Historic Effingham Manor in Nokesville is the site of Chris Pearmund’s newest winery and reception hall.
Just a short drive off Aden Road stands a 250-year-old manor house listed on the historic registry. The home was originally owned by William Alexander, the great-grandson of John Alexander for whom Alexandria was named.
Effingham Manor was built back when the United States was still 13 colonies and was surrounded by hundreds of acres of plantation land. Today, the manor house is accompanied by one of the oldest English garden terraces in Virginia, a smokehouse, blacksmith shop and renovated house that was a former slave quarters.
Approaching the winery, visitors are greeted by a view of the house, a colonial manor with two original stone chimneys against a backdrop of the Virginia landscape.
And, beyond the scenery and the history, it also has Chris Pearmund, who founded, owns and operates Pearmund Cellars and Vint Hill Craft Winery.
Pearmund plans to open The Winery at Effingham Manor as soon as April of this year; Pearmund has built his reputation on opening wineries faster than anyone in the Commonweath.
All of his wineries are distinct, Pearmund explained. He wants Effingham Manor to appeal to those who seek a historic and beautiful location for wine tastings and events.
He hopes it can become a smaller version of Mt. Vernon.
“It’s an adult playground for [people] to come and kick back and make their own history,” Pearmund said.
To turn the estate into a destination, everything in the manor has been restored or renovated to look like as though it is part of the original build, including historic-looking hardwood floors in the main hall and tasting room.
The porch provides outdoor seating with a view of the gardens; upstairs bedrooms serve as private spaces for friends to gather and a third-floor loft houses offices.
Currently, landscapers are in the process of restoring the English terrace rose gardens, while a construction crew is updating the small house to house wine barrels and hold small gatherings.
Next to the manor house, Pearmund plans to build a one-story replica of the main house to serve as a reception hall that can hold up to 200 people.
“We’re going to incorporate as many of the features from [the manor house] into this [reception] house,” Pearmund said.
Beyond the house, the vineyard is being planted.
Pearmund hopes to reopen the old stone blacksmith shop that has been sealed up for nearly 70 years. It still houses tools used on the original plantation and he wants colleges to use it to teach the art of blacksmithing.
Effingham Manor is located at 14337 Trotters Ridge Place in Nokesville, a short drive from D.C. and Northern Virginia, close to 95, I-66 and the City of Manassas
Pearmund believes it will become the ideal place for both large and small events. He sees it as a place where friends can gather to enjoy some fine wine, a beautiful landscape and a beautiful home, all while remaining close to home.
Chris Pearmund has no interest in the Winery at Bull Run, according to its owners. The article has been corrected to reflect this at 11 a.m., Feb. 5, 2016.
© 2016, Stacy Shaw. All rights reserved.
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