Hickory Hill Vineyards
Winery, Tasting Room, and Picnic Area
Wendy’s Horse, Rebel, in his pasture
Smith Mountain Lake
“Outside of my wife’s arms and my daughter’s eyes, there is no place on mother earth I’d rather be than in the vineyard.” -Donald Furrow-Scott
A winery’s wine is only as good as its vineyard and the vineyard is only as good as its vigneron. We have a great one in Donald Furrow-Scott. For the last 20+ years, he has learned much about growing wine grapes in the challenging, humid climate of Virginia.
The vines at Hickory Hill are nearing their 30th leaf, making them the oldest, commercially producing vines in the area and in the top 25% in Virginia. They are about 1000′ off the lake and the meso-climate is dominated by being downwind of the lake humidity bubble, routinely registering 10-15 points higher in humidity than any airport reportings or weather channel projections. Not unexpectedly, the fungal and disease pressure is a huge challenge.
For orientation, Roger established the vineyard about 10° south-west to north-east) to take advantage of nearby coves regular winds. The top of the vineyard gets wonderful morning sun to help dry off the dew, and there is a generous cold air ponding area below the vines to minimize frosts. For all the negatives with respect to humidity, the thermal mass of the lake itself provides significant protection from spring frosts.