New winery has gone to the dogs


Barrel Oak Winery was aptly named not just for the containers that stash Brian and Sharon Roeders new fermented flavors, but for its initials which are BOW, referring to their love of dogs.  

The couple regard their golden retriever, Barley, as their baby and winery mascot and have even allowed him to leave his mark on some of their bottles. Thank goodness, no – not that way. Barleys paw print is visible on several wine labels.  

The new winery, which will host its grand opening over the Memorial Day weekend, will be the largest and greenest winery in Fauquier County.  

The massive production area is an underground operation beneath the tasting room, event rooms and winery shop and will be open to the public for self-guided tours. In the shop visitors will delight in the whimsical, yet stylish array of items for sale that coincide with the winerys theme of dogs and wine. Guests will find numerous objects from local artisans, musicians and authors available as well and will even be treated to live performances by such from time to time as well.

The Roeders new they wanted a winery that would be as unique as the area they relocated to just two years ago. With threats of power towers and lines coming across their property, the couple joined the community in their struggle to stave off Virginia Dominion Power and were soon faced with the knowledge that Fauquier residents and business owners are resistant to change and often resolve to negate its existence, especially if it has to do with the areas scenic and often historic landscape.

For this reason the Roeders decided to amend their building plans to incorporate more eco-friendly methods including a geo-thermal system, additional insulation for the roof, low-e energy-efficient windows, recycled and eco-sensitive building materials and high-voltage equipment.

The couple also decided that building a unique winery should be as fun as it is efficient and devised a math formula that allows them to do just that.

We talked about our goal to make really good wine but also to have some fun, explained Brian Roeder, so we decided to put 80 to 90 percent of our grapes into traditional wines and use the rest to explore the possibilities of what could be done with wine.

BOW, in conjunction with nearby winery Pearmund Cellars, created their own unique blend of flavors to come up with an exclusive wine: Chocolate Lab Dessert Wine. The inference to their canine companion aside, Brian clarified that the name also demonstrates that it is an experimental blend, but assures that its a tasty one.

Chocolate Lab is made from an amalgam of Merlot, Muscat and Cabernet Sauvignon and is steeped with cocoa nibs to give it a hint of bitter chocolate. Although uncertain of the new blends success, the Roeders stated that everyone that has tried it so far has enjoyed it and if it sells well, theyll make it again next year, possibly along with another BOW original.

As Memorial Day weekend looms closer, the couple are getting busier and busier finalizing all of the details to ensure a successful opening and promise a good time to all who stop by to get a taste of the new winery.
Opening weekend will be a fanfare filled with great wine, friendly people, underground cellar tours, Alpaca petting, live music and patio picnics.