In 2019, Sweet Briar College planted twenty acres of wine grapes in two vineyard areas. The College planted four grape varieties: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. We anticipate our first commercial harvest in 2021, with grapes to be sold to Virginia wineries.
Some of our Cabernet Sauvignon vines started producing grapes early. On 3 October 2020, a group of students had the hands-on experience of harvesting over 200 pounds of these grapes, which our campus dining team turned into into jellies and sauces to add to our dining hall menu. Photos from the 3 October harvest are below.
Several courses on campus include the vineyard in class activities. During the Fall 2020, three-week session, students in the Economics of Wine course incorporated the vineyard into their work. Photos from that visit are below.