“I love being surrounded by a nice atmosphere to work in, so we’ve tried to keep the property more gardenlike than farmlike,” says Evers, who has incorporated decorative elements such as handsome wood furniture, hand-painted designs on the walls and wood-beamed ceilings in her private home, the working areas of the winery and the public spaces.
Evers and her grandchildren, Clay McFarren, 22, Lauren McFarren, 19, and Andrew McFarren, 11, spend as many weekends as possible together at the vineyard, where music plays on a sound system throughout the house and winery. On Saturdays, the family and visitors can enjoy live music in the wine-tasting room.
The Everses bought Twin Oaks after the stone house had been damaged by a fire. Its 6.5 acres, which were littered with dilapidated outbuildings, chain-link fencing and poison ivy, have been transformed into a serene country retreat. The Everses paid $87,000 for the property and spent about $700,000 on capital improvements so far.
“We intended to renovate and sell it, but we fell in love with this place and decided to keep this one,” says Evers, who has renovated more than 20 properties.
Twin Oaks Tavern, in the Bear’s Den Rural Historic District, is one of many stone houses built on the mountain between 1890 and 1920. During those years, there were multiple inns and a large hotel in the area that catered to city dwellers looking to escape Washington’s notorious summer heat. Twin Oaks was a popular inn until it closed in the 1950s.
“We spent our first year sandblasting the charred stone of the house and pulling off the old porches that hung off the building,” Evers says. “We had to replace some of the wood beams of the ceiling and restore some of the others. The upstairs bathtub had fallen right through the ceiling into the middle of the kitchen where we now have our center island. There were rocks and stones everywhere on the land that had to be cleared.”
Today, the stone house is pristine, with a new stone patio and extensive stone retaining walls that define the property and separate the main house from the winery. While the Everses removed many of the outbuildings on the land, they restored one building for storage and another that now serves as the Bluemont office for Evers & Co. Real Estate. About 110 agents in four offices work for Evers & Co., which last year rang up sales of nearly $400 million.
The Everses expanded the main house with a two-level addition, originally with a music room on the lower level and a sunroom on the main level. As the winery grew, the music room was converted to a barrel room. A spiral staircase, hidden under a trap door in the sunroom, leads to the barrel room so that the family can reach the working areas of the winery without going outside in winter. The sunroom faces west with an expansive view of the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains.