We are Jay and Steph Rostow. We live in the rural Nelson County, Virginia countryside. We built our cabin and have lived, electrically off the grid since 1999. Steph grew up on a dairy farm in Minnesota. Jay was born and raised in West Los Angeles.
We are both what we consider locavores and foodie types. We enjoy raising and growing our own food. Steph grew up eating primarily food from the farm and has since strived to eat local, healthy, non-processed food. Jay learned about good food from his mother and grandmother. He spent a lot of time in the kitchen watching them cook which was much more interesting then sitting with his dad watching golf tournament on television.
Steph retired from a career in healthcare. Jay was looking for a way out of the telecommunications field. It was around this time that we went to a farmers’ market with Jay’s brother out in Davis, California. We were looking for salad fixings for the evening meal. We found nice greens, tomatoes and an assortment of micro batch olive oils. No Vinegar! At that time we starting entertaining the idea of making our own vinegar especially since there were around 200 wineries in Virginia. The fact that there wasn’t anyone making vinegar from any of these winery products intrigued us and seemed to suggest the possibility of a viable business. This was in 2007. It took about a year of trial and error before we really started to get it. Making vinegar is NOT as simple as leaving the wine bottle open. At first there was some reluctance on the part of the winemakers in dealing with the “vinegar people.” Now we tell people that we know some of the best winemakers in the industry. They are the ones who call us occasionally and say, “I have something for you.” Making vinegar gave us the opportunity to re-purpose something which would normally be wasted. This makes for a win-win situation for all involved.