Farm in 2001 to expand their grape-growing abilities, which they had been doing as a hobby for years. They sold the first bottle of wine in 2008, and produce traditional style dry white and red wines, as well as sweet wines.
When we first walked in, there were folks already there. So, we kind of had to mill about the tasting area waiting for our turn. There are no appointments at WineTree; instead, the WineTree Vineyards Tasting Room is open Memorial Day through Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. From September through May, the tasting room is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. January and February, tastings are available 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday and weekdays by appointment.
This wine tasting differed from the others in that the actual owner was not there to talk us through the wines; instead, the daughter helped out. While she had a good handle on the the wines, there were a few questions she wasn't able to answer. Also odd was two guys who were hovering at the appointment, trying to condescendingly be funny ('Let me guess your names! Is it Brittany?'). So, the vibe here was totally different from the others.
They have a good number of wines, including noiret, cabernet sauvignon, red satin, riesling, chardonnay, traminette, cayuga white, Lighthouse (off-dry white wine), MainSail (a dry white), catawba, angel blush (blend of catawba and fredonia), fredonia, and hummingbird (blend of two North American native grapes and Cayuga white). I liked their sweeter wines more than their dry ones. And I ended up taking home a bottle of the hummingbird!
To visit: Take the Emerson Avenue Exit off of I-77, go west on Rt 68 towards Parkersburg for 200 yards. Jesterville road is directly across from the Emerson Commons entrance. Drive 0.7 miles down Jesterville road and look for the signs. The vineyard, tasting room, and gift shop are on the right side of the road.
WineTree Vineyards is located at 772 Jesterville Road, Vienna, WV 26105. 304-865-0507. Main phone is 304-481-4856.