Notaviva to Launch Cruise on the Danube

A fun yet elegant cruise down the Danube River which runs through historic cities like Vienna, Austria—what more could your ask for? A pairing with Virginia wines, of course. Notaviva Vineyards is planning just such a trip for November 2015. We stopped by Notaviva Vineyards to get the details from owners Stephen and Shannon Mackey; of course, we also wanted to sample the current releases.

The pairing of Virginia wine with historic sites and sounds has been dubbed “Melodies of the Danube”, and AmaWaterways will host the event. Stephen Mackey will host a number of wine and music pairings that will feature Notaviva wines. Also, Mackey will attempt to host a wine tasting from the cruise ship that can also be experienced in the Notaviva tasting room at the same time. The goal is to promote wine drinking as a multi-sensory experience while elevating the awareness of Virginia wines. Stephen Mackey’s passion for wine and music are well known, so this should be quite an event for participants. Notaviva wines that will be featured on the trip will be named after the famed German trio Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Imagine hearing strains of Beethoven on the Danube while sipping a wine named after the famed composer!
Sounds like fun? There will be a number of teaser events between now and then to entice wine sippers/music lovers/history buffs to sign up for the cruise. Check out the website for information on these upcoming events, but we can report that the first mixer to promote the cruise will be held on February 9. There is plenty of time for interested travelers to plan for the trip; at least 64 cabins will be available.
And what about the wines? Our favorite white wine was the yet-to-be released 2012 Sabado made with 100% Sauvignon Blanc. A classic Sauvignon Blanc, it exhibited notes of citrus and grass along with a refreshing acidity. With spring around the corner, the floral 2011 Verano which is a blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc and 50% Traminette should be a pleaser. Pineapple and white pepper elements were noted along with a fuller mouth feel. Of the red wines, I was most pleased with the 2012 Vierzig Blaufrankisch. This is a blend of the German grape, Blaufrankisch, and Cabernet Franc (15%). I noted rich cherry and raspberry flavors along with a note of sweet tobacco. It was accessible and easy to sip; no coincidence that it was made to be listened to with the Mozart symphony by the same name, Vierzig.
Notaviva will maintain its focus on wine, music and fun. In the coming months, guitarist Paul Rogers from the band Bad Company will be at the winery to host food, wine and music classes. Before then, Valentine’s Day will feature comedy and wine.

Readers who are intrigued by this opportunity should either visit the Notaviva website for more information or stop by the winery for updates and a wine tasting. Be sure to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Musical Notes at Notaviva Vineyards

Warren’s parents have been in town for the last week and we thought it would be a good idea to show them some wineries in Loudoun County. One of the wineries we visited was Notaviva Vineyards. We have visited them several times before and have enjoyed our visits. The tasting menu has expanded since our last visit so it was time to try the new wines.

We started the white wines with the 2009 Vincero Viognier. We found this one crisp, refreshing, and full of fruit. This viognier was fermented in stainless steel. Warren’s father put his gold star next to this one. We continued with the 2009 Ottantotto Viognier. This second viognier was fermented in French oak barrels and contains 1% chardonnay. We noted some nice fruit flavors and a round mouth feel. We also noticed the oak presence. We finished the white wines with the 2009 Calor Chardonnay. This one was fermented in French oak barrels, contains 1% viognier, and has 1% residual sugar. We barely noticed the 1% residual sugar but did note the pear and apple flavors.

The first of the reds was the 2009 Celtico Chambourcin. This is actually a blend of 92% Chambourcin, 4% Merlot, 1% each of Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. We noted bright fruit and smoke on this one. The next red was the 2009 Cantabile Cabernet Franc. This one gets our gold star. We noted tobacco, currents, spice, and black pepper. We all agreed that this one will only get better with time. The next red was completely new to us. It was the 2008 Johann Petit Verdot Reserve. We noted blackberry and vanilla. We thinking this one has aging potential. It will surely change each time you taste it. The last red was the 2009 Gitano Chambourcin. I skipped this one but Warren noted cherry and spice. This one has 7% residual sugar.

Once we finished our tasting we decided on the 2009 Cantabile Cabernet Franc to enjoy with lunch. It paired well with our ham sandwiches, hard cheeses and crackers. It certainly deserved the gold star we awarded it. As you can tell from the names of the wines, Notaviva weaves their wines with music. Each year they have a music event to celebrate their anniversary, The Notaviva Experience. It’s an evening of music paired with their wines. The event is coming up soon. We won’t be able to make it but you should try to attend. You can find out more information about the event here. The next time you visit Notaviva be sure to tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!