Established in 2007, the Virginia Winery Distribution Company (VWDC) is a non-profit, non-stock corporation created by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) to provide wholesale wine distribution services for Virginia farm wineries. Many wineries in the Commonwealth use VWDC to distribute and personally deliver their wines to local retailers. The VWDC Board is composed of two representatives nominated by the Virginia wine wholesale industry, two representatives nominated by the Virginia wine industry, and the VDACS Commissioner.
Meet Our Board Members
Brad Copenhaver was appointed on May 21, 2021, by Governor Ralph Northam as the 17th Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Most recently, Mr. Copenhaver served the last 3 years as the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry.
JAY W COLSTON II
VIRGINIA IMPORTS, LTD
Joined the Beitzell and Co., a Washington DC wine and spirits wholesaler, in 1984 as the fourth generation of the Colston family. Beitzell and Co. was established in 1898. In 1988 the Colston family purchased Virginia Imports Ltd, then a 10 year old company that formed out of a local beer distributorship in 1978.
Blue Bee Cider
Courtney founded Blue Bee Cider in downtown Richmond, Virginia in 2012. After working in economic development for 12 years, she left the corporate grind in 2010. Courtney attended cider school at Cornell University, apprenticed with Albemarle CiderWorks for one year, then started getting Blue Bee Cider off the ground in 2012.
STANLEY K JOYNES III
Valley Road Vineyards
After practicing law in Richmond for 30+ years, Stan co-founded and became CEO of Valley Road Vineyards in Afton in 2015. He took his degrees from nearby University of Virginia and is also an alumnus of the PVCC programs in Viticulture and Enology. Stan is a member of the Legislative Affairs Committee of the Virginia Winery Association.
Republic National Distributing Company
Douglas Zerbst is the Director of Fine Wine for Republic National Distributing Co. of Virginia. He has many years of experience in restaurants, kitchens and hotels as a chef, food and beverage manager and sommelier.
The mandatory use of a wholesale distributor in the Commonwealth had been in place since the end of Prohibition. In 1980, the General Assembly exempted farm wineries from the three-tier system of distribution and allowed them to sell directly to ABC licensees. However, on July 1, 2006, a U.S. district court invalidated Virginia’s distribution laws, and farm wineries were then required to use the three-tier distribution system to sell their wines. The financial impact of this decision was felt by many of the wineries. They were either too small for a wholesale distributor to consider, or the costs were too high. Then, in 2007, the General Assembly approved legislation allowing small farm wineries to distribute as many as 3,000 cases of their own wine each year to stores and restaurants through the state agriculture department. Thus, the VWDC was born and brought wholesale distribution back to the farm wineries. Today, more than 200 wineries in the Commonwealth of Virginia are signed on with VWDC.