Fruit of D'Vine
Oct 01, 2018 03:00AM
When Dave Page found himself interested in growing grapevines and developing various kinds of wine on his property on Garnert Road in northern Pennsylvania’s Columbia Crossroads, he had no idea the four-acre plot of land he’d set aside to cultivate the cultivars in 2008 would become a sought-after wedding destination for brides and grooms across the Twin Tiers region.
Dave’s wife, Denise, a full-time nurse, says it was their niece who started the now thriving wedding venue business by declaring in 2014 that she wanted to have her wedding at the picturesque location with the rustic barn and open green fields. The Pages agreed and began to clear out the barn and make the space ready for wedding guests. A well-known local photographer photographed the wedding, shared the photos on social media, and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
Now the vineyard, located about forty miles south of the New York Finger Lakes region, has booked close to fifty weddings, from mid-June to October (it’s a seasonal space), since 2014. Denise feels the quaint, rural, and oh-so-romantic location is what makes it a premier wedding destination for many.
But she and her husband never expected their site to become such an attraction.
The land was used as a dairy farm more than 100 years ago, and is one of the few century farms in Bradford County. The farm was passed to Dave in the 1970s by his grandparents, Max and Louise VanVeghten. His great-grandfather, Fred, built the barn.
In the 1980s, Dave sold the dairy business, but he kept the land. Over the years, as their children grew, the Pages traveled and educated themselves about food and beverages and how to make both. It was after the children—Brandon and Denee—grew up and left home that Dave began to explore how to establish and operate a successful vineyard, and to make wine, Denise says. Dave named the winery D’Vine as a fun way to play with words and combine both of their names, which, of course, each start with a “D.” Dave planted 1,800 grapevines of eight different varieties, but he and Denise didn’t quit their day jobs. Dave still works as an American Holstein Association classifier and Denise is still a nurse. They operate the wedding space on the weekends with assistance from their two children and their daughter-in-law.
That space includes the historic and picturesque barn, the vineyard, the apple and peach trees, the pergola with a swing, and a pond. The Pages rent the space; the renters are able to decorate and set up for themselves. In addition to weddings and receptions, the space is available for birthday parties, anniversaries, reunions, and other special occasions.
“It’s a ‘do it yourself operation,’” Denise says.
The Page family’s strategy for their future, and that of the venue, is to open a winery, vineyard, and event space to the public on a more regular basis once Denise and Dave retire. For Dave that is planned for two years from now. Until then, he is continuing to test wines (a tough job, but someone has to do it), experimenting, and sharing with a select few as he develops his skills and expertise, the couple says.
“He’s been making what you might call practice wine,” Denise says. “We have a license in holding but we don’t bottle. We make wine for our own use. In the future probably we will do festivals and not actually have a tasting room, because the wedding venues take up the weekends.”
To learn more about booking D’Vine Vineyard visit dvinevineyardandwinery.com or call (570) 297-2946.