Veritas branches out: Wide distribution planned for new brand True Heritage

True Heritage wines use grapes planted on historic estates in Keswick that are collaborating with Veritas on the new project. Photo: Veritas Vineyard & Winery True Heritage wines use grapes planted on historic estates in Keswick that are collaborating with Veritas on the new project. Photo: Veritas Vineyard & Winery

Afton’s Veritas Vineyard & Winery has announced the launch of a new label, True Heritage. Breaking away from the traditional Virginia winery model (mostly on-site and local sales), True Heritage will focus on wider distribution to both meet and increase demand for the Commonwealth’s reds and whites. The rollout targets retail outlets and restaurants in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. But Veritas CEO George Hodson and head winemaker Emily Pelton say the ultimate goal is to reach national and even international markets.

The brand name is a humblebrag
about Virginia’s place in U.S. winemaking history. As the True Heritage website notes, Jamestown settlers planted vines in 1609, and the first American vineyard—with 85 acres under cultivation—sprang up in Williamsburg in 1619, a full 160 years before missionaries put vines in the ground in California.

Today, Virginia bottles a fraction of the wine that industry-leading California does. But critics have noted a marked improvement in the quality of the vintages produced here, and True Heritage aims to capitalize on this. Planted on the historic Keswick estates Castalia and Ben Coolyn, 50 acres of vines currently produce grapes for True Heritage, and 150 more vineyard acres are planned.

United we eat

In October 2017, about 700 people attended the United Way’s first Community Table at the Jefferson School City Center, where they reflected on the violent white supremacist rallies of August 11 and 12. The third Community Table event—part of the city’s Unity Days—is a free event that takes place from 6-9pm on August 8 at IX Art Park. Attendees will gather for guided but casual conversation over a family-style meal by Harvest Moon Catering. “We all know that sharing a meal is one of the best ways to create new relationships,” says Caroline Emerson, United Way vice president for community engagement. “Getting to know each other can lead to greater awareness and understanding.” Register by emailing acommunitytable@unitedwaytja.org. Seating is limited, and attendance is determined by a lottery.

Just peachy

Nothing says summer quite like homemade ice cream, especially when it’s of the peach variety. For the past 35 years, Chiles Peach Orchard has donated peaches to the Crozet Lions Club, which then uses the freshly-picked fruit to make the creamy frozen stuff. Get a taste at the peach orchard from 9am-6pm on August 3, and 10am-6pm on August 4. All sales benefit the Crozet and Western Albemarle community. 1351 Greenwood Rd., 823-1583, chilesfamilyorchards.com.

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