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From the seed of an old apple orchard and the childhood home of our owner, this vineyard was born from a revival of this land and a dream.

2009 Awards Won

2007 Meritage Gold+Best in show VA State Fair

2008 Christof 1st place Daylily + Wine Festival

2007 Petit Verdot Bronze VA Governors Cup

2007 Touriga Bronze VA Governors Cup

2008 Rose Bronze+Hon. Mention Daylily + Wine Festival

2008 Tinkling Spring Silver VA State Fair

2008 Christof Gold VA State Fair

2008 Red Barren Silver VA State Fair

2008 Viognier Silver VA State Fair 

2009 Christof Silver VA Governors Cup

2004-2008

Many years of overgrowth had taken over the apple shed by this time. The conversion of the deserted property and shed took place during this time. The shed was expanded while retaining the original structure and wooden beams creating a state-of-the-art facility you see today. All the wood in the tasting room is reclaimed

2007

Petit Verdot and Merlot were the first to be planted here on the property.

April 21, 2008

Barren Ridge opens their doors after rejuvenation and remodeling of our 1890’s apple packing shed.

2008 Awards Won

2007 Touriga Bronze Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition

2007 Traminette Bronze Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition

2007 Viognier Bronze Atlantic Seabord Wine Competition

2007 Vidal Blanc Bronze Atlantic Seabaord Wine Competition

Raascal the Winery Dog

It was here in 2009 our winery dog and best employee Rascal showed up one day without an owner, orphaned and looking for a home. He adopted the hearts of his new owners John and Shelby. And the rest is history. If he is here when you visit he will lead you from your car to the winery entrance. 

