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About Us

Our Story

Thatch is more than a winery. It’s a gathering place for friends new and old, as well as a space for people to create lasting memories. Whether you’re stopping by for a wine tasting, throwing a party or celebrating an extravagant event like a wedding, we want your experience to be one that will have you coming back to relive that feeling time and time again.

Situated on 60 acres in Charlottesville and just a quick drive from the city, you’ll feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Step back in time and enjoy old world elegance through the craft of great winemaking, while enjoying the comforts of  our newly renovated tasting room and loft.

For the past 19 years, the winery previously operated as First Colony Winery. The ownership team, comprised of Richmond business partners David Fratkin and Jeff Miller, wanted to build upon the success of the winery’s past while maintaining the exceptional quality of the wine and enhancing the guest experience.

The Thatch wine portfolio consists of over a dozen wines in a broad variety of styles, each distinctive for its balance, complexity, and articulation of terroir.

Our property features manicured gardens, patios, a terraced deck and a renovated loft with games, two fireplaces and three tasting bars. Open daily for tastings and tasty bites, the winery also offers packages for weddings, group/corporate events and holiday parties.

The Thatch Roof

It’s More than a clever name.

What’s In a Name

Our winery’s unique name comes from the roof on the building in which the wine is produced. Thatch is the only winery in the United States with a custom thatched roof which is made entirely of imported Turkish water reed. The hand-crafted roof was completed by master thatcher Colin McGhee in 2014.

It has a life of 50 to 300 years and was topped off on March 15, 2014 with a rooster weather vane. The rooster is affectionately and appropriately named Colin Reed or “CR”, after the thatcher and the medium.

Meet the Owners

One Team, One Vision:
Thatch Winery is owned and operated by Richmond business partners Jeff & Mel Miller and David & Esther Fratkin.

Jeff Miller is the founder of Miller Financial Services in Richmond. David Fratkin is the cofounder of Richmond companies Dominion Payroll and Tang & Biscuit.

With a commitment to honoring our land, our vinification style and our most loyal and valued guests, we are excited to share our vision for the future as an inviting and relaxing venue to enjoy and to share with family and friends.”

About Jeff & Mel Miller:

Jeff holds a B.S. in Business, Economics and Sociology from the University of Richmond and has a national planning practice that specializes in holistic financial planning and investment management for individuals and small businesses.  His investment management business ranks in the top 10 nationally of more than 8,000 advisors. Jeff is also on the board of the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation. Jeff is married to Mel and he has two daughters, Taylor and Maddie.  As to wine, Jeff prefers red over white and thinks Rosé should be enjoyed all year long!  His favorite red is Petit Verdot, but in whites he loves Viognier, the Virginia state grape.

Mel is a Sommelier and one of her favorite things about owning and helping to operate a winery is that there is always something new to learn whether it’s about the winemaking process, the terrior or growing the grapes. She has been actively involved in re-branding the winery and her favorite Thatch Wines are the Rosé and Riesling.

About David & Esther Fratkin:

David grew up in Richmond, Virginia and attended Freeman High School before he went off to the University of Arizona to earn his Bachelor’s degree and ultimately his MBA from Loyola College in Maryland. After living for a time in New York City, when the luster of The Big Apple had worn thin, David moved back to Richmond and met Dave Gallagher, and together they founded Dominion Payroll, which provides Human Capital Management services to clients in all 50 states. Richmond has a special place in David’s heart, and he enjoys being actively involved in the community. He currently serves as Treasurer of the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation and on the Board of Directors for the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond and the Weinstien Jewish Community Center.  David enjoys relaxing with a glass of Petit Verdot and was pleased to recently discover the Lemberger varietal.

David’s wife Esther has been heavily involved in Thatch Winery’s transformation and renovation process and considers interior design one of her passions.  Esther’s current favorite Thatch wine is the 2017 Riesling, as it is dry unlike most of its kind.

Together, David and Esther have two children, Justin and Jillian.

Making Great Wine Since 1990

Building on the vines of the past

Original Winery Established

1982

In 1982, the first building was constructed on the property and Totier Creek Vineyards was established.

Our First Wine Is Produced

1990

Eight years after construction began, the vines began producing enough grapes to be harvested. The first wine was bottled and served in 1990.

Winery Established as First Colony

2000

Totier Creek Vineyard is acquired and First Colony winery is born.

First Wedding

2001

In the Spring of 2001, First Colony Winery hosted its first wedding; setting the stage for many happy couples to exchange vows on the property.

First Ownership Change

2012

Jeff & Mel Miller join as part owners of the First Colony Winery.

Work Begins on Thatched Roof

2013

This was a big year for the winery. Significant renovations were completed on the interior and exterior of the property including construction of our signature thatched roof. To do this day, Thatch is the only winery in the United States with a custom thatched roof which is made entirely of imported Turkish water reed.

New Vines Planted

2013

In the Spring of 2013, two new varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, were planted on the property and are used to form the base of our Rosé.

Our Winemaker Joins the Team

2014

Gavin Baum is hired in the Summer of 2014, quickly rises through the ranks and is ultimately promoted to head Winemaker in 2017.

Thatched Roof Topped Off

2014

Our namesake thatched roof was topped off on March 15, 2014 with a rooster weather vane. The rooster is affectionately and appropriately named Colin Reed or “CR”, after the thatcher and the medium.

Second Ownership Change

2018

In the summer of 2018, David & Esther Fratkin joined the Millers as owners of the winery, completing the current Thatch Ownership Team.

Second Round of Renovations

2018-2019

In the fall of 2018, extensive work began to overhaul both interior and exterior elements of the winery. The work included an upgraded tasting room, new furniture and décor throughout, a refreshed Bridal Suite, the addition of a private tasting room for Reserve Club Members, and a renovated loft with a giant wall-mounted scrabble board, two fireplaces, three tasting bars and multiple event spaces.

Winery is Re-imagined as Thatch

2019

Thatch Winery made its public debut on April 25, 2019, a place where friends, old and new, can create lasting memories over an exceptional glass of wine.

Contact Us

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FAQ

What are your hours?

In light of COVID-19 related local, state, and federal regulations, we are open Thursday – Sunday 12PM-6PM, with extended hours during some of our Events. Remember to check our Facebook and Instagram pages before visiting for updates to our hours due to possible regulatory changes, Private Parties, Weddings, and Corporate Events.

Any COVID-19 Related updates?

Yes, several! In light of COVID-19 related local, state, and federal regulations, here are some updates:

  • we are currently open Thursday – Sunday 12PM-6PM
  • Reservations are not required to visit. We are first come, first served
  • Dogs on leash are always welcome, but remember we can only serve our guests outside at this time
  • Feel free to bring your own picnics, tables and chairs
  • Bottle, glass and new flights are available, however no tastings can be served
  • Remember to check our Facebook and Instagram pages before visiting for updates to our hours or possible regulatory changes.

Can I bring food to the winery?

Yes, outside food is allowed. We also have tasty bites available for purchase and occasionally have food trucks on site, so make sure to check our social media for updates.

However, due to VA ABC laws, no outside alcohol (beer, wine, or spirits) is permitted during business hours.

Is Thatch Winery pet friendly?

Dogs are always welcome on our property. Enjoy a glass of wine with your four-legged friends during operating hours by one of our outdoor fire pits or on the recently expanded back deck.

Additionally, well behaved dogs on leash can join you in the Tasting Room Monday through Thursday. It can be quite busy on weekends, so for the safety of pets and guests alike we ask that no dogs be inside and please keep their visit outside on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Do you allow children?

You bet! Families love visiting Thatch and we love families.   We are a working farm vineyard, so we do ask that you keep a watchful eye on your guests.

Additionally, as an alcohol establishment, persons under 21 are not allowed on or around the bar due to Virginia ABC regulations. For the safety and comfort of you, your child, and our other guests, children must be near and watched by the parents at ALL times. With the volume of traffic in our tasting room and for exit safety, strollers must be kept close to the parents, away from the bars, and free of exit pathways.

Does Thatch Winery host weddings?

Get hitched at Thatch! We would be honored to help you say ‘I do!’ Please check out our Weddings page HERE

Does Thatch Winery have a wine club?

We do, it is now known as the Reserve Club! Find out more and see the benefits HERE

Do you offer any discounts?

We do! To give back and support those who support us all, discounts are extended to military, teacher, first responders, and nurses. Our Reserve Club and Adopt-A-Vine members always receive special discounts, too!

Do you allow limos and van tours?

Absolutely! Tour buses, limos and vans are a regular occurrence at Thatch and we have ample parking for these larger vehicles. Please call ahead to schedule a reservation for parties of 6 or more. 434.979.7105

Looking for a semi-private tasting while your group visits Thatch Winery? Check out our Group Tastings info or our Private Parties page for more options!

Do you have outdoor seating?

Virginia is b-e-a-u-tiful! So naturally, we want you to enjoy the outdoors when you visit. We have an expansive deck as well as a large slate and stone patio featuring multiple fire pits. Our outdoor areas offer sun or shade and you can listen to music while you sip on your wine.

Can I have a private party or corporate event at Thatch Winery?

We love to host, and our newly renovated spaces are perfect for sharing the fun with groups of up to 150 guests! Check out Private Parties and Corporate Events for more details.

Where is Thatch Winery located?

We are located approximately 10 miles south of downtown Charlottesville off of Route 20.  Our address is 1650 Harris Creek Rd, Charlottesville, VA.

Find us HERE

Do you ship wines?

Yes, we can ship wine directly to consumers in the following states:

AK, CA, CO, DC, FL, IA, IL, IN, MD, MN, MO, NC, OH, PA, TN, VA, and WI

Coming soon!: NY