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Virginia vineyard, winery and house for sale for $6 million

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Some people take up golf in retirement. Pandit and Sudha Patil took up winemaking. Now they are looking for someone to take over their vineyard and winery in Rappahannock County, Va.

“As we were planning our retirement, we were thinking, what is it that we want to do?” Sudha wrote in an email. “We both have farming backgrounds in our family, so farming is in our blood. Virginia wines were beginning to be known and respected. We liked the idea of fresh air, working outside, and being physically active, and with our passion for wine from our travels all over the world, we decided to start a vineyard and sell grapes to local wineries.”

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Narmada Winery | The 51-acre property in Rappahannock County includes a 20-acre vineyard, a pond and several buildings. The main house, above, is for sale for $6 million. (Annette Labrozzi)

It began in 1999 with a dinner at the Inn at Little Washington celebrating their 29th wedding anniversary. On the way to dinner, the Patils noticed a property for sale in Amissville, Va. It was a hayfield with no utilities or driveway, but they saw the possibilities. The next week they bought it. Sudha said the rolling hills were perfect for planting vines.

“Rappahannock County also had several other vineyards that were producing outstanding wines, which made us more confident that we could establish a vineyard on this land,” she wrote.

After buying the property, the Patils worked with architect Dick Manuel to plan the landscape and the buildings. The barn was built around 2002, the house in 2005 and the two-level winery building in 2009. Graystone Homes was the builder of the house and the winery. The vines were planted in 2004.

Although the plan had been to sell grapes to other wineries, the Patils eventually began making their own wines. Learning how to make wine was a natural extension of their scientific backgrounds.

Pandit studied engineering at the University of New Mexico and Carnegie Mellon and received a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. After graduating with a chemistry degree from George Mason University, Sudha received a doctor of dental surgery degree from Georgetown and a certificate in endodontics and a master’s degree in oral biology, both from the University of Maryland.

“In 2007 we had our first crop; however, the value of Virginia grapes was quite low at the time,” Sudha wrote. “We knew a winery was how we could eventually recover the vineyard’s expenses. I had also been curious from the start about winemaking, with my chemistry background. After speaking to our neighbors at Gray Ghost Vineyards and Barrel Oak Winery we decided to make our own wines. I started taking winemaking classes with Jim Law of Linden Vineyards.”

They named the winery Narmada after Pandit’s mother. When he received a scholarship to study in America, she sold her jewelry to buy his plane ticket.

“Education was very important for her since no one in the family at that time had gone to university besides Pandit,” Sudha wrote. “She was so proud of him and wanted him to continue his career as an engineer. We named the winery after her in honor of the sacrifices she made, without which nothing we have today would have been possible.”

Narmada Winery has won more than 650 medals for its wine, more than 200 were gold or better. Like choosing her favorite child, Sudha said choosing her favorite wine is impossible. But one wine holds a special place in her heart.

“Our Bordeaux-style Yash-Vir is named after my grandchildren Yash and Vir (meaning “success” and “bravery”),” she wrote, “and has won gold in both the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and the Governor’s Cup, a prestigious wine competition held each year in Virginia.

A long driveway leads to a four-bedroom, six-bathroom, 5,700-square-foot house, which is secluded from the winery for privacy. It has several outdoor spaces, including porches, patios and decks. There’s also an elevator in the house and an outdoor swimming pool. Sudha’s favorite room is the light and airy breakfast room.

“You can’t beat the view of the sunrise over the vineyard,” she wrote.

In addition to tastings, the Patils have hosted events at the winery such as weddings and Indian heritage festivals. Their daughter Prema’s wedding was the first event they held there.

The 51-acre property includes a 20-acre vineyard, pond and several buildings in addition to the main house. The winery building has an upstairs tasting and sales area and a lower-level processing area with a barrel room. Customers can sit inside or on the terrace or patio overlooking the vineyards while enjoying a bottle of wine. There are two equipment garages, one of which has a manager’s apartment. An inventory of bottled and bulk wine, winemaking equipment, and vineyard equipment conveys. The property is for sale for $6 million.

Listing: 43 Narmada Lane, Amissville, Va.

Listing agent: Roy Melloni, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

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