New winery opens for business

“It was a pipe dream,” she said. In 2011, when the Deals retired, they bought the Bragg Farm prior to renaming it Middle Fork Farm. The Bragg family owned the farm for 100 years, raising cattle. Now the farm no longer features cattle and hay but 11 acres of rolling hills, dotted with grapevines; Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Gris, Cab Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. There are two acres of strawberries and pumpkins and the only livestock are over 30 Kiko-Boer goats.


“In 2013 we planted the first vines,” she said. Cunningham Creek Winery at Middle Fork Farm is once again a thriving farm.

During the ribbon cutting ceremony, hosted by the Fluvanna Chamber of Commerce on July 20 to mark the grand opening of Cunningham Creek Winery, many Chamber members and guests were sampling the wines.

“Our strawberry wine sold out in three days,” said Hernandez, who assures faithful customers more will be coming late this summer.

They also feature a 2014 Rivanna Red, a classic blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot with a delicate balance of currants and cherry with a hint of white pepper.  They suggest trying it with grilled meats or salmon.

Their 2014 Merlot is a blend of East and West coast styles with berry and plum. It goes well with steak, burgers, grilled fish or vegetables and, of course, chocolate.

Their 2014 Meritage is a balanced blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot, featuring essential flavors of raspberry, blackberry, and chocolate. Enjoy it with roast beef, Portobello mushrooms, grilled tuna, and strong cheeses.

Their Cabernet Franc Rose blends an aroma of grapefruit, cherry candy and spice. It is recommended as a “great summer wine” that goes well with light fare or spicy foods.

2015 Cycle 76, an odd label for a smooth, relaxing wine is made from 100 percent Pinot Gris with flavors of apple, peach and lemon-lime. This is available on tap in the Tasting Room.

2015 classic Virginia Viognier is crisp with a touch of apricot and citrus. It is suggested to serve it with chicken, turkey, seafood or mild cheeses.

For wine lovers there is a wine club. They will ship your package to you four times per year – January, April, August, November – or pick it up at the winery and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine. The benefits include 20 percent off bottles of wine and 20 percent off 9 oz. jars of Middle Fork Farm Spread as well as free tastings or glasses of wine for a member and a friend and advance notice of special events, including early releases of new wines.

Included in the spacious tasting room is the Farm Store with a variety of locally grown products including fresh eggs, honey, jam, seasonal produce, free-range chicken and much more.

Groups can sit in the tasting room or on a beautiful evening, sit outside and enjoy the rolling hillsides and tranquility.

For more information visit

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