Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Virginia's New Kent Classic

The Club at Viniterra has earned rave reviews among golfers since opening its gates to the public

(NEW KENT, VA.) – Viniterra (www.Viniterra.com) is a private, gated community of luxury estate home sites and resort cottages in the Virginia’s New Kent Vineyards Development that has achieved a rare double in a short period of time, capturing the fancy of both golf and wine aficionados alike.

Centrally located between Richmond and Williamsburg, Va., just off Interstate 64 in New Kent County, Viniterra offers easy access to the Mid-Atlantic’s urban areas, the North Carolina Outer Banks, the James, York and Rappahannock Rivers, the Chesapeake Bay, and endless beautiful Virginia countryside.

The word “Viniterra” means, loosely, “earth wines” or “land of grapes.” An environmentally sustainable community, Viniterra epitomizes upscale living at its finest, with one- to two-plus-acre, estate-sized homesites with woodland, marsh view and golf course views — surrounded by unspoiled beauty as far as the eye can see.

Viniterra established its Custom Home Building Program to offer its property owners a team of experienced, local architects, interior designers, land planners and builders — from which to select when designing and building their home.

These seasoned professionals share and understand the vision of the Viniterra lifestyle as the most luxurious and exceptional private community in the Virginia Wine Country. Only the finest craftsmen and customer service oriented builders in the greater Richmond-Williamsburg area were invited; translating to a carefully selected group dedicated to helping Viniterra’s property owners with each step in the custom home building process.

There are a pair of glittering centerpieces to the Viniterra enclave: A stunning, Rees Jones-designed golf course called The Club at Viniterra, which has won the hearts of the area’s golfers since it recently opened its gates to outside play; and the equally remarkable New Kent Winery, built almost entirely using recycled building materials, which has won the hearts of the Virginia Wine Community.

The Club at Viniterra consists of slightly less than 1,200 acres of wooded and rugged terrain. Upon this parcel, Jones — the famed “U.S. Open Doctor,” son of legendary architect Robert Trent Jones and recipient of the Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America for his lifetime commitment to the game of golf — crafted a rolling, challenging jewel that can stretch to nearly 7,800 yards from the tips and flies against the grain of your typical Tidewater design.

With massive fairways and run-ups to nearly all of its jaw-dropping green complexes — combined with the thoughtful and strategic placement of various grass, sand and water hazards — Viniterra is enjoyable for golfers who select the proper set of tees (some holes offer up to a dozen different teeing grounds).

The masterful Jones course routing incorporates many of the diverse, natural features of the site including frequent and dramatic elevation changes, various wetland areas and portions of mature, deciduous forest. Where appropriate, ponds and a total of 13 bridges were built to provide both strategic and aesthetic value.

“You will never be bored at Viniterra no matter how many times you play,” said Bob Foster, Director of Golf. “The scenery is spectacular as there are amazing topography changes not normally found in this part of Virginia. Any golfer of any skill level can play and enjoy the course with yardages ranging from 5,200 to almost 7,800. From the back tees, it is a real brute and rated as one of the hardest in the Commonwealth.”

Echoing the development’s environmentally conservational practices, The Club at Viniterra saves as much as 80 percent of the water consumed by traditional courses and exclusively uses the grass hybrid “Celebration,” which is far more drought-resistant and requires 70 percent less water to maintain than traditional course sods.

The Jones design at Viniterra opened in late 2009 as an amenity to help sell real estate. Now that the golf course has fully matured, the developers elected to open for limited public play.

Viniterra’s other centerpiece? Well, that’s not hard to guess, as there are three different areas along the golf course from which the remarkable New Kent Winery can be seen and enjoyed.

The 12,000-square-foot winery is equipped with state-of-the-art winemaking equipment from around the world. Constructed by craftsmen with historic materials reclaimed from buildings and structures well over a century old — beautiful heart-pine trusses reclaimed from a 1901 Southern Railroad Depot located in the Shockoe Bottom area of Richmond; heart pine structural timbers and floor timbers recovered from a Connecticut warehouse circa 1852; reprocessed copper; even pre-Civil War brick — the New Kent Winery vineyard reflects its founders’ deep sense of commitment to the fundamentals of winemaking and their sense of responsibility for the environment, history and culture of Virginia.

Already, the vineyard has produced some of the finest New World wines in the Commonwealth — including stellar vintages of Chardonnay, Reserve Chardonnay, Merlot, White Merlot, Meritage, Vidal Blanc and Norton, a grape native to Virginia.

Meanwhile, the New Kent Vineyards project contains 2,500 acres of land with 2,500 residential units and 860,000 square feet of commercial properties and is zoned as a Planned Unit Development (PUD).

The New Kent Vineyards PUD was designed to include five major land bays that are connected by a European style parkway that utilizes roundabouts and wide natural buffers to retain the rural character of the area. All the major road systems, the entire utilities system that serves the entire project are in place and completed.

Viniterra makes up Land Bay I which consists of just less than 1,200 acres of heavily wooded and rather rugged terrain. This land bay plays hosts to most of the major amenities for the project including the aforementioned Rees Jones Signature Golf Course and the New Kent Winery. This building and the vineyards that are scattered throughout the project help to create a unique lifestyle and value added for Viniterra’s residents.

Other planned amenities within Land Bay I include an equestrian complex complete with bridle and carriage trails, several lakes with walking trails and picnic areas and a swim and racquet club.

Mirbeau Country Inn and Spa is also planned for this land bay and is under contract to purchase 14 acres of land adjacent to the New Kent Winery. This impressive Country French style complex will include nearly 62,000 square feet of buildings containing a fine dining restaurant, a bistro style café, 62 rooms, a conference center and a 20,000 square foot spa.

Mirbeau is an award-winning inn and spa that originated in Skaneateles, N.Y., and one of only three resort properties in North America that has achieved a Four Star rating for all three categories: the inn, the fine dining and the spa.

The Mirbeau complex will sit on the northern shore of the lower lake adjacent to the New Kent Winery and face a 30-unit, gated neighborhood – the Lakefront Cottages at Viniterra. These “small but elegant homes” will offer maintenance free living within easy walking distance of the spa, the winery and golf course.

Among the oldest counties in Virginia, New Kent was settled by the English and so named for Kent in England. This region was the birthplace of our nation and served as the setting for significant events in American history: Captain John Smith first visited New Kent in 1607; and the church where George and Martha Washington were wed still holds services there today.

Numerous armies have marched over New Kent’s roads — among the oldest in America — including British, American Revolutionary, Confederate and Union forces. The area has been home through the years to a wide range of legendary individuals including Pocahontas, Thomas Jefferson and General Cornwallis.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

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