Dida’s Distillery opens a new frontier in Virginia craft distilling with 100% grape-based spirits.
Rappahannock Cellars, a renowned and award-winning Virginia Winery located in Rappahannock County, recently announced the opening of Dida’s Distillery at their Huntly, VA winery & tasting room. With a combined 30 years of grape growing and wine making experience between California and Virginia, Rappahannock Cellars is the first Virginia winery to capitalize on Virginia’s booming craft distilling industry by specializing solely in spirits made 100% from premium grape wines produced on site.
With regard to the expansion into the spirits industry with a sole focus on distilling from grape, Rappahannock Cellars founder John Delmare says, “Grapes have some major advantages over grains; they have a lot more flavor and aroma. More flavor and aroma going into the still provides more flavor and aroma in the final spirit. And not only as brandy: grapes also make for incredibly smooth and flavorful Vodkas and Gins, with character you can’t get from grains. Making exceptional wines isn’t easy, or cheap; distilling them is much more difficult and complex. But with three decades of winemaking experience, we’re crafting world class wines and distilling them into exceptional spirits.”
To launch Dida’s Distillery (pronounced “did-uh’s”), Rappahannock Cellars spent nearly three years planning and navigating the unique challenges of distilling from grape, from permitting, to the unique logistics of wine making, to the timing of it all around one annual harvest where the fresh wine needs to be immediately turned into spirits.
The name Dida means “grandfather” in Croatian, and is tribute to Paul Mariani, the Delmare family’s grandfather, who established the family legacy of fruit farming.
Dida’s is open for walk-in tastings from 11:30 am – 5:00 pm Friday through Sunday. Its initial lineup includes Pressed Vodka, Immature Brandy, and coming soon, a barrel-finished Pressed Gin. Its first barrel-aged signature Brandy will be ready in two years.
For more information and reservations see www.DidasDistillery.com
Rappahannock Cellars is a family-owned and operated vineyard and winery located in Huntly, VA. After selling their California winery and moving to Virginia in 1996, the Delmare family founded Rappahannock Cellars, and has been producing internationally acclaimed wines since 2000. Rappahannock Cellars & Dida’s Distillery is a member of the Rappahannock County Artisan Trail, Blue Ridge Whisky Wine Loop, and the American Distilling Institute.