Johnny Puckett, owner of the recently-opened Curio Wine Bar, has been working in Virginia vineyards since the 1980s. Through his family’s wine operations, Puckett has extensively studied, and mastered, the art and business of winemaking. Puckett’s parents opened Rogers Ford Farm Winery in 2002, which Puckett took over in 2013. And with Curio Wine Bar, his love and expertise of wine is on full display for Fredericksburg to enjoy.
“I love being in the vineyard,” Puckett said. “It’s peaceful work. You just focus on the vine in front of you, and then move to the next.”
According to Puckett, the success of the Virginia wine scene is not unlike winemaking itself; it has built its roots deeply in the ground and grown slowly, from the winemaking of President Thomas Jefferson, to the Virginia Farm Winery Act of 1980 (which provided farm wineries in Virginia with special privileges to produce and grow wine), to the substantial amount of amazing wineries in Virginia today, from Williamsburg to Front Royal.
“Winemakers are resilient, gritty people,” Puckett said, “and they can take whatever you give them and make something beautiful out of it. Against all odds.”
Rogers Ford Farm Winery specializes in multiple styles of wine, such as their Petit Verdot. You can find the Rogers Ford Petit Verdot on tap at Curio Wine Bar, in addition to other wines from Rogers Ford, as well as wines from all over the world. Curio is a tasting room for wine; all of their wines are on tap and self-pour. It is the perfect bar to learn more about the types of styles, varietals, and tastes of pristine wines.
“We want people to be curious about wine,” Puckett said, “and then to be curious about what we do, to sort of invite them into a story about what happens at [Rogers Ford].”
Puckett is thrilled with not only the wines of Curio, but with the building itself. In addition to the upstairs tasting room, you can also enjoy wine in the gorgeous wine cellar below, as well as a stunning courtyard out back. Curio’s location is immaculate, and is the perfect spot to sit and enjoy a glass (or two glasses) of wine.
“Curio is a place where, with not much overhead, you can taste different styles and varietals of wine just one ounce at a time,” Puckett said. Curio Wine Bar is an extraordinary addition to William Street, and is now open from Wednesday-Sunday. Follow them on Facebook.