YOUR HOMETOWN — New Market: Valley Wine Cellar Getting Innovative

New Market Shop Seeks To Boost Business, Wine Appreciation In Region

Posted: March 7, 2013

Valley Wine Cellar co-owner Krista Jackson-Foster fills up a bottle of olive oil for a customer at the New Market store. She also owns, with husband, Brad Foster, North Mountain Vineyard and Winery near Toms Brook. The store offers gourmet grocery products as well as exclusive North Mountain Vineyard wines. Photo by Kaitlin Mayhew / DN-R.
The store is branching out with wine tastings on the first Friday of each month, a planned two-year anniversary party and other events to boost business and make the store more of a cultural hot spot among area wine lovers. Photo by Kaitlin Mayhew / DN-R.
NEW MARKET— About two years after opening the Valley Wine Cellar, the shop’s owners are using a slew of new events, wine tastings and parties to make their enterprise a kind of community touchstone for wine aficionados in New Market and the surrounding area.

Krista Jackson-Foster owns both the wine shop and North Mountain Vineyard and Winery near Toms Brook with her husband, Brad Foster.

The couple has owned the vineyard for almost 15 years, and opened the shop in April of 2011 to make their wines readily accessible to folks in the southern end of Shenandoah County.

The vineyard produces between 15 and 16 wine varieties each year, depending on the harvest, and all are available at The Valley Wine Cellar. A few are even exclusive to the New Market shop and under the New Market Battlefield label, including an apple wine, a sweet red and a white blend.

Although Jackson-Foster said she would count the first two years as successful, she wants to grow the business.

After a debut event March 1, The Valley Wine Cellar will now hold wine tastings on the first Friday of each month. The functions will include a reception and a happy hour, with wine sold by the glass.

The work of local artists is constantly on display, as well as the wares of several local craftsmen.

In addition to wine, the shop offers locally produced goat cheese, honey and gourmet Greek olive oil bottled in the store.

A two-year anniversary party, to take place April 5, will feature live music, catered appetizers and wine specials.

Held jointly with the new Woodstock store, All Things Virginia at the Farmhouse, a ladies night event will be held at the wine cellar on May 17. Catered food, wine, a fashion show and massages are among the offerings.

Jackson-Foster said she’d like to continue to offer more such events throughout the year, depending on how they are received.

The wine business is a family affair at North Mountain Vineyard and Winery. Jackson-Foster, a former German professor, and Foster, a former pilot, lived all over the U.S., including Virginia, before settling in the Valley.

“I always knew I wanted to come back [to Virginia] some day,” she said.

Family vacations to Bryce and Massanutten resorts cemented the Shenandoah Valley as the location for their future home.

Jackson-Foster said they came across North Mountain Vineyard by happenstance. Two years after viewing it, they purchased the property.
“We became farmers,” she said.

After that, the whole family began a “steep learning curve” in becoming knowledgeable about the wine industry, attending endless classes and seminars and learning from other vintners in the area.

Their son, John Foster, a geologist with a background in organic chemistry, is the vineyard’s official winemaker.

Today, their vineyard provides exclusive wines for many area businesses, including the Luray Caverns, Hotel Strasburg and the Blue Stone Inn.

“We love it,” said Jackson-Foster. “We really wanted to unite the family.”

Contact Kaitlin Mayhew at 574-6290 or

NDN Video News