Zephaniah Farm Vineyard is located just outside Leesburg, on a 376-acre third-generation working farm. Bill Hatch and his four siblings grew up tending the former dairy farm, which today raises grass-fed Angus. In addition to being a farmer, winemaker, and a senior video operator for ABC News in Washington, DC, Bill is also a family historian and gladly shares the family, farm, and winery history with interested visitors.
He dreamed of owning a winery for twenty years, but it wasn’t until 2001, after meeting one of his son’s Italian professors who owns a vineyard, that Bill was inspired to take the leap into viticulture. He planted his first grapes in 2002 and uses a traditional practice of canopy management to maximize leaf and fruit exposure to the sun and incorporates sustainable farming techniques. Today he has three acres under vine.
The winery is named after Bill’s great-grandfather, Zephaniah Jefferson Hatch, who built and owned the Monticello Steamboat Company in the late 1800s. Zephaniah’s ferry crossed the San Francisco Bay three times a day, from San Francisco to Vallejo, the drop-off point for Napa Valley wine and travelers. The ferry’s bell hangs outside the home, and was used in years past to call the Hatch family to dinner.
Century-old trees line the picturesque drive leading to the 1830 manor house that was constructed by the same builder of nearby Oak Hill, the home of former president James Monroe. But the Hatch home is far more humble. A strong sense of family is evident when you walk through the door - family photographs, heirlooms, and antique furniture fill the living room, where wine tastings are served.
The wine is handcrafted "garagista" style, in the small basement garage. Bill’s son Tremain, who is educated in viticulture and is gaining experience at a large premier Virginia vineyard, provides Zephaniah with expertise in grape growing and winemaking.