The Zachariah Society
Welcome to the Club
There is nothing about making wine in Virginia that is not hard work. Around here, it’s not about mechanical harvesters and industrial farming. It’s about lovingly tended vineyards on a family scale, handpicked grapes, and small yields. And the weather extremes mean we are often guarding against the effects of heat, humidity or the cold. So every member of the family wears a lot of hats, pitching in whenever and wherever they can. And every employee does the same. We spend a lot of hours together, whether it’s in the fields, the tasting room, or the kitchen. It’s all about the hard work we do collectively and the way that brings us together and intensifies our celebrations.
That’s why I can’t think of a better person to honor for our wine club than my father, Big Zach, who departed this world in 2016. Big Zach had an incredible work ethic. A graduate of VMI (’48), with two years of service in the Philippines before he earned a diploma in chemistry, he worked his way up the ranks to become the manager of the world’s largest cellophane plant. In the second half of his career, he served as president of the Virginia Manufacturers Association. Big Zach did it with style. He had a deep laugh—I can still hear it. He liked a cocktail and a glass of red wine in the evening, and a good story—as long as it wasn’t one I was concocting to squirrel my way out of some scrape I’d gotten myself in. Eventually, I followed in his footsteps—VMI (’85).
The only person more worthy of this honor, without a doubt, is my mother, Anne, who put up with Big Zach for 68 years, and tolerated my teenage mischief with wonderful aplomb. Anne attended Westhampton College (now the University of Richmond) and UNC-Chapel Hill. She was the brains of the family. You couldn’t get one by Ann. But, hey, even Anne would admit, Zach got the cooler name. . . . hence, we bring you The Zachariah Society.
I share all of this with you because, the way I see it, when you join The Zachariah Society, you are joining the Upper Shirley Vineyards family. You’re telling us you want our wine in your life, whether for sipping after work, for family dinners or for special celebrations, and you want to be invited to our intimate release parties, one per season each year. And we appreciate that. It means everything to us.
We look forward to seeing you at the Zachariah Society release parties, one per season, where we can spend some time together, celebrating the fruits of our labor and the bond we have with you, our customers—part of the family.
Be privy to new releases. As part of The Zachariah Society, you will be invited to four quarterly after-hours events celebrating wine releases and the season. Each offers an opportunity to taste wines and discuss them, to mix and mingle with other wine enthusiasts in an intimate setting, and to meet chefs, winemakers and others who make the Upper Shirley experience possible.
Come join us for a harvest celebration in September. It’s a special time of year at the winery, when we give thanks for the bounty of the land. We’ll sip last years’ wines and discuss the upcoming vintage. There will be special fall hors d’oeuvres by Chef Ernie LaBrecque.
In December, we ring in the holidays with a festive holiday celebration. All the year’s grapes have been sorted and crushed and are now happily fermenting in tanks and barrels. This is the quietest time of the year at work, which means its time to have some fun. We will have exclusive holiday discounts fore Society members, so come round out your holiday gift shopping with us.
The days are growing longer and the sun is starting to shine. Naturally, we’ve got rosé on the mind. Today we release the latest vintage of one our biggest crowd pleasers, our easy drinking Upper Shirley rosé. It’s light and smooth enough to drink as a cocktail, but goes great with food too. Chef Ernie LaBrecque aims to prove it.
Party at the Caravan. The newest member of the Upper Shirley family is an iconic mid-50s Shasta travel trailer, a symbol of the carefree post-WWII American travel era. Our Caravan curves you just can’t resist, and best of all, it’s a fully equipped kitchenette, hanging out on our back lawn, looking cute, and ready to fire up some delicious summer snacks to go with our latest white wine release.
Society Benefits - 12 months of perks
- Vip Reservations - Reservations for parties from 1-14 (not just 5 or more...)
- Reserved spots for holiday seating
- Tickets for two (member and guest) to the quarterly Wine Club Pickup parties, held on April 6th, June 1st, September 21st, December 7th
- Free wine tastings for member and a guest
- Advance notice for special events
- 20% off branded merchandise
- 10% off cases of wine
- Engraved name plate for original members
How to join
Society members will purchase a case of USV Big Reds in order to join. After purchasing your case, you can pick up your wine on June 1st at our next quarterly Wine Club Pickup party from 6-8pm, shipping is available, but who would want to miss a party? Your choices of wine are: 2015 Tannat, 2015 Zachariah, 2015 Petit Verdot, 2015 Merlot. Feel free to mix and match a case of your favorites. Finally, a wine club where you get to pick your wines!
Memberships last 12 months from date of purchase.
*Please note, if you are unable to attend the June 1st launch party, we ask that you email the USV team for alternative instructions.