Thatch is more than a winery. It’s a gathering place for friends new and old, as well as a space for people to create lasting memories. Whether you’re stopping by for a wine tasting, throwing a party or celebrating an extravagant event like a wedding, we want your experience to be one that will have you coming back to relive that feeling time and time again.
Situated on 60 acres in Charlottesville and just a quick drive from the city, you’ll feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Step back in time and enjoy old world elegance through the craft of great winemaking, while enjoying the comforts of our newly renovated tasting room and loft.
For the past 19 years, the winery previously operated as First Colony Winery. The ownership team, comprised of Richmond business partners David Fratkin and Jeff Miller, wanted to build upon the success of the winery’s past while maintaining the exceptional quality of the wine and enhancing the guest experience.
The Thatch wine portfolio consists of over a dozen wines in a broad variety of styles, each distinctive for its balance, complexity, and articulation of terroir.
Our property features manicured gardens, patios, a terraced deck and a renovated loft with games, two fireplaces and three tasting bars. Open daily for tastings and tasty bites, the winery also offers packages for weddings, group/corporate events and holiday parties.
Our winery’s unique name comes from the roof on the building in which the wine is produced. Thatch is the only winery in the United States with a custom thatched roof which is made entirely of imported Turkish water reed. The hand-crafted roof was completed by master thatcher Colin McGhee in 2014.
It has a life of 50 to 300 years and was topped off on March 15, 2014 with a rooster weather vane. The rooster is affectionately and appropriately named Colin Reed or “CR”, after the thatcher and the medium.
One Team, One Vision:
Thatch Winery is owned and operated by Richmond business partners Jeff & Mel Miller and David & Esther Fratkin.
Jeff Miller is the founder of Miller Financial Services in Richmond. David Fratkin is the co–founder of Richmond companies Dominion Payroll and Tang & Biscuit.
“With a commitment to honoring our land, our vinification style and our most loyal and valued guests, we are excited to share our vision for the future as an inviting and relaxing venue to enjoy and to share with family and friends.”
Jeff holds a B.S. in Business, Economics and Sociology from the University of Richmond and has a national planning practice that specializes in holistic financial planning and investment management for individuals and small businesses. His investment management business ranks in the top 10 nationally of more than 8,000 advisors. Jeff is also on the board of the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation. Jeff is married to Mel and he has two daughters, Taylor and Maddie. As to wine, Jeff prefers red over white and thinks Rosé should be enjoyed all year long! His favorite red is Petit Verdot, but in whites he loves Viognier, the Virginia state grape.
Mel is a Sommelier and one of her favorite things about owning and helping to operate a winery is that there is always something new to learn whether it’s about the winemaking process, the terrior or growing the grapes. She has been actively involved in re-branding the winery and her favorite Thatch Wines are the Rosé and Riesling.
David grew up in Richmond, Virginia and attended Freeman High School before he went off to the University of Arizona to earn his Bachelor’s degree and ultimately his MBA from Loyola College in Maryland. After living for a time in New York City, when the luster of The Big Apple had worn thin, David moved back to Richmond and met Dave Gallagher, and together they founded Dominion Payroll, which provides Human Capital Management services to clients in all 50 states. Richmond has a special place in David’s heart, and he enjoys being actively involved in the community. He currently serves as Treasurer of the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation and on the Board of Directors for the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond and the Weinstien Jewish Community Center. David enjoys relaxing with a glass of Petit Verdot and was pleased to recently discover the Lemberger varietal.
David’s wife Esther has been heavily involved in Thatch Winery’s transformation and renovation process and considers interior design one of her passions. Esther’s current favorite Thatch wine is the 2017 Riesling, as it is dry unlike most of its kind.
Together, David and Esther have two children, Justin and Jillian.
In 1982, the first building was constructed on the property and Totier Creek Vineyards was established.
Eight years after construction began, the vines began producing enough grapes to be harvested. The first wine was bottled and served in 1990.
Totier Creek Vineyard is acquired and First Colony winery is born.
In the Spring of 2001, First Colony Winery hosted its first wedding; setting the stage for many happy couples to exchange vows on the property.
Jeff & Mel Miller join as part owners of the First Colony Winery.
This was a big year for the winery. Significant renovations were completed on the interior and exterior of the property including construction of our signature thatched roof. To do this day, Thatch is the only winery in the United States with a custom thatched roof which is made entirely of imported Turkish water reed.
In the Spring of 2013, two new varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, were planted on the property and are used to form the base of our Rosé.
Gavin Baum is hired in the Summer of 2014, quickly rises through the ranks and is ultimately promoted to head Winemaker in 2017.
Our namesake thatched roof was topped off on March 15, 2014 with a rooster weather vane. The rooster is affectionately and appropriately named Colin Reed or “CR”, after the thatcher and the medium.
In the summer of 2018, David & Esther Fratkin joined the Millers as owners of the winery, completing the current Thatch Ownership Team.
In the fall of 2018, extensive work began to overhaul both interior and exterior elements of the winery. The work included an upgraded tasting room, new furniture and décor throughout, a refreshed Bridal Suite, the addition of a private tasting room for Reserve Club Members, and a renovated loft with a giant wall-mounted scrabble board, two fireplaces, three tasting bars and multiple event spaces.
Thatch Winery made its public debut on April 25, 2019, a place where friends, old and new, can create lasting memories over an exceptional glass of wine.
Yes, outside food is allowed. We also have tasty bites available for purchase and regularly have food trucks on site, so make sure to check our events calendar!
However, due to VA ABC laws, no outside alcohol (beer, wine, or spirits) is permitted during business hours.
Dogs are always welcome on our property. Enjoy a glass of wine with your four-legged friends during operating hours by one of our outdoor fire pits or on the recently expanded back deck.
Additionally, well behaved dogs on leash can join you in the Tasting Room Monday through Thursday. It can be quite busy on weekends, so for the safety of pets and guests alike we ask that no dogs be inside and please keep their visit outside on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
You bet! Families love visiting Thatch and we love families. We are a working farm and vineyard, so we do ask that you keep a watchful eye on your children.
Get hitched at Thatch! We would be honored to help you say ‘I do!’ Please check out our Weddings page HERE
We do, it is now known as the Reserve Club! Find out more and see the benefits HERE
Absolutely! Tour buses, limos and vans are a regular occurrence at Thatch and we have ample parking for these larger vehicles. Please call ahead to schedule a reservation for parties of 6 or more. 434.979.7105
Virginia is b-e-a-u-tiful! So naturally, we want you to enjoy the outdoors when you visit. We have an expansive deck as well as a large slate and stone patio featuring multiple fire pits. Our outdoor areas offer sun or shade and you can listen to music while you sip on your wine.
We are located approximately 10 miles south of downtown Charlottesville off of Route 20. Our address is 1650 Harris Creek Rd, Charlottesville, VA.
Find us HERE
Yes, we can ship wine directly to consumers in the following states:
AK, CA, CO, DC, FL, IN, MN, MO, NC, OH, PA, TN, and VA
Coming soon!: IA, IL, MD, WI