When we first laid eyes on the beautiful rolling hills we now call CrossKeys Vineyards, it was nothing more than a thick forest. After crossing the fence which divided the land from the road, we saw the vision of the vineyard come to life. With no roads on the property, we walked through the untouched forest to the top of the first hill. Through the dense trees we could see the immaculate Massanutten Mountain peeking through, dominating the landscape. A few months after purchasing the land, we had a family picnic to celebrate the wonderful new beginnings with a bottle of Pinot Noir. It was there in that moment the realization of the endless possibilities this land had to offer was planted in our minds. Not too long after, in 2001 the first vines were planted. After many years of hard work, passion, hope, and most importantly perseverance breathed life into our dream; opening the doors to our own vineyard. In May of 2008, we opened the doors to the tasting room and offered the first vintage of 2006, 100% estate grown wine from the once forgotten land.
Aside from the impressive beauty of the land, the old Cross Keys Tavern was and still is one of our biggest inspirations. The old Tavern served as a town center for the community in the early to mid-19th century. Friends and family gathered after long days and could unwind and enjoy the pure essence the valley has to offer. However, on June 8th of 1862, the small village was engulfed by Union and Confederate troops. The old Tavern became a place of healing as wounded soldiers were carried off after the infamous battle of Cross Keys. We have a dream of rebuilding what the old Cross Keys Tavern offered a century and a half ago; a place of relaxation and gathering for visitors and the locals of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. We strive to be an establishment that gives back to our community. Every year we hold a New Year’s Eve Ball to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital and have donated over $250,000 to St. Jude’s.
The two gold crossed keys are an old symbol of hospitality, excellence, and a place of prestige. The keys embody our goal of producing exquisite wines, delicious food, fabulous events, but most of all they are a daily reminder that we are here to provide an excellent experience for every guest that walks through our doors.
Thank you for believing in our dreams,
The Bakhtiar Family
The Bakhtiar's began this family business in 2001 and have loved every minute of it. Nikoo's favorite wine is our Pinot Noir and Bob's is our Meritage.
Babak grew up in the Shenandoah Valley just like his brother, Saam, and is an East Carolina University alum. His favorite wine is CrossKeys Vineyards Meritage.
Stephan Heyns hails all the way from Malmesbury, South Africa. He attended Elsenburg College of Agriculture and his favorite wine is our Petit Verdot.
Chef Dexter hails from Daniels, WV and his experience in the kitchen at renowned resorts such as Glade Springs and The Greenbrier have allowed him to hone in on techniques that he now shares with CrossKeys guests. His favorite wine is our Touriga.
Nikole was born and raised in Warrenton, VA. She graduated from James Madison University. Her favorite CrossKeys Wine is our Fiore.