New winery unveiled in Dutton

by Peter J. Teagle - Posted on Dec 26, 2018 - 01:14 PM

Photo: Frank Zoll displays his winery’s Dry Riesling at an event last Wednesday formally announcing his new venture to the community. Zoll Vineyards will operate in Dutton near the county lines of Gloucester and Mathews on Route 198. Zoll, a pastry chef by trade, began his career as a vintner in Massachusetts before family in the local area led him to Gloucester. In total, he will invest $436,000 in the development of his winery and bring 14 jobs to the area, he said. Photo by Peter J. Teagle

Frank Zoll displays his winery’s Dry Riesling at an event last Wednesday formally announcing his new venture to the community. Zoll Vineyards will operate in Dutton near the county lines of Gloucester and Mathews on Route 198. Zoll, a pastry chef by trade, began his career as a vintner in Massachusetts before family in the local area led him to Gloucester. In total, he will invest $436,000 in the development of his winery and bring 14 jobs to the area, he said. Photo by Peter J. Teagle

A new winery has put down roots in Dutton with the goal of providing Gloucester and Mathews with locally and Virginia-sourced wine, mead and cider while adding more than dozen jobs to the local economy.

Zoll Vineyards, the brainchild of professional pastry chef Frank Zoll, is located in Dutton just shy of the county line between Mathews and Gloucester on Route 198. It’s on the Gloucester side.

In total, Zoll expects to invest $436,000 in the construction and development of his facility, as well as bringing in 14 jobs. Additionally, he has committed to 100 percent Virginia sourcing for his ingredients. This means that over the next three years, Zoll will make $221,000 in purchases from Virginia farmers to produce his drink offerings and food pairings.

While the building is currently empty, its stark cinder-block walls will eventually be replaced with a welcoming tasting facility, including a “Great Room” for events. Zoll wants to use his culinary expertise to offer food pairings with his wine and cider, and made it clear he does not want his business’s schedule to impose on prime business hours for local restaurants and bars.

The property also includes some wooded ground that Zoll will utilize as an apiary. He plans on incorporating local honey into his offerings, especially meads.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has worked with the Gloucester County Economic Development Authority and Zoll Vineyards on this project, with Gov. Ralph Northam approving a $10,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund for the project. Gloucester’s EDA will match that sum with local funds, the governor’s office stated through a press release.

“With this new winery and a commitment to source exclusively from Virginia, Zoll Vineyards is harvesting opportunity for Virginia producers and brewing new vitality in this corner of the commonwealth,” said Northam, who thanked Zoll for his commitment to investing in rural Virginia.

Zoll welcomed the EDA, members of the governor’s office, Del. Keith Hodges (R-Urbanna), as well as members of local government and the business community to his winery last Wednesday to formally announce his business.

Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring, on behalf of the governor, spoke to the value of investing in local and Virginia products. She also presented Zoll with a gift on behalf of the governor, a state flag previously flown over the state capitol. “I am pleased that the commonwealth and Gloucester County could partner through the AFID fund to support this project and help bring this exciting new winery to this region of Virginia,” Ring stated.

Zoll said of his new farm-to-table business, “I am excited to open the first farm winery in Gloucester County and have the opportunity to highlight all of the great products from local Tidewater farms, watermen and other artisans.”