We’re grape experts – it’s in our blood! At Dida’s Distillery (pronounced “did-uh”), our spirits are distilled 100% from grape – we grow the grapes, press the juice, and ferment the wines at our Virginia Farm-Winery, Rappahannock Cellars, in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Adjacent to our tanks and barrels of our wine cellar, the stills of Dida’s Distillery carefully extract the essence of the wines, concentrating them into hand-bottled expressions of each vintage. Distillation begins at the source: the crops. With our 30 years of grape growing and winemaking experience, our Virginia Distillery exemplifies a truly “farm-to-table” production process, pioneering a new frontier of American Grape Spirits. Our aged and clear spirits alike are concentrated expressions of our ultra-premium craft wines: the highest quality grapes are pressed and fermented into intense wines, then small-batch distilled in our custom 100-gallon pot/column hybrid copper still. Whether it be our luxurious brandy, groundbreaking vodka, and refreshing gin, our family’s winery-based distillery brings new, unique, and innovative life to your favorite cocktail or beverage.
Dida is Croatian for “Grandfather”, and it’s what we called our grandfather, Paul Mariani. His father grew up on the island of Vis off the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, where one of the primary crops was (and still is) Viognier grapes – the very same varietal named the State Grape of Virginia. In 1906, great-grandpa Dida emigrated to California where he planted fruit trees and continued farming to support the family. His son, grandpa Dida, built the farm into the Mariani Fruit Packing Company, which is run today by our family. In 1996 our parents, John Delmare and Marialisa Mariani-Delmare, moved our family to the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, leaving behind their winery in California (Saratoga Vineyard / Mariani Vineyards in Saratoga, California, now Savannah-Chanelle Winery). In 1998, John founded Rappahannock Cellars near the headwaters of the Rappahannock River in the northern tip of Rappahannock County, just a few miles south of the quiet town of Front Royal, Va and a little over an hour outside Washington, DC. John is a “hands-on” owner who works side-by-side with our family in the day-to-day operations. Of us 12 children, three now work full time at the family businesses (Allan, 2nd, Distiller at Dida’s; Kelly, 4th, Tasting Room Manager at Rappahannock; and Teresa, 6th, Wine Club Manager at Rappahannock), while many of our other siblings support the tasting rooms on weekends.
We started work on Dida’s Distillery in 2015 with the purpose of producing 100% grape-based spirits made from Rappahannock Cellars wines. True to our family history and expertise, we saw the incredible potential in distilling from grapes rather than grains. Our wines are renowned for their quality, flavor and aroma, and they distill into smooth, yet complex spirits. Our winemaking and distilling teams work passionately side-by-side in our cellar to produce incredible wines and distill them into remarkable spirits. For grape-based spirits, we don’t stop at barrel-aged Brandy; Dida’s Distillery currently offers Vodka, Gin, and three different styles of “immature” Brandy, with aged Gin coming in late 2018, and multi-year aged brandies to follow.
Aged 1 Day Brandy
American Char Brandy
Tawny Barrel Brandy
14437 Hume Rd, Huntly, VA 22640
HOURS: Monday: 11:30AM - 5:00PM, Tuesday: 11:30AM - 5:00PM, Wednesday: closed, Thursday: closed, Friday: 11:30AM - 5:00PM, Saturday: 11:30AM - 6:00PM Sunday: 11:30AM - 5:00PM