We both grew up in Charlottesville, went to Albemarle High School and were married at the UVa Chapel. With lifelong ties here to UVa, friends and family, we are happy to be back in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains again after several years working and raising a family in coastal VA. Our search for the perfect vineyard site in the area lead us to purchase Afton Mountain Vineyards in 2009.
~Elizabeth & Tony Smith
Our beautiful vineyard site is located on the sunrise side of Afton Mountain. Here the vines are protected from frost by our elevation of nearly 1000 feet, shielded from excessive rain by the mountain’s rain shadow, and dried by the prevailing breezes flowing through the nearby Rockfish and Humpback gaps.
Afton Mountain Vineyards is one of Virginia’s first farm wineries; our original vines were planted in 1978. Those blocks are still in production today. Since our acquisition in 2009 we have doubled the acres under vine; we now grow a total of 11 varieties on 26 acres.
Our winemaker Damien Blanchon has been making wine in Virginia since 2006, since attaining his degree in viticulture and oenology in his native France. He joined AMV in 2011 where he continued his family tradition of making wine and growing grapes. Damien oversees our wine production and vineyard operations implementing sustainable, environmentally respectful practices in both areas. His philosophy is “good wine comes from good grapes”, focusing on understanding the specific terroir of our site and each vintage to create wines reflecting this philosophy.