2010 Awards Won

2007 Meritage Bronze Finger Lakes International

2008 Vidal Blanc Bronze Finger Lakes International

2008 Traminette Silver Finger Lakes International

2008 Merlot Silver Finger Lakes International

2008 Viognier Silver Finger Lakes International

2008 Cabernet Franc Silver Finger Lakes International

2008 Chardonnay Silver VA Governors Cup

2009 Traminette Silver VA Governors Cup

2009 Tinkling Spring Bronze VA Governors Cup

2009 Christof Silver VA Governors Cup

2008 Viognier Gold VA State Fair

2008 Cabernet Franc Silver VA State Fair

2008 Meritage Gold VA State Fair

2008 Red Barren Silver VA State Fair

2011 Awards Won

2009 Tinkling Spring Gold Town Point Wine Competition

2009 Red Barren Gold Town Point Wine Competition

2009 Tinkling Spring Bronze Finger Lakes International

2009 Harmony Bronze Finger Lakes International

2009 Christof Silver Finger Lakes International

2008 Merlot Silver VA Governors Cup

2008 Cabernet Franc Bronze VA Governors Cup

2008 Meritage Silver VA Governors Cup

2009 Cabernet Franc Bronze VA Governors Cup

2009 Harmony Gold VA Governors Cup

2009 Christof Bronze VA Governors Cup

2009 Tinkling Spring Bronze VA Governors Cup

2010 Vidal Blanc Silver VA Governors Cup

2010 Viognier Bronze VA Governors Cup

2008 Meritage Gold + Best in show VA State Fair

2009 Christof Silver VA State Fair

2009 Tinkling Spring Silver VA State Fair

2012 Awards Won

2010 Tinkling Spring Silver International Women's Competition

2010 Vidal Blanc Silver International Women's Competition

2010 Petit Verdot Silver International Women's Competition

2010 Cabernet Franc Silver International Women's Competition

2008 Meritage Bronze San Francisco Chronical

2009 Tinkling Spring Silver San Francisco Chronical

2011 Viognier Silver San Francisco Chronical

2010 Vidal Blanc Silver VA Governors Cup

2009 Christof Silver VA Governors Cup

2009 Tinkling Spring Bronze VA Governors Cup

2009 Meritage Bronze VA Governors Cup

2009 Cabernet Franc Silver VA Governors Cup

2009 Petit Verdot Silver VA Governors Cup

2008 Meritage Silver VA Governors Cup

2009 Chardonnay Bronze VA Governors Cup

2010 Harmony Bronze VA Governors Cup

2013 Awards Won

2010 Chardonnay Bronze San Francisco Chronical

2009 Meritage Silver San Francisco Chronical

2011 Viognier Silver San Francisco Chronical

2010 Cabernet Franc Silver San Francisco Chronical

2011 Vidal Blanc Silver San Francisco Chronical

2009 Meritage Bronze VA Governors Cup

2010 Meritage Silver VA Governors Cup

2011 Vidal Blanc Bronze VA Governors Cup

2010 Viognier Bronze VA Governors Cup

2014 Awards Won

2009 Meritage Gold VA Governors Cup

2010 Meritage Silver VA Governors Cup

2012 Viognier Silver VA Governors Cup

2014 Red Barren Silver VA Governors Cup

2010 Merlot Silver VA Governors Cup

2012 Harmony Silver VA Governors Cup

2011 Christof Silver VA Governors Cup

2012 Tinkling Spring Bronze VA Governors Cup

2012 Vidal Blanc Bronze VA Governors Cup

2012 Viognier Silver VA State Fair

2011Christof Gold+ 1st place overall desert wine VA State Fair

2015 Awards Won

2014 Red Barren Bronze VA Governors Cup

2013 Harmony Silver VA Governors Cup

2010 meritage Silver VA Governors Cup

2013 Petit Verdot Silver VA Governors Cup

2013 Viognier Silver VA Governors Cup

2012 Petit Verdot Bronze VA Governors Cup

2016 Awards Won

2010 Meritage Gold VA Governors Cup

2014 Viognier Bronze VA Governors Cup

2014 Harmony Bronze VA Governors Cup

2014 Chardonnay Bronze VA Governors Cup

2017 Awards Won

2014 Meritage Silver VA Governors Cup

2014 Petit Verdot Silver VA Governors Cup

2015 Vidal Blanc Silver VA Governors Cup

2015 Tinkling Spring Silver VA Governors Cup

2015 Viognier Bronze VA Governors Cup

2015 Chardonnay Silver VA Governors Cup

2015 Cabernet Franc Bronze VA Governors Cup

2015 Touriga Silver VA Governors Cup

2018 Awards Won

2015 Petit Verdot Silver VA Governors Cup

2016 Touriga Silver VA Governors Cup

2016 Harmony Silver VA Governors Cup

2016 Merlot Silver VA Governors Cup

2014 Meritage Silver VA Governors Cup

2015 Meritage Silver VA Governors Cup

2016 Vidal Blanc Silver VA Governors Cup

2016 Viognier Silver VA Governors Cup

2016 Chardonnay Silver VA Governors Cup

1890

W.A Higgs Our owner John Higgs' Grandfather forms a partnership with mill owner J.A.Bell after his first plant burnt. After rebuilding they established a second plant in Charles Town, WV. Mr. Higgs would run the Charlestown plant until 1910. In 1897 Bell and Higgs purchased the land we currently reside on.

Emma Baugh And W A Higgs.jpeg

Emma K. Higgs and Husband Wilson Asbury Higgs

1 year before their Marriage

Picture Taken Circa 1892

Higgs and Young Cooperage Coins

1910

The Company Higgs and Young is formed. They Buy out J.A. Bell and sons operation and expand it. Higgs and Young operated an Apple Orchard orchard and barrel-making site here for a number of years. They were the leaders in making apple and flours barrels and handled large quantities of crates and baskets for fruit containers. (History of Virginia pg.549)

Coopers for the Higgs and Young cooperages were issued tokens for completed barrels. Incorporated in 1919, the Staunton-based business was touted as the largest manufacturer of fruit barrels in the state by 1929. Their affiliated workshops were located at Afton, Avon, Crozet, Fishersville, Jarman’s Gap, Massie’s Mill, Staunton and Waynesboro. Courtesy Phil James Historical Image

1930

John’s father leaves Shenandoah Junction, WV, and moves his family to Staunton. They take over the orchard here in Fisherville and tend to it during the apple boom. During this time Virginia was considered the largest producer of apples in the country.

James A Higgs
Old Apple Shed

1960

Barren Ridge had become dilapidated and abandoned after interstate and refrigerated truck travel decimated the apple industry in Virginia. Now people could get apples from all over the country.

1961

Audrey Blackford Higgs, John's mother, spent all her years of life working for social reform. She was a supporter of the common cause and equal rights of women. She was a Graduate of the Pioneer class of Mary Baldwin College and an avid Author. She spent 60 years fighting for reform of our state's mental health system and was a friend and defender of battered women. It was during this time she met and interviewed Queen Elizabeth Miller, whose life changed after witnessing an 8-year-old girl become orphaned after a horrific construction accident. In our tasting room, we have Audrey's book she wrote after this interview. It tells the story of how this African-American woman from southwest Virginia went on to "Build a Kingdom For Homeless Children".

Audrey Blackford
The Royal Queen Elizabeth Miller written by Audrey Blackord
John Higgs
Shelby Higgs

2004

John and Shelby return home from Europe. John worked for Philip Morris all around the world. It was John and Shelby's time living in Europe when this dream was realized. After being exposed to European winemaking, John dreamed of turning his family’s dilapidated and abandoned apple orchard into a beautiful winery.

2017

John was elected president of the Shenandoah Valley Wine Growers Association. His goals as president of the SVWGA include “to gain further recognition for the Shenandoah Valley’s wines, to continue to improve the quality of our wines, to develop the Valley’s wine culture, and to cultivate the Valley’s reputation as a quality wine region both here in Virginia and along the East Coast.” He initiated the Shenandoah Wine Cup Competition

Shenandoah Wine Trail

2018

Barren Ridge produces its first apple wine. Hearkening back to its time as an apple orchard and Johns time spent working in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan which is believed to be the birthplace of the apple.

Flag of  Kazakhstan
ALMA -Ata Apple Wine
2019 Shenandoah Cup Winner

2019

Barren Ridge won the first annual Shenandoah Cup.

Winning Gold for our 2015 Meritage.

2016 Port Silver VA Governors Cup

2017 Touriga Silver VA Governors Cup

2016 Cabernet Franc Bronze VA Governors Cup

2017 Harmony Bronze VA Governors Cup

2016 Petit Verdot Bronze VA Governors Cup

2017 Viognier bronze VA Governors Cup

2020

2015 Meritage Silver VA Governors Cup

2017 Touriga Silver VA Governors Cup

2017 Cabernet Franc Silver VA Governors Cup

2018 Traminette Bronze VA Governors Cup

2019 Christof Silver Shenandoah Cup

2019 Riesling Silver Shenandoah Cup

2019 Rose Silver Shenandoah Cup

2016 Merlot Silver Shenandoah Cup

2019

John's son Robert and wife Angela arrive from France to continue the legacy and lead Barren Ridge into a new era.

Robert and Angela

2021

2015 Meritage Gold VA Governors Cup

2019 Tinkling Spring Silver VA Governors Cup

2017 Petit Verdot Silver VA Governors Cup

2019 Christof Silver VA Governors Cup

We step into the future, optimistic and prepared to continue our legacy...