NORFOLK, Va. — Editor’s note: This story is part of our Friday Flavor series.
A building in Norfolk that is now Waters Edge Winery sat empty for years, and that prompted Jason Witt to ask his wife, Dyan, questions.
He was deployed on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in 2000 and 2001 for a total of 418 days over two years. During this time, and when he was able to communicate from time to time, he asked about this building.
“I had no idea what he was doing in his head floating on the ocean on an aircraft carrier in the middle of nowhere,” Dyan laughed.
Jason floated the idea of opening a winery on Hampton Boulevard, something his military friends questioned since many of them ended up going to the airlines or a civilian government job.
His background was 21 years in the Navy, so going from that to being a winemaker is a huge change, Dyan said.
So what wine does Jason make?
“This is kind of a new concept. We’re an artisanal winery,” Jason said.
This is similar to a craft brewery where they have tanks in-house but don’t own their own winery.
“We draw from estate vineyards around the globe,” explained Jason. “We bring in grape juice. We put it in our tanks. We ferment. We hold. We filter. We bottle, cork, label everything right here in our tank room.”
You can find reds, whites, sangrias and bubbles on the table. You can order by the bottle, the glass or a flight to try your options. You also get a mat with your flight that explains each sip and the flavor behind them.
“He decided to risk it all and open a winery and restaurant that not only we can enjoy, but all of our neighbors and the community around us can enjoy,” Dyan said.
Yes, it’s also a restaurant with Chef Matt in the kitchen!
“Matt is supported by a really great team of young, creative up-and-coming chefs. A lot of them are students at the Virginia Culinary Institute, so we really drew heavily from that school,” Jason said.
They take the food here seriously. They serve chicken piccata, crab cakes with apple slaw, Mediterranean salad with shrimp and a sirloin steak with cabernet butter.
And if you’re in the mood for something sweet, try the churro fries! They are delicious with their homemade raspberry spread. Or grab a brownie or cookie pan! This place really has something for everyone.
“It’s a place where people can come out and meet each other and it’s right down the street. I hope all the neighbors know each other,” Jason said.
For Dyan, it feels like a second home.
“And when any guests come in here, I treat them like they’re coming into my home,” Dyan said. “It’s just been a dream to have good food, good wine and a great location. It’s just been a blessing.”
Dyan added that they are grateful to everyone who takes the time to spend their afternoons or their evenings there, and they can’t wait to serve them.
If you would like to visit Waters Edge Winery of Norfolk, you can find them at 6464 Hampton Boulevard, Norfolk, Virginia.
Right now they are also running a special. You can buy a 3-pack of premium wines for the new “Serving Those Who Serve” series.
Profits from the 3-pack will be donated to The Travis Manion Foundation in memory of Lt. Cmdr. Landon L. Jones, who was killed on September 22, 2013, when his MH-60 Nighthawk helicopter crashed into the Red Sea. This package includes a brava red blend, pineapple pear sangria and a pinot grigio. The 3-pack costs $99 and can be purchased locally.