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The founders of Democracy Vineyards, Susan Prokop and Jim Turpin, started with just an idea, a notion of a Virginia farm winery where they could start their encore career as Virginia winegrowers.
Early in the search, with help from Virginia Tech's Tony Wolf, they targeted Nelson County with its rich agricultural lands, location near population centers and its growing number of viticultural enterprises. In Nelson, they found a welcoming farm community and a link to Jim's family. A somewhat distant relative was the largest apple broker in the region during the depression. Legend has it that one of the early "Waltons" episodes, featuring the family being hired to pick apples, was based on Jim's relation.
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