Let’s start by sharing what Wine Enthusiast said about wines from Virginia just last summer, “Virginia wines strike a balance between Old World restraint and New World fruit expression. They’ve become the benchmark for what many winemakers strive to attain – wines that express time and place.” For some background, Virginia is actually the birthplace of wine in the US and made up of seven distinct wine growing regions (or AVA’s) with a total of 240 wineries across the state that range in size from small jewel box facilities, to mid-size and large facilities. After doing our due diligence, we found three amazing wineries that highlight the best of three unique regions.
Barboursville Vineyards in the Monticello AVA – With broad, rolling plateaus and foothills of the Southwest Mountains, the wine region which Thomas Jefferson foresaw taking root on his own ground at Monticello in the early 1800’s and would far from disappoint him today. Family sustained agriculture in the Monticello region is what preserved parcels of land perfect for wine growing. Acquired by Gianni Zonin in 1976, Barboursville Vineyards was one of the first estates to establish European-style viticulture in Virginia. The location of the estate presents a dynamic mosaic of growing conditions, due to the mid-Atlantic weather and soil mix. Some years favor one planting site for a given varietal, such as Cabernet Franc, and other years favor another. Here the term “hands on” verifies the truism that the human hand, learned, seasoned, and schooled by many previous vintages, must be incorporated. Five distinct wines will be offered during Taste the South: Octagon a red blend, Reserve Viognier, Reserve Cabernet Franc, Reserve Nebbiolo, and Paxxito a Moscato Ottonel/Vidal Blanc blend.
Boxwood Estates in the Middleburg AVA – Middleburg was established as an AVA in 2012 and is home to 200 square miles in Loudoun and Fauquier Counties. Located about 50 miles west of Washington, D.C. and surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and Potomac River. Major grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Merlot and Viognier. Boxwood Estate is a National Historic Landmark, designated so by being one of the earliest horse farms in Virginia. This small estate is hand-harvesting their grapes and producing less than 3,000 cases per year. At the moment Boxwood is producing red wine only, and we will carry two of their fantastic red blends created from classic varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah and Malbec. Both of the Boxwood Estate wines are berry and fruit forward and great food wines, our suggestion would be any of the Taste the South marinated items from the Market or Meadow Creek Dairy Mountaineer cheese.
Veramar in the Shanandoah Valley AVA – This region proximity to the Shenandoah River and the numerous canyons and valleys, produces many distinct microclimates within the Shenandoah Valley. Owned and operated by the Bogaty family, Veramar Vineyard is comprised of 100 acre and situated where it experiences warm days and typically late rains. This results in a longer growing season and grapes that have more time on the vine, resulting in fully mature fruit whose acid is kept in balance. The family hails from the Italian Alps and two generations after the family immigrated to the United States, Jim Bogaty decided it was time to return to his family’s roots. Son Justin is now head winemaker and brings more than a decade of oenology to his role. Taste the South will feature 5 wines: Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Seyval Blanc, Rosé, and a Riesling/Vidal Blanc blend.