I recall being at Mediterranean Cellars some time ago, early on in my exploring days (before this blog), and asking about the vineyard that was across the street. The older woman looked at me and said “Yeah, that used to be a Virginia winery, not anymore.” It hadn’t dawned on me at the time but this was the winery that had been battling the HOA in their neighborhood to keep their doors open. After a long fight in court, thousands spent in legal fees, and the passing of co-owner Jerry Marterella, Marterella Winery has stood strong and reopened to the public this past Memorial Day. You can imagine my excitement – to finally be able to unlock the mystery of the vineyard across the street.
Let me say that the property and landscaping at Marterella are BREATHTAKING. The automatic front gate opens up to a long winding driveway that is perfectly landscaped from the bottom of the hill all the way up. Both sides of the driveway are lined with vines meticulously groomed, resembling your favorite Sonoma postcard. At the top of the hill is the tasting room with a patio and a gorgeous brick oven. As you set foot into the tasting room, the check-out counter is to the left, directly in front of you is the granite tasting bar and, to the right, numerous tables surrounding the stone fireplace. Kate was by the fireplace meeting with an older gentleman so I didn’t want to intrude. Instead, I decided to march forward and jump into the $10 full fleet. The other option was either the whites or reds for a $5 fee.
I have to start with, by far my favorite, the 2010 Pinot Grigio ($24). Very few wineries in Virginia can pull of a traditional, Italian style Pinot Grigio. Marterella nailed it. They offer a light bodied and crisp quality wine with perfectly balanced acidity and light colors. From the nose across the palate, a gorgeous bouquet of floral notes flourish and are whisked away with a burst of citrus. The 2010 Rosalie’s Rose ($24) is a Merlot based Rose with more of a semi-sweet quality than dry. Citrus is the primary aroma that is teased with notes of strawberry with more of a dominant role in flavor. The color is a slightly darker pinkish hue. Overall, not bad if you are in the mood for a sweeter style rose. Moving along to the 2008 Meritage ($34) which is aged in French and American Oak for 30 months. This wine packs a blackberry punch on the nose with a firm tannin structure and supple fruit on the finish. How about some dessert wine? Vidal Blanc based 2010 Grace ($20) presents bright aromas of fruit and honeysuckle sliding over the palate with with a burst of apple added to the honeysuckle based flavor. This wine has the perfect balance of acidity and sugar, delivering a clean and refreshing finish.
In summation, the wines were decent; however, it is the view, atmosphere, entertainment offerings, and (rumor has it) grilled pizza which entice me to visit again soon. In my opinion, nothing matches a nice glass of Pinot Grigio like a brick oven pizza…just saying. As for the rest of the wines tasted, I’ve included the list below. Be sure to visit Marterella Winery, and be sure to mention that you read about them on the Virginia Pour House wine blog.
Other Wines Available:
2009 Viognier ($36)
2008 Chardonnay ($24)
2009 Heritage Dry Rose ($24)
2008 Merlot ($24)
2008 Cabernet Franc ($24)
2010 Sweet Nothings ($20 / A sweet Chambourcin wine)
Overall Rating: 2.5/5 Corks
8278 Falcon Glen Road
Warrenton, VA 20186