So after our tasting and lunch at Corcoran Vineyards, we headed off to nearby Village Winery. We’ve been following the progress of Village Winery and its winemaker, Kent Marrs since the winery opened. Kent is always a gracious host and spent lots of time educating us about elderberry products that now include an elderberry wine, syrup, and sparkling beverage. (You can read all about it in our article which was published last fall in Edible Chesapeake.) On this day, we were interested in latest releases; of course, Kent was more than happy to oblige us!
With summer now upon us, Kent has released his Viognier. We actually had a sneak sample of this one out of the barrel last summer, and we noted its potential then. This is a barrel-fermented Viognier that exhibits stone fruit qualities with a floral aroma. I found it nice to quaff on its own but can be enjoyed with a poultry or shellfish dish. Paul likes crispy-fried tilapia, and I think this one might be a nice partner with such a dish. Another summer favorite will be the current Cabernet Franc Rose with its bright berry aromas and flavors; I noted a spicy edge to this one, too. Another nice sipper yet can be served with spicy barbeque dishes.
Of the reds, Paul and I had split decisions. Paul favored the Merlot (of course) with its rich dark cherry and blackberry aromas and flavors; however, I preferred the raspberry-inflected Cabernet Franc that ended with a peppery flourish. I found this one to be a bit heavier than the Merlot and can be enjoyed now or later—might be a keeper for a heavier meat dish most likely to be served in the fall. We finished with a sampling of elderberry wine, syrups (to include an elderberry syrup with chocolate) and sparkling beverage. The elderberry-chocolate blend will be available in the near future, and the sparkling elderberry was already sold out; however, we were able to purchase the beverage mix to create our own sparkling beverage to enjoy on a hot afternoon!
So we shared a glass of the Viognier in Kent’s rustic tasting room and determined to purchase a bottle of the Cabernet Franc Rose and Cabernet Franc for storage on our wine racks. (The Rose should not get too comfy, though!) We said our good-bye to Kent and promised to return soon; however, readers may want to visit even sooner. Just mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.
Up next? Our first visit to Casanel Vineyards. Between posting, though, be sure to check out this past Wednesday’s wine column in the Washington Post. Wine critic Dave McIntyre reports on the success of Virginia wines at a London Expo!
The Food section of Wednesday’s edition of the Washington Post featured an article by expert Dave McIntyre entitled, “Local Vintners Are Trying to Grow Respect”. I’ll just briefly summarize here—according to McIntyre, local winemakers are making high-quality wines that can now compete with the likes of Napa. The downside? According to McIntyre, it’s availability. He does mention price but notes that even there, quality Virginia wines are priced on par with counterparts produced from California. His suggestion? Ask for locally produced wines at restaurants and wine shops. Perfect advise to follow during October which is Virginia Wine Month.
I should also mention that Dave McIntyre reviewed three Virginia wines, all of which earned a rating of “excellent”. These include the Linden Vineyards Hardscrabble Chardonnay 2005, the Michael Shaps Petit Verdot 2005, and the Kluge Estate SP Rose 2004.
So how have you celebrated Virginia Wine Month? I dined at a local restaurant, Chef Geoff’s, and ordered a glass of Barboursville’s Rosado, a nice rose that paired nicely with a salad. Chef Geoff’s also offers Barboursville’s heralded Viognier; though not sold by the glass, a bottle of this one could be shared with friends over crab cakes. Of course, wine bars are the craze now, and a newer one, Enology, on Wisconsin Avenue offers a menu dedicated to domestic wines including Virginia wines. I recently sipped on a glass of White Hall’s Petit Manseng while there with friends.
So celebrate Virginia Wine Month! (This is Virginia Wine Time, and we approve of this message!)
There are some interesting changes coming to Oasis Winery. A big thanks to our friend James Gannon over at The Rappahannock Voice for sharing one of his recent articles with us. Head over there and read about the changes coming to Oasis Winery.
It saddens us to report that Oasis Winery is for sale. Award winning Oasis Vineyards has been producing fine Virginia wines for 30 years. 2007 is their 30th year. The 108 acre estate, 60 of which are vines, is now up for sale. We found out about the sale in the Sun Gazette newspaper. You can read the article here. We hope that whoever purchases the vineyard will continue to produce award winning wines.
We are saddened by the news that Juanita Swedenburg, founding member of the Vinifera Wine Growers Association, from Swedenburg Estate Vineyard passed away early Saturday morning at the age of 82.
Photo Credit: By Rich Lipski — The Washington Post
A memorial service in the vineyard, “Celebrating Juanita Swedenburg’s Life,” will be held on Wednesday, June 20th, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., 2007, at the Swedenburg Estate Vineyard, 23595 Winery Lane, Middleburg, Virginia 20117.
In lieu of flowers, the family will establish a Juanita Swedenburg Memorial Viticultural and Enological Educational Fund for the annual awarding of a grant to help promote the sustainable growth of the Virginia wine industry. Contributions can be made to J.S. Memorial Educational Fund c/o VWGA, P. O. Box 10045, Alexandria, Virginia 22310. The VWGA will contribute $1,000 to begin the fund.
Information provided by Gordon Murchie and John Witherspoon. The Washington Post obituary can be found here.
In case you missed recent write ups in The Washington Post about Virginia Wines, check out these links.
Here you will an article about the latest buzz around Virginia Wines. Here you will find an article about Polo, the 400th Anniversary celebrations, and Oasis Winery.
Free registration is required to read past articles in the post.