New winery coming to Winchester in August
The James Charles Winery and Vineyard LLC is gearing up for its debut in the bustling Northern Shenandoah Valley wine industry this summer.
The winery will be the third area operation for Clarke County residents Della and James “Jim” Bogaty, owners and operators of both Veramar Vineyard in Berryville and Bogati Bodega and Vineyard in Round Hill.
When finished, James Charles Winery will be, as Jim Bogaty said, “the closest winery to Winchester” as it is situated “one mile from the downtown limits.”
Bogaty said that the proximity to Winchester — as well as the view of the valley — was part of the reason he and his wife chose this location.
Construction on the winery began Monday. Pointing to a side of the building foundation facing North Mountain, Bogaty explained that the idea is have a fireplace as well as a “wide-open window” for view of North Mountain.
Jim Bogaty said that he and Della see Winchester as a growing area that is becoming more “more sophisticated and interested in wines,” but also still interested in agriculture.
“We feel that what we are doing is going to blend all of those elements together: keep this in agriculture and serve the needs of the upscale Winchester growth,” Bogaty said.
Bogaty added, “This is 100 percent farming. We’re planting 17 acres of grapes here, we’re going to make wine here … and we’re going to hopefully be the friendly neighborhood winery of Winchester.”
Unlike their two established locations, Jim Bogaty explained that the wines at James Charles will focus more on “European-centric styles” like French and German in order to “offer fresh, different things.”
For example, Bogaty noted that Veramar has produced Italian-style wines, while Bogati Bodega has focused on Spanish-style wines. “We’re trying to keep things different and unique.”
The Bogatys aim to open James Charles Winery in August.
“Weather and the big guy above will predict how it’s going to come out,” Jim Bogaty said. He added that they are expecting to plant their first acre of grapes by May 1.
It will take between three to five years for the first grapes at James Charles to fully grow and mature, Jim Bogaty said.
“We buy plants that are called one-plus. That means they’re a little bigger than a full year of growth,” he said, explaining that the plants are “really four years old” by the third year.
In essence, he said, this additional year gives the plants the chance to establish “a better root structure to support the future grapes.”
In fact, the future is very much a big factor for the plans of this new winery. Jim Bogaty mentioned that James Charles is being built on a “legacy.”
“This is a third generation that we want this to be built for,” Jim Bogaty said. “My son, Justin Bogaty, is our winemaker and we have grandchildren who are all involved.”
On top of the legacy aspect, Jim Bogaty said they would like to continue delivering the same quality as the various wines from Veramar and Bogati Bodega that have been awarded in the Governor’s Cup.
“We want to continue that tradition of high-quality wines at a reasonable price,” he said.
To serve the purposes of the target August opening, Jim Bogaty said they will be pulling grapes from their vineyard in Clarke County in order to produce the first wines for James Charles. Della Bogaty said they will have six to eight wines at the beginning.
Between the Clarke County vineyard and another property they lease in Frederick County already, Jim Bogaty noted, “Almost all of our fruit is Shenandoah Valley fruit.”
Looking ahead, he said the goal is to “be doing the finishing touches” to the building in mid-July.
Aside from the lofty goals of this new operation, Jim Bogaty said idea for their wineries is to provide a service that is “more than just pouring wine.”
“Our main job is to educate you about the wine … tell you about the area, about the agriculture, how it will taste and how you should drink it,” he said. “We want them to have a good life experience.”
Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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