Keswick Vineyards Owner Al Schornberg Joined Jerry Miller On The I Love CVille Show!


Keswick Vineyards Owner & CEO Al Schornberg joined us on The I Love CVille Show powered by Greenberry’s Coffee at Barracks Road and Bill Kerr and Cheri Gibbs Kerr’s Camryn Limousine!

On today’s show, we spotlighted the following topics:

(0). How did a near-death experience while flying in a small airplane (Al and Cindy should have died in an airplane crash) influence Al and Cindy to move to Keswick and launch Keswick Vineyards?

(1). Eighteen-year-old Keswick Vineyards is one of the best vineyards in Virginia. How has Keswick evolved into such an esteemed vineyard in such a short time?

(2). What is it like running Keswick Vineyards with his wife, Cindy Gulish Schornberg, children, Brian Schornberg and Kat Schornberg Barnard, and son-in-law Stephen Barnard, who met Kat for the first time while working under Al as the winemaker?? Keswick Vineyards is truly a family business!

(3). How has the winery and vineyard industry evolved over the the last 18 years? Al, an experienced and astute businessman, has seen this category explode, especially in Central Virginia. Are we approaching “bubble status” in the winery and vineyard industry? Is the competition fiercer than ever? Is the competition good for the future of the space?

(4). Keswick Vineyards is close to finalizing an exclusive partnership with the team behind Three Notch’d Brewing Company (i.e. Scott Eric Roth, Dave Warwick, Derek Naughton and George Kastendike). We could see delicious Three Notch’d beer flowing at Keswick Vineyards very soon. In turn, we could see Keswick wines as the exclusive wines at Three Notch’d. (I love the framework of this deal by the way!) Why integrate craft beer into the vineyard business model?

(5). We are now seeing vineyards and wineries serving beer at their tasting rooms. For example, Tasting Room & Taphouse at Mount Ida Reserve is serving both to accommodate guests. Often, you will see men ask for beer at vineyard and winery tasting rooms. Is this the future of the vineyard/winery industry? Does this marginalize or cheapen the experience at the vineyard or winery?

(6). As a business owner and vineyard owner, is it easy or difficult to work within Albemarle County?? Many vineyard owners have told me that Albemarle County’s regulations have limited their entrepreneurial spirit. Is this the case for Al and his family?

(7). Charlottesville and Central Virginia are now one of the wedding meccas on the East Coast. How has the wedding explosion propelled the winery and vineyard businesses? Some venues are booking $150,000+ individual weddings (Lynn Easton’s Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards is 100% doing this many times per year). Is the vineyard business now just about building a “brand” so that the venue can secure expensive events like 6-figure weddings?? Is the wine revenue stream taking a backseat to the live events revenue stream?

(8). Al, you own a gorgeous vineyard that is one of the best in Virginia. What the hell is this like? Do you ever pinch yourself and say, “Shit, I own one of the best vineyards in Virginia! This is awesome, baby!!”

(9). The Schornberg Family has an unlimited supply of wine anytime they want! That’s so cool! What’s this like? Do you ever get tired of drinking wine? Do you like beer, and, if so, what beers?

(10). Where do Al and Cindy like to go on Date Night? Where does the Schornberg Family go for dinner, drinks and fun in CVille?? What restaurants, vineyards/wineries, breweries and venues do they like?

(11). How has August 12, 2017 impacted the winery/vineyard industry? Did you see a drop in customers and revenue since A12?? If so, how does Keswick combat this and how do Charlottesville and Albemarle County combat this?

(12). As an influential Central Virginia business owner, do you feel confident that our current Charlottesville City Council and current Albemarle County Board of Supervisors can lead our City and our County to greener pastures and away from the negative national stigma associated with A12?

(13). Would Al every run for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors??

(14). Is Charlottesville, Virginia a better place today than when The Schornberg Family first arrived??

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy Realtor April Ward Joined Jerry Miller On The I Love CVille Show! and Attorney Lloyd Snook Joined Jerry Miller On The I Love CVille Show!

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CEO Jerry Miller

Jerry Miller is the CEO of The Miller Organization, The I Love CVille Network, VMV Brands, The Blue Ridge Venture Fund, I Love CVille Real Estate and Charlottesville Business Brokers which are all headquartered in Downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. Jerry is passionate about the #ShopLocal movement and supporting locally-owned businesses. Get to know Jerry at