With over 50 acres of vineyards, a bountiful on-site garden, a hotel
and two restaurants, The Williamsburg Winery is more than just a Winery.
Wessex Hundred, the 300 - acre farm that is home to The Williamsburg Winery,
Wedmore Place, Café Provençal and The Gabriel Archer Tavern, offers an
unforgettable wine and culinary experience in the heart of Colonial America.
Our 300 acre farm, known as Wessex Hundred, is home to The Williamsburg Winery. The use of “Hundred” to name a property dates to the Colonial era and describes parcels of land sufficient to support a hundred families regardless of actual acreage.
In 1606, the newly-formed Virginia Company sent three ships westward to the New World to settle a permanent English colony. Led by Bartholomew Gosnold, with Gabriel Archer second in command, the expedition sailed up the James River and came upon a point of land on a protected tributary. The ground was high, easily defended, and the soil was excellent – which foretold of the land’s later usage. Archer insisted that the expedition look no further, but he was outvoted despite his considerable experience in such matters. The expedition continued on the James River and moved on to a less hospitable spot the following day, May 13, 1607. The place was Jamestown and became the first permanent English settlement in the New World.
Meet our Leadership Team
Founder and Chairman
Patrick Duffeler was born in Belgium and educated in the United States. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics & Finance from the University of Rochester, New York, he embarked on his professional career at Eastman Kodak.
He later joined the international division of Philip Morris in Switzerland as Director of Marketing. Patrick was instrumental in the development of the Marlboro World Championship Team project which ushered the Marlboro brand into international motorsports, proving the value of promotional activity as a brand building mechanism. During these years, Patrick and his wife Peggy became the parents of two sons, Patrick II and Terence.
During this period, his travels took him not only to Europe, but also Latin America, the Far East, the Middle East, and Africa. He independently became involved in the wine industry in Burgundy, France and forged relationships with those producers. Likewise, his interest in the hospitality industry burgeoned, and he had the chance to participate in a study for the development of a country hotel in Beaune, Burgundy. Both interests were the building blocks for a life-changing decision Patrick was about to make.
Patrick went on to serve as the International President of Fragrances Selective and balanced his time between two continents. In 1983, Patrick and Peggy, after an exhaustive search, purchased 300 acres of land in Williamsburg and founded The Williamsburg Winery in 1985. In 2007, his dream of a European-style Country Hotel came to fruition as the doors to Wedmore Place opened for the first time after 10 years of planning. Sadly, Peggy Duffeler, a driving force behind the business, passed away in 2004, not surviving to witness the launch of the hotel. Nevertheless, her spirit lives on throughout Wessex Hundred. In 2007, Patrick was married to Françoise, a native of France.
Executive Vice President and Winemaker
Matthew came to wine at an early age; he purports to have swirled his milk as a child! Born in Great Britain, Matthew learned to appreciate wine from his father.
Matthew attended one of the world’s premier wine schools, the University of California at Davis, where he obtained a double degree in Oenology and Viticulture with a minor in Business and Marketing. Matthew was elected President of the prestigious Davis Enology and Viticulture Organization.
Upon graduation, Matthew worked for Mike Grgich at Grgich Hills Wine Cellars in Napa Valley California. Grgich is best known for being the winemaker who produced the chardonnay that played a pivotal role at the ‘Judgment of Paris’, conducted in 1976, by noted wine expert Steven Spurrier where the California wines ascended to the top steps of the international wine stage.
Matthew was recruited by Heitz Wine Cellars, one of the premiere wineries in the world and known for its ‘Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon’. It was here that Matthew apprenticed under the Heitz family and Joe Norman. Later as Cellar Master/Assistant Winemaker he took over the Cellar Select Chardonnay program. Collectively, Matthew, like a fine wine, had come of age and was now well-prepared to create his brand of wines in a new and challenging environment. Matthew came to The Williamsburg Winery as head Winemaker in 2002 with the goal of helping to establish Virginia as the next big wine region in America.
Since joining the The Williamsburg Winery, Matthew has emerged as an industry leader. His wines have been awarded numerous Double Gold, Gold and ‘Best Of Class’ awards. A pinnacle moment in the history of the Winery came in 2014 when Matthew’s signature blend Adagio was awarded the Virginia’s Governor’s Cup Award as the state’s highest rated wine. Since then, the Adagio has become one of Virginia’s signature wines and has received multiple 90+ Point ratings from the renowned Robert Parker’s the Wine Advocate and the prestigious Beverage Testing Institute.
Vice President, Trade Sales
Ms. Barber commenced employment with The Williamsburg Winery in April 2011 as an On-Premise Trade Sales Manager. In this capacity, she promotes and places wines from The Williamsburg Winery with a variety of restaurants and timeshares throughout Southern Virginia. She received her MBA in Grenoble, France, and her BA in Public Law in Moldova. Ms. Barber is the wife of Matthew Meyer, Winemaker of TWW.
Internal Consultant Hospitality and Public Relations
Born in Vendome France, Françoise attended hotel management school in Bourges and went to work for a number of hotels in Southern France as well as spent two years in Munich, Germany and then another two years in London UK . She worked as part of the hospitality management team of the Mayfair, a small boutique hotel near the place de la Concorde in Paris where she and Patrick met, in the late 70's.
From 1981, Françoise participated in the creation of a school based on sensorial bodywork training for physicians, physiotherapists as well as patients interested in the body health field. Until the end of 2006, she ran the organization of seminars and lectures for students in that field in over twelve countries on four continents. Françoise has travelled extensively through India and Nepal where she climbed the Himalayas, Kashmir for the Amarnath pilgrimage, Malaysia Indonesia, China, etc.