Gioia dell’Amore is Italian for the Joy of Love. Our mission and tag line is to “Scatter Joy!”
Nestled in the beautiful, rolling countryside of Rockingham County, Gioia dell’Amore Cellars at Autumn Creek Vineyards is comprised of 96 acres of farmland, including 8 acres of grape vines. With both dairy and tobacco farming in the property’s past, the original 1800’s farmhouse and many smaller historic farm structures still remain and provide a unique combination of rustic charm with a working vineyard. However, a lot has changed since the first Merlot and Chambourcin grapes were planted in the late 1990s! We now also grow Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Traminette, Riesling, Montepulciano, and Barbera grapes. Two fantastic cabins and an inviting Tasting Room were built in the 2000s with the large Pavilion added in 2011 for weddings and special events. Now with several additional varieties of grapes and award-winning wines, Gioia dell’Amore Cellars is truly unmatched.
Our four-season Tasting Room offers covered porches with rocking chairs, wrap-around decks with views of the stream, pond and vineyard, an elegant courtyard and Koi pond, and cozy fireplace seating. Whether you’re enjoying a glass of wine with a friend or a bottle with several, it’s the perfect gathering place year-round!
For weddings, corporate events and celebrations, we have venue settings ranging from our unique Barrel Room to outdoor venue spaces, to our elegantly-rustic Pavilion accommodating up to 275 guests with additional seating on the surrounding patio. The Pavilion features a massive stone fireplace, an open ceiling with exposed wooden beams, and a large catering kitchen. We also offer ceremony settings under the 100-year old oak trees at the Farmhouse or at the spacious gazebo ideally placed in front of the pond and fountain. There are fantastic backdrops for ceremonies and pictures in every direction you look!
We offer two secluded, romantic cabins tucked away in our vineyards as well as 4 elegant lodging suites, available for wedding rentals, overnight retreats, special occasions or just for relaxing on romantic weekend getaways. The cabins are within walking distance of our Tasting Room and can be reserved online .
Gioia dell’Amore Cellars is the perfect place to “Scatter Joy”.
We are a local vineyard and winery owned by David and Laura Comer, born from a joint vision between two sisters, Julie and Laura, and their husbands, Dave and David, to share a love and appreciation of wine.
Our name “Gioia dell’Amore” is Italian, and translates to “The Joy of Love”.
Our story began one evening in 2013, eldest sister Julie and her husband Dave were visiting Laura and David. While sitting around drinking red wine together, the conversation turned to the next careers.
Julie mentioned that her dream was to open a winery in a developing country where people needed a means to support themselves and to expand her ministry to others in the process. The group concluded that amongst the group there was the skill set to support such a venture. For Christmas that year, Laura gifted everyone home winemaking kits to try out the process. All four enjoyed experimenting in winemaking and began to dream about opening a winery together.
Unfortunately a year and a half later, in June of 2015, Julie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Although she lived in Kansas, she moved in with Laura and David in the Houston area for most of the next year while under treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center.
While living together, the couples began discussing making the dream a reality. With her diagnosis, Julie conceded that being overseas and away from family was no longer her desire and the team concluded they should chase the dream at home. Between chemotherapy treatments, Julie, Laura, and David began wine assessment studies at the The Texas Wine School in Houston. While sitting around the kitchen table, big sister/little sister debates about the name of the future winery ensued. Laura started the discussion offering “Joie de le Vie” (French for “the joy of life”). Julie responded that she preferred Italian wines and the family-oriented culture of Italy. The phrase “joy of life” translated in Italian to “Gioia diVita” which sounded too harsh and lacked the romantic playfulness they were looking for. Julie then suggested “Amore Perfecto”, but they agreed over laughter that there is no such thing as perfect love. The sisters came to an agreement on “Gioia dell’Amore,” Italian for “the joy of love.” Sadly, Julie lost her battle with cancer 13 months following her diagnosis. Several years after Julie’s passing, Laura and David pursued a winemaking education at Texas Tech University and began to search for a winery home. When they found Autumn Creek Vineyards in 2020, they knew this was the place to pursue the two couples’ dream in Julie’s honor. The couple purchased the property in September of 2021 and Gioia dell’Amore Cellars at Autumn Creek Vineyards was born and officially renamed on Julie’s Birthday on June 29, 2022.
For more information regarding hosting a wedding, corporate meeting or other celebration, please contact Laura.