Several weeks ago while between Charlottesville and Richmond, we were able to visit a few new wineries. We visited WindSong Winery and Grayhaven Winery. While these wineries are not new, they are new to us. And just this past weekend we were about to vista Nova Ridge Vineyards and talk with the owner/winemaker. By my count our list of visited wineries is up to 122!
WindSong Winery is located in Columbia Virginia. It’s a small winery but they produce lots of different wines. They focus on small batch winemaking. On the tasting menu you can taste chardonnay, muscat, several reds, whites, and fruit wines. From our tasting we must say the most interesting wine was the Dornfelder. This is produced from the German varietal Dornfelder. You will certainly notice the black licorice and plum while tasting this one. I think WindSong will become known for the peacocks. There are several on the property and make amazing sounds. And they are so pretty to look at!
Another winery new to us is Grayhaven Winery. We have known about Grayhaven for years but just haven’t had the chance to check them out. They make 27 kinds of wine that are mostly limited runs and low on the case count. Their fist planting was in 1978 and they mostly use stainless steel tanks with few wines seeing oak barrel treatments. The tasting menu was limited on the day we visited Grayhaven. We were able to taste the Eventide (a blush wine), the 2008 Cab Franc, the Trekker, and the 2008 Pinotage. The interesting wine here was the Trekker. It’s a red blend with spice and pepper notes. We’ll have to return to Grayhaven when they have more wines available for tasting.
The final new winery isn’t really a winery. Nova Ridge Vineyards happens to be located near Corcoran Vineyards. We spoke with Tom Johnson, owner/winemaker. He currently has one wine available, the 2009 Cabernet Franc. He gave us a taste and we noted raspberry on the nose as well as in the mouth. The raspberry gave way to more structure with smoke and spice notes. We thought it would pair well with food—cheeses and even a big steak. You can only purchase it from Corcoran Vineyards. Tom has some other wines in the works and we look forward to tasting those when they are released. We look forward to great things coming from Nova Ridge Vineyards in the future!
If you visit WindSong Winery, Grayhaven Winery, or Nova Ridge Vineyards at Corcoran Vineyards, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
On Friday evening we continued enjoying the nice weather on my balcony by enjoying our sipping wine as well as our dinner wine. There was a cool breeze perfect for sipping and enjoying the sunset.
We selected the 2008 Chardonnay from Pollak Vineyards as our sipper. We enjoyed it with a creamy St. Angels cheese and baguette. We noted pear, apple, and honey on the nose with very similar notes on the tongue as well as slightly toasted edge on the finish. It paired perfectly with our nibbles. You can’t go wrong with any of the wines from Pollak.
For dinner we had filet mignon, wild rice, and mixed veggies. Warren selected the 2008 Merlot from King Family Vineyards. When I taste a wine like this I wonder what it would be like if I had left it on the rack a little longer. On the nose we noted smoke, dark cherry, blackberry, and dried herbs with a whiff of tobacco. In the mouth we noted dark berry flavors, similar fruit as the nose with the addition of vanilla. We also took note of the long finish. Of course this wine paired perfectly with our meal. Just like the Pollak wines, you can’t go wrong with any of the wines from King Family. They happen to be one of our favorite wineries.
If you haven’t been to Pollak or King Family, you simply must plan a visit soon. And if you do, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
This post will be a round up of reviews from visits done within the past month and will feature Casanel Vineyards, Doukenie Winery. and Fabbioli Cellars.
Casanel Vineyards: As the weather is warming up, white wines are bound to be more popular. At Casanel Vineyards, the fruity Batucada Viognier was rich with floral aromas and apricot flavors. The Batucada Norton is a rose made from the Norton grape and is fermented as a white wine. I got red hots in the mouth; Norton fans may appreciate this version of the grape with barbeque. The earthy 2007 Chegada Cabernet Sauvignon took a gold at the Virginia State Fair.
Doukenie Winery: A summer favorite is always the Mandolin, a blend of Traminette, Vidal Blanc, and Seyval Blanc; however, this was not available for tasting on the day that we visited the winery. The 2009 Sauvignon Blanc was aged in acacia barrels and certainly had a fuller mouth feel; citrus flavors abounded here. Of the reds, the 2008 Petit Verdot presented the characteristic inky color with aromas of violet, dark fruit, and tobacco. Of course, Hope’s Legacy is the raspberry wine that all visitors enjoy especially with a piece of dark chocolate.
Fabbioli Cellars: It’s always a pleasure to taste Doug’s wines. We enjoyed the current tasting set up which allows guests to sit at a station with a personal tasting associate; Nadia conducted our tasting on this particular visit. Our notes suggest that Doug will be releasing a Traminette, and this may have already happened as of this writing. The 2009 Rosa Luna, a rose, was dry with characteristics of grapefruit and bright berries and should prove to popular for the summer. The juicy 2009 Cabernet Franc was Paul’s favorite red with its elements of brambleberries and spice. I preferred the more complex 2009 Tre Sorelle, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. An age-worthy wine, it should be enjoyed with a steak!
Pay these wineries a visit to sample the current releases. Be sure to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you!
On Saturday evening we decided to have our first meal on the balcony this season. It was warm enough even though we had some cloud cover. We selected the 2008 Sauvignon Blanc from Breaux Vineyards to have with our nibbles and the 2009 Corcoran Vineyards Hunter’s Run Rose for our meal.
We had the 2008 Sauvignon Blanc with goat cheese and baguette. This sauvignon blanc is from the cellar club selection from Breaux Vineyards. You have to be a member of the wine club to get a chance to taste this one. We noted the crispness, a floral nose, and a nice mouth feel. It had a weightier mouth feel that made us think it spent time in oak but this one is from 100% stainless steel. It complimented our nibbles perfectly.
For our dinner wine we had the 2009 Corcoran Vineyards Hunter’s Run Rose. We paired it with parmesan encrusted tilapia and wild rice. It’s created from 100% Cabernet Franc. We noted strawberry and melon characteristics with a nice crisp finish. We thought it paired beautifully with our meal. It also made us think of warmer afternoons. This one would be perfect for those warm summer days. Chill it well and it will keep you cool on those hot summer days.
The selections for our Saturday sips were just right. We always enjoy the wines from Breaux Vineyards and Corcoran Vineyards. If you visit them anytime soon, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
On Friday Breaux Vineyards announced their new winemaker to their club members. The press and the rest of the world will hear about their new winemaker on Monday. The new winemaker at Breaux Vineyards is David Pagan Castaño. Turns out we sat right next to him at the recent Merlot Vertical at Breaux Vineyards. He was still a candidate at that time. Here’s a picture of Warren next to David’s wife, David, and Chris Blosser. We are looking forward to talking with David more at the Club members pick up party on May 22nd. We are also looking forward to the wonderful wines we’re sure he’ll produce at Breaux Vineyards.