Story by Will Thompson
“Each wine in here I could tell a story about,” says Bob Riggs, pouring a glass of Forever Farm & Vineyard’s signature label, Boykin Blend, in their tasting room.
The stories seem to flow as easily as the superb wine at this boutique, family-run winery nestled in Purcellville’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Bob tends to the vines and is the winemaker, while his wife, Teri Riggs, manages the business. Together they provide a personable and inclusive venue for savoring some of the best that Virginia winemaking has to offer.
The walls of Forever Farm’s cozy tasting room are lined with photos from Teri and Bob’s own lives – much of which were spent living around the world. Record covers and other artifacts with personal meaning mingle with bottles of wine adorned with the many gold and silver medals that their impressive varietals and blends have won in local and national competitions.
Forever Farm & Vineyard started when Teri and Bob decided to move to Loudoun County upon their retirement to be close to their family and friends. When they bottled their first wines in 2017, a harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chambourcin that became Boykin Blend, their intent was to make wine for the same family and friends as a hobby. A few short years saw their skills and their vines growing and multiplying. They decided to scale up to open a boutique winery for anyone who was interested in expertly-crafted wine in an inviting, community atmosphere.
Forever Farm’s roots – making wine based on a passion for the craft and serving family and friends – are still the ethos of their winery today. “It’s a passion,” Bob says. “We’ve won awards. But it’s really not about the awards. It’s about people enjoying and drinking the wine.”
“Being with people is our biggest thing,” Teri agrees.
Visitors can expect a concierge tasting experience with Teri and Bob on hand to match each person to the wine that they will love. Patrons can also expect to be welcomed as part of the Forever Farm & Vineyard extended family, with Teri and Bob sharing stories about their former lives as world travelers, their parents and children, and the stories behind those photos on the wall (including one of Teri dancing while making her television debut!). But perhaps the most compelling are the stories behind each cork popped in their tasting room.
Boykin Blend, for example, is a Bordeaux-style blend named for the couple’s beloved Boykin Spaniel, George, who died tragically but inspired them to rescue their current Boykin, 10-year-old Mojo. George peers out from the label of Boykin Blend, blissfully bounding toward his next adventure. One dollar of each bottle sold of Boykin Blend supports Boykin Spaniel Rescue in South Carolina.
Visioné (Italian for vision), a Sangiovese blend, honors the earliest beginnings of Bob’s interest in wine: growing up in New Jersey at a time when many of his friends and neighbors made their own wine.
Forever Farm’s Norton is made from grapes that are a product of a chance friendship and business exchange that resulted in a unique, deep purple wine that is evocative of holiday spices and dark fruits.
Among the many awards and recognitions that Forever Farm’s wines have received, each year of Boykin Blend has been awarded by organizations such as the American Wine Society, the Loudoun Wine Awards, and the Texas Int’l Awards. Visioné and Forever Farms’ Norton were both awarded a silver medal at the 2021 Loudoun Wine awards. And, it was announced that Norton won a silver medal at the 2022 Loudoun Wine awards. Many more of Forever Farm’s wines have been honored with similar accolades.
“It begins with making sure that you have great fruit to make wine with,” says Bob as Teri explains how he tends to the vines every day. “I even tell them that I love them,” Bob laughs. Perfectly spaced rows of hanging grapes stretch across the bucolic vineyard just outside of the tasting room walls. Teri and Bob’s care extends to all aspects of the winemaking process, from farming to bottling. “We pour the wine into each bottle, cork each bottle, cap each bottle, and label each bottle right here,” Teri emphasizes.
To accept a glass of wine from Teri and Bob is to participate in the Forever Farm & Vineyard story, which is based on the care that Bob puts into every bottle, the hours that Teri works to provide her guests with a comfortable, community-driven experience, and, of course, a really good glass of wine. ML
Forever Farm & Vineyard Winery is located at 15779 Woodgrove Rd in Purcellville. The tasting room along with outdoor seating is open every Saturday from 12 – 6 p.m., and select Sundays and Fridays. Forever Farm welcomes everyone including children and dogs.
The article originally appeared in the October 2022 issue.