Many wineries include the term “Family” in their name but few have as much family involved in the day to day operations as Monticello Vineyards – Corley Family Wines. Founded 40 years ago by former translator for the National Security Agency, Jay Corley, Monticello Vineyards is now in the capable second generation hands of Kevin Corley (Vineyard Operations), Chris Corley (Winemaker) and Stephen Corley (Sales & PR).
As one drives toward the property, the beautiful replica of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello home commands your attention. The Corley family has its roots deep in Virginia soil dating back to the mid-1600’s. Thomas Jefferson, himself a renowned viticulturist and wine lover, once said “No nation is drunken where wine is cheap, and none sober where the dearness of wine substitutes ardent spirits as the common beverage.” For these reasons and more Jay Corley says, “I felt that Mr. Jefferson’s love of good food and fine wine and hospitality was a suitable for my family to dedicate our life’s work honoring his lifestyle and his ideals.” The 5000 sq ft building serves as the office and special events center while housing the elegant Wine Library in the cellar.
Corley Family Wines produces about 15,000 cases of wine a year with the vast majority of its fruit coming from 90 acres of estate vineyards. The wines are bottled under four labels, Monticello Vineyards, Corley, Corley Reserve and Domaine Montreaux Sparkling Wine. Varietals grown include, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot and Chardonnay. Many wines are priced under $40 with the Reserve Cabernet offered at $72.
Bacchus and Beery Wine Blog had a chance to sit and chat with Kevin and Stephen in the Wine Library. The atmosphere is warm, the guys are very friendly and the Library itself is the perfect place for experiencing the extordinary wines from this extraordinary family winery. Read the Interview Below