Relocation To Colorado
Today we announced on social media and through a press release that Shannon, I and the boys will soon be relocating to Woodland Park, Colorado. The announcement, and listing of our farm by Hunt Country Sotheby’s took everyone by surprise, and we were humbled by the outpouring of support and warm thoughts extended by family, friends, customers, business colleagues, and even some total strangers who even though we’ve never met are familiar with our story. Although many of the details leading to our decision we have chosen to keep private, I did write the below in response to an inquiry by a local paper. Not all of the information made it into the article, so I thought I would post it here as it gives a bit more insight into some of the difficult decisions we’ve had to make over the past year.
1) Why you and Shannon wanted to move on to other pastures?
2) What you hope to do in Colorado?
3) Do you feel you’ve accomplished all you could in Loudoun and Northern Virginia?
4) How you both would assess your importance in the burgeoning Loudoun wine arena?
5) Why Colorado?
1) Over the past few years we have come to realize that raising three growing boys in what amounts to a small apartment underneath a winery tasting room has become unsustainable, often at times even unbearable. It is no longer fair to them to inhibit their ability to simply have friends over on the weekend because the tasting room is open for business. We have known for some time that at some point either the winery would have to go, or the family would have to go, but everything could not continue along as it has all under the same roof. Thus this difficult decision to move is first and foremost based on our sincere belief that this transition will be the best thing for our family, that the incredible amount of time we continue to spend on farming, mowing, maintaining equipment and worst of all “hiding downstairs” while running an agritourism business out of our living room is time we would rather dedicate to our boys, and to each other.
2) It was this past winter when we began serious discussions about how to transition from this phase of our lives into the next, and we were continually stymied by the belief that the winemaking aspect of Notaviva Vineyards (e.g. the winery production business, separate and distinct from the farming aspect) was inherently tied to our beautiful home and the farm. This past May, we came to the realization that idea was false, that the true essence of Notaviva Vineyards—that of pairing wine with music—was actually being hindered by our remote location in a rural area and is not tied to any particular terroir. Our farm will be the perfect location for another business model, whether a farm winery, farm brewery or farm-to-table restaurant. For us however, there is a form of winery known as an “urban winery” where some portion of the winemaking operation is located in a city center, complete with high foot traffic and year-round customer base. As we explored that notion, it became clear that all of our sweat equity in building Notaviva and this amazing concept of wine and music pairing that we have brought to life, did not have to end with our sale of the land. Our vision for the “new” Notaviva—a customer tasting room experience enhanced by interactive digital media technologies—will redefine people’s expectations and preconceived notions about the enjoyment of wine.
3) Definitely not! Our creative agency Mesh Omnimedia has recently been awarded a five-year subcontracting project serving a Federal agency. In order to service that client and dozens of others, as well as continue to build upon the wonderful professional relationships we have fostered through the years, Mesh will continue to operate a full production staff in historic downtown Leesburg. Shannon and I will be frequent fliers, participating in video productions and creative sessions with clients, and are excited to remain active members of the Loudoun business community. As far as Notaviva’s ties with Virginia are concerned, a Colorado “limited winery license” allows us to purchase fruit from other regions (Colorado of course, but also California, Oregon, Washington, Chile, wherever…) however given our experience and success with Virginia fruit we are certainly open to sourcing fruit from our colleagues here. Whether that fruit makes the trip to Colorado for vinification by me, or stays in the state to be produced under the Notaviva brand name via a licensing agreement remains to be seen, but we are certainly open to discussions with interested parties.
4) Our beautiful timber frame home and business will live on—hopefully for many, many generations—and continue to be a unique and defining feature of the western Loudoun landscape, and we are at peace with the knowledge that although it will soon pass into other hands, it was our vision, passion and hard work that brought it to life for the betterment not only of the rural community but for the thousands of people who have visited, and hopefully will continue to visit far into the future.
5) Perhaps the only way to say it is simply that Shannon and I both feel “drawn” there. When we began this journey together, we essentially designed a winery, built a creative agency on the side, and shoved our family into the cracks. We are doing it all completely differently this time. This phase we are designing our lives based on what’s best for the family, secondly we are focusing intently on growing our creative agency, and lastly fitting the winery into the cracks while eliminating the time commitments of “commercial” farming and extending our key differentiators e.g. interactive digital media production capabilities. We do eagerly anticipate the continuation of our family farming pursuits, raising our own livestock and producing as much of our own food as possible. To that end we looked long and hard at our interests and passions; scouting, sports, fishing, biking, hiking, camping, snowboarding, wide open spaces, western culture, the list goes on and on but everything pointed to the Front Range of the Rockies. Placing Mesh in the Springs, near all the technology companies that support the defense industry there, and just a short drive from the Denver Tech Center, positions Mesh as the only creative agency with offices in both the Denver and Dulles technology corridors.
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
Notaviva Vineyards Relocating To Woodland Park, Colorado
Storied Virginia Farm Winery To Relaunch As Urban Winery In “The City Above The Clouds” Suburb Of Colorado Springs
Purcellville, Virginia – December 5, 2016 – Notaviva Vineyards, known to the world as the first winery to pair wine with music, is relocating to Woodland Park, Colorado to commence operations as an urban winery. Believed to be the first transition of its kind, the pivot will allow Notaviva to further develop its brand identity with a new level of focus.
“We are very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for the Notaviva brand proposition, based upon our unique vision for pairing wine and music,” said CEO and wine composer Stephen Mackey. “Relocating our winery to a picturesque downtown between Colorado Springs and Breckenridge within sight of Pike’s Peak has reignited our commitment to our wines and their inherent synergy with music. By implementing cutting-edge tasting room processes—fundamentally grounded in digital media and emerging technologies—we are confident the new Notaviva will deliver unrivaled creative experiences to wine consumers.”
Shannon Mackey, COO adds, “Our decision to move away from the beautiful home we built in front of a national television audience, and the farm we founded nearly fourteen years ago on land we have grown to love so deeply has certainly been a difficult and emotional one. We are incredibly proud of the positive impact we have had on the Virginia wine industry as well as Loudoun’s rural economy, and know that Notaviva has touched the lives of thousands upon thousands of visitors. We have forged so many deep and lasting relationships in Northern Virginia, and are thrilled to announce we will continue to be a part of the vibrant Loudoun business community. Our creative agency Mesh Omnimedia will continue operations in historic downtown Leesburg while also expanding to Colorado Springs to serve clientele in both the Dulles and Colorado technology corridors, in addition to driving innovation at Notaviva.”
The 42.25-acre farm and 4,500 square foot custom timber frame tasting room, production facility and vineyard are listed at $2.195 million. Optimized for farm winery, farm brewery, farm-to-table restaurant, or country estate use, any interested parties may contact Janeen Marconi with Hunt Country Sotheby’s International Realty at email@example.com to schedule a tour of the property. The winery tasting room will continue to operate throughout the listing period, and any updates on special events and hours of operation prior to a sale will be posted on the website.
About Notaviva Vineyards
Notaviva Vineyards and the Mackey family first garnered national attention in 2008 by being featured in the HGTV reality television series “Dream House.” The series followed the construction of the winery tasting room, which doubles as the family home and inspired Stephen’s recently released memoir entitled, “Dream. Build. Believe.” published by Mascot Books. More information on Notaviva Vineyards as well as ongoing scientific research into wine and music pairing can be found on the website at http://www.NotavivaVineyards.com and information on their memoir depicting the founding of the business can be found at http://www.Dream-Build-Believe.com.
About Mesh Omnimedia
Mesh Omnimedia, named Loudoun County, Virginia’s 2016 Best Web Design and Development firm, is a full-service creative agency focused on web development, video production, graphic design and strategic marketing services. Mesh commenced operations in Colorado Springs in July 2016 and is currently expanding its team there. More information on Mesh Omnimedia may be found on the website at http://www.MeshOmnimedia.com.