|Philip Carter Strother|
Everyone who went to Annandale High School – or anyone who would enjoy a day at a winery – is invited to the seventh annual Annandale High School Day at Philip Carter Winery in Hume, Va., April 25, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
“AHS Day is an opportunity for alumni to meet and reconnect in wine country,” says winery owner Philip Carter Strother, who graduated from AHS in 1987 and played defensive end on the Atoms football team.
There will be a silent auction of AHS-branded clothing and a raffle for a night’s stay at the Inn at Vineyards Crossing, which Strother also owns. All proceeds will benefit AHS student athletes who need financial help for purchasing uniforms.
Strother grew up in the Ravensworth Farms community and during summers and weekends used to visit his grandparents’ farm in Fauquier County, which had been in the family for generations.
Years later, “the family was trying to figure out how keep the family farm going, and we decided the best way was to open a winery,” Strother says. “When a piece of property eight miles away came on the market, it seemed like a good fit.”
The winery, which opened in 2008, is operated by Strother, his wife Danielle (Annandale HS Class of 1988), and eight minority owners, including two AHS graduates, Steve Mills (1987) and Arthur Reiser (1988).
Sixteen of the farm’s 27 acres are vineyards. The farm produces 5,000 cases of wine annually, including chardonnay, viognier, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, petit Bordeaux, tannat, and vidal blanc.
While Strother has learned a lot about cultivating vineyards and producing wine, the actual winemaking is carried out by professionals. He spends his days mostly as a practicing attorney in Richmond specializing in “wine law.”
He represents wineries throughout Virginia, chairs the Virginia Wine Council, the lobbying arm of the state’s wine industry, and was legal counsel for Clifton landowners who successfully fought off a legal challenge on land use issues in their attempt to develop Paradise Springs, the first winery in Fairfax County.
Philip Carter Winery is open seven days a week, and hosts educational tours and tastings, live music on weekends, and weddings and other special events.