About the Virginia Wine Council

In 2008 Virginia's wine industry formed the Virginia Wine Council (VWC) - a strong coalition of Virginia's wineries, vineyards, the Virginia Wineries Association, the Virginia Vineyards Association, wine trails throughout the state, and individual supporters. The VWC was formed to provide wineries, vineyards, and state and local governments with a resource to assist in developing local ordinances and state legislation that draws the appropriate balance between the reasonable business activities of wineries and the appropriate level of regulation to protect the health, safety, and welfare of visitors and neighboring landowners.

To accomplish these goals, the VWC employs a full-time Director, Katie Hellebush. Prior to joining the Council, Katie served as Director of Government Relations for the Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association, where she worked with state and federal legislators and agencies to promote positive actions on behalf of the hospitality and travel industry.

A positive working relationship between county governments, wineries, and private citizens is critical for the industry's growth and development. The VWC continues to work with wineries to ensure they are educated and comply with state and local regulations. We are available as a resource and eager to work with state and local officials in developing reasonable and common sense solutions when issues arise between wineries, neighboring landowners, and state and local governments. Please feel free to contact us at any time- we are ready and willing to assist in any capacity.

Board of Directors

Lee Hartman
Bluestone Vineyard

Ann Heidig
Lake Anna Winery       /VWA

Mitzi Batterson
James River Cellars

Philip Carter Strother
Philip Carter Winery       /FWC

John Delmare
Rappahannock Cellars

Bill Freitag
Toll Gate Farm &       Vineyard/WVA

Tom Payette

Charlotte Shelton
Albemarle Ciderworks

Jim Turpin
Immediate Past Chair
Democracy Vineyards

Katie Hellebush

Ben Rowe
Assistant Director

The next few months will be a pivotal period for the Virginia Wine industry to review policies, resources and tools, and bring forth a strong package of recommendations and policy in 2017 to continue to promote and strengthen the industry. To ensure all Virginia wine stakeholders are involved in the process, we are hosting a series of legislative roundtables across the Commonwealth, Politics of the Grape Uncorked, to foster more discussion as follow up and to engage in discussion with our decision makers. We encourage all Virginia farm wineries, cideries, vineyards and orchards to make every effort to join us!

Please CLICK HERE to see a list of upcoming events. Call 804-726-6021 to speak with VWC staff to register today!