A new review on Ramulose Ridge Vineyards for AmericanWineryGuide! Check out an excerpt below, with the extended tasting notes just below that, and the full photo spread on our FaceBook Page (www.facebook.com/vapourhouse)! Enjoy!
“A few weeks back, my fiance and I headed down to meet her family and family friends at Smith Mountain Lake. The car was packed with our belongings and, of course, a case of local wine. As we made our way down Route 29, we noticed a few wineries that I had yet to visit, including a couple close by Smith Mountain Lake. One was Hickory Hill and the other was not on any Virginia Wine maps. As it clearly had just opened to the public weeks ago, there was this gorgeous property greeting visitors with its steel carved sign bearing the name “Ramulose Ridge Vineyards.” After talking it over with the little lady, we agreed that we would swing by Ramulose Ridge on Sunday in the early afternoon….and that’s just what we did.
We followed the crushed stone-covered driveway past the stone and metal gates and were instantly greeted by a gorgeous, newly-built, modern facility. With the mountains outlining the horizon in the back of the property, the cool breeze coming off of the lake, and the vineyard nestled up against the back of the winery, this weekend of relaxation couldn’t have presented a better venue to enjoy some local vino in peace and quiet. As we walked in, we met Sandi Ramaker, the resident wine expert and winemaker, who introduced us to her son Mitchell’s wife who also works the tasting room and handles sales. Sandi’s husband, Jim, decided after taking a new position with the Virginia Candle Company in 2006 that they would utilize the 100 acre property they had purchased years prior to plant wine grapes and open a vineyard by teaming up with their son, Mitchell. Jim and Sandi, who were living in Hong Kong at the time, made their voyage back to