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Our Story

Home to Prince Michel and Rapidan River Wines, Prince Michel Vineyard and Winery is one of the east coast’s premier wine estates. As a pioneer in the Virginia wine industry, Prince Michel is one of the oldest and largest wineries in the Commonwealth.

When Prince Michel Vineyard and Winery was founded in 1982 by Parisians Jean and Sylvian LeDucq, a vision was formed out of the love of Virginia and its relationship to the vine. Prince Michel has grown to become one of the largest, most widely distributed and recognized wineries in the state as well as along the east coast. Our wines have won competitions around the world and flourished with the efforts of our founders, the LeDucqs, owner Kristin Easter, employees, and loyal customers.

Although Prince Michel has “Old World” beginnings with original French ownership, there is nothing conventional about the winery or its wines. The Prince Michel story is one of perseverance and innovation in a sometimes too stodgy environment. Prince Michel’s basic approach is that “wines should be enjoyed and the best wine is what you like.” Much of this fresh approach to wine comes from the present owner of Prince Michel, Kristin Easter. Only one of a hand-full of female winery owners, Kristin’s business model is centered around hospitality and the pleasure of a great wine experience. Her creative business style has challenged the traditional philosophy of how to experience wine.

The diversity of wines produced by Prince Michel and Rapidan River allows a level of choice most wineries cannot achieve on such a large scale. Wines range from high-end “craft” wines like Viognier, Syrah, and Symbius grown from select Virginia vineyards to more unique wines from the Rapidan River series like the Semi-dry Riesling, Peach, and Chocolate.

In a continuous effort to provide wine lovers with a memorable wine experience, Prince Michel offers multiple settings to enjoy their wines. Located in the heart of Virginia Wine Country and beautifully situated among the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge, Prince Michel’s main winery is conveniently located on Route 29 between Charlottesville and Washington DC. Located in Leon, VA, this state-of-the-art winery is elegant and spacious. From museum artifacts to robotic bottling equipment, Prince Michel’s main winery is a treasure trove for any wine enthusiast. Wine tastings, private and self-guided tours, fabulous shopping, picnic patios and courtyards are all available seven days a week starting at 10am.

The Prince Michel Tasting Room on Carter Mountain in Charlottesville gives wine lovers an entirely different experience. This tasting room boasts the highest elevation for any tasting room in Virginia—if not the east coast. Guests are able to enjoy wines produced by the actual vines they see outside the tasting room. Aside from being one of the most scenic views in Charlottesville, this tasting room affords guests a relaxed atmosphere with activities for all ages.

Prince Michel and Rapidan River wines are also well distributed in wine shops, grocery stores, and restaurants throughout Virginia and surrounding states. With a large and active Wine Club, these wines can also be delivered to your door.