Zoll Vineyards Makes a Splash

Gloucester’s first winery also features first-rate food.

Last we checked, Dutton, Virginia, near the county line between Gloucester and Mathews, wasn’t known for its robust winemaking industry. But head down Route 198, past James Store and Cobbs Creek, and you’ll find Zoll Vineyards, which became the area’s first winery when it opened in 2019. 

That Zoll is an anomaly doesn’t worry seasoned vintner Frank Zoll. He began making wine from his Massachusetts home a dozen years ago. But when family ties and warmer weather lured him to Virginia, Zoll settled on 15 acres in Dutton. 

“Gloucester has a great wine loving community, but the nearest winery was an hour away,” he says. “So I tried to build something that would be an asset to the area and to the state’s wine industry.” 

Planted with Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Sangiovese, Barbera, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Traminette, and Chardonel grapes, the property also includes a farm-to-table garden that supplies the tavern-style tasting room, where the food is as much of a draw as the wine. 

An accomplished chef with stints at Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado, Tavern on the Green in New York City, and Boston’s Copley Plaza and Ritz-Carlton under his belt, Zoll is as comfortable in the kitchen as he is in the vineyard.

“We’re going for a resort feel,” he notes. “We want to deliver quality food served with award-winning wine. Folks come from all over to enjoy our charcuterie, desserts, and special events.” Sweet and savory pairings are popular, along with sangria, cider, and mead flights. At Saturday brunch, look for mouth-watering options such as Pimento Waffle Grilled Cheese, Honey Butter Ham Biscuits, and Pound Cake French Toast.  

Guests can enjoy a bottle of wine on the vineyard’s sunny patio, share a charcuterie platter with a wine flight, or host an event in the spacious Great Room. 

The vineyard is a family affair with Zoll serving as executive chef, head winemaker, and general manager while sister-in-law, Bethany, manages marketing, Aunt Regina is in the tasting room, and his father and brother handle maintenance. “The rest of the staff is like family too,” he says.

The vineyard also offers classes in wine education, cocktail cooking, and pickling and brining throughout the year. “We know what it takes to make memorable experiences,” says Zoll, “and we try to do that every day for our guests.” ZollVineyards.com

This article was originally published in our August 2022 issue.

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