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Johnson's Orchards & Winery

(Bedford,VA)

Nancy and Danny Johnson with their son Shannon and wife Donna, own and operate Johnson?¢ï¿½?�?s Orchards & Peaks of Otter Winery. J Elmo Johnson, great grandson of John T. Johnson, established Johnson?¢ï¿½?�?s Orchards in 1918 in the area of property that had been in the family since the 1750s. The orchard has over 100 different apple varieties mostly heritage varieties. The farm is home to a herd of grass fed cattle, goats and sheep. The Johnsons are involved in the Bedford County Farm Tour each year and they were the 2008 Hosts. The farm and winery have lots of animals that you can visit while on the farm either picking fruit or tasting wine. The farm was the 2006 Bedford Agribusiness of the year and received the 2007 outstanding conservation farm of the year award. Both the farm and winery are certified "Green?¢ï¿½?�?. Each year on the second Saturday in July, the Farm Hosts the Horse & Hound Wine Festival with lots of Family events that both the old and young enjoy. In 1995, the Johnsons considered making wine from the fruits they were growing. More and more Virginia Wineries were being established and were attracting an increasing number of visitors. The commercial apple business was in decline and the Johnsons felt that the addition of a winery would also be a way of selling more of their fruits directly to consumers. Shannon, who is now the wine maker, says the 80% of the fruits used in the wine are grown on the farm. Grape vines, primarily Norton and Concord are now bearing with new ones coming on. Berry plants have been planted and will soon be bearing. Peaks of Otter wines are reminiscent of ?¢ï¿½?�?Grandmas or Great-Grandma?¢ï¿½?�?s?¢ï¿½?�? wines, those old fashioned wines made from a variety of fruits. A venture into vegetables using chili peppers, to make ?¢ï¿½?�?Kiss The Devil?¢ï¿½?�? wine and blend with apple wine to make ?¢ï¿½?�?Chili Dawg?¢ï¿½?�? wine. Many of the wines are made from Danny?¢ï¿½?�?s grandmother?¢ï¿½?�?s recipes and the fruits or berries are fermented in apple juice and require less sugar to turn the fruit into wine. At this time more that 25 wines are produced with our newest wines fermented in apple juice being ?¢ï¿½?�?Pumpkin Pie?¢ï¿½?�? and Pomegranate. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia at the foot of the Peaks of Otter and 7 miles from the National D-day Memorial. We opened as Virginia?¢ï¿½?�?s 50th farm winery in 1995. Although we grow many fruits for our wine, apples are our main crop. You may purchase fresh apples, peaches and nectarines that we make into wines, cider and butters. We are open daily April thru December noon to 5 with our wines, jellies and jams, January thru March, on weekends and 9 to 5 August thru October with our fresh fruits. The rest of the time we are open by chance or appointment. Bring a picnic and visit our farm animals after tasting our wines in one of the most scenic valleys in the state.

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