Business Briefs: October 2018

Wine lovers enjoy new tasting room at Flying Fox. Photo: Theresa Curry.

New Tasting Room for Flying Fox

Where factory workers once spun fibers to be woven into domestic products, Flying Fox Vineyard now offers tastings, pours and bottle service to its patrons. The owners, members of the extended Veritas wine-making family—renovated the former American Fibers and Yarn operation on Rte. 151 south of Rte. 250 into a spacious tasting room, with a beautiful tasting bar and a comfortable sitting area at the front, under the windows.

Flying Fox Vineyard renovated the former American Fibers factory. Photo: Theresa Curry.

The winery formerly offered tastings and sales from a tiny cottage on Chapel Hollow Road, and the move allows it about four times the space, said Kathleen Baines, a tasting room associate. “We were glad to update and repurpose the old building,” she said. In keeping with the vineyard’s mission to focus on the grapes in the fields and the wine in the bottle, the winery won’t have large special events or serve as a location for private events, Baines said.

Kathleen Baines pours wine at Flying Fox Tasting Room. Photo: Theresa Curry.

Baines said the factory had been vacant since 2008, a casualty of the recession. The newly renovated space is open every day from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Limo Service Rolls Out

Those wanting to sample local wine, beer and spirits in style now have an option that doesn’t involve a designated driver. Peachtree Tours and Transportation offers a sweet ride along the Rte. 151 corridor and beyond. In fact, that’s the motto that owner Jeff Graves chose for the tour service. In addition to being the “sweetest ride in the region,” Graves has designed the business to be one of the easiest to navigate. “Just contact us through the website and we’ll work out the exact tour you want,” he said. The service extends through Crozet, Albemarle and Charlottesville attractions: “Wherever you want to go,” he said. In fact, his driver, Charlie White, has also accommodated spur-of-the-moment requests from passengers. Graves, a native of the region, is also glad to make recommendations to those unfamiliar with the area.

Charlie White of Peachtree Transportation. Submitted photo.

The service began when Graves saw how tourism was growing around him. “People wanted to tour the wineries and breweries, and there didn’t seem to be many options,” he said. Graves and his brother bought a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Limo Bus and began to offer the service themselves. 

The limo-bus seats 14, so large parties can travel together. “I’m not going to lie: 14 is a bit crowded,” Graves said, “but many of our customers are more than happy to squeeze in together.” The seating is plush, like a limo, rather than in rows with an aisle. He said 10 or so is a more comfortable load. 

Inside Peachtree’s limo-bus. Submitted photo.

In keeping with Peachtree’s desire for simplicity, there’s just the one vehicle: “One bus, one driver,” he said. “And if you reach us through the website, I’ll be in touch with you very shortly to arrange your trip.” Also simple is the fee structure: There’s a flat rate per hour, and a minimum of four hours.

Find out more and reach Peachtree Transportation at

Business Bits

Mountainside Grille at Clover Lawn Village closed its doors in September. Landlord Benton Downer said the space was being renovated, but there was no new tenant as yet. Over at Mechum’s Trestle, workers are doing some inside finish work, but the owners are still looking for the right tenant, said realtor Stu Rifkin. 

A Place to Breathe in Ivy will leave its studio space in October, but owners Crystal Oliver, Johannah Dottori, and Marsha Conway will continue their work here and at their Alexandria location, with workshops, series, retreats, and training. Their website, phone numbers and emails remain the same. Keep abreast of their offerings at

SWAY Taphouse and Grille left its spot on Three-Notched Road October 1, with a party to welcome the new restaurant owners Sept. 28 and 29. At deadline, the new owners had not been identified. 


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