Wine, craft beer store finds success in River District

DANVILLE, Va. — For nearly nine years, Vintages by the Dan has brought a large selection of wine and craft beer to Danville’s River District.

The only store of its kind in Danville, Vintages brings in product from all over, from as close as Ballad Brewing just down the road to Charlottesville to France.

When her youngest son went to college, owner Robin Jones, who had been a stay-at-home mom, was looking for something to do. The owners of a gift shop located at 312 Main Street called The Gourmet Frog were looking to sell, so Jones ended up buying.

She opened Vintages in August 2012.

“I love wine, and I’ve learned a lot over the years,” Jones said. “I wanted to be downtown. I wanted to be part of the revitalization that was going on. My mother worked where First Citizens is at now for years, and I grew up coming downtown. I just wanted to be part of that rebirth.”

While she was knowledgeable about wine, the craft beer was an aspect Jones had to learn about, as it wasn’t a part of the original business plan. The popularity of craft beer began to take off right around the time she opened her store. Locally, 2 Witches Winery and Brewery opened around the same time.

According to Jones, craft beer is different because there are seasonal offerings to keep up with, and there is always something new.

“Customers always come in looking for the new product coming out because there are so many different breweries and seasonal beer,” Jones said.

Due to this, Jones said they usually get new products every week.

During the pandemic, Vintages was deemed essential, so they have remained open for the past year. They offered curbside service to customers and stopped their tastings on Saturdays, but Jones said their business remained busy, especially at the beginning.

Since people couldn’t go out and get drinks with dinner at a restaurant, they were coming to Vintages to get bottles to have with their dinners at home.

In addition to wine and craft beer, Vintages also sells various food items and a selection of gifts.

Throughout the nine years, Jones said she has enjoyed getting to meet so many different people, such as young people and those visiting Danville.

“It has really been wonderful,” Jones said. “I have met so many people that I would never have met otherwise, especially young people. There are so many young people living down here now, and I think it’s exciting I get to meet the new people in town. They typically find my store.”

Jones hopes to start their free tastings on Saturday afternoons again beginning May 1.

Vintages is open Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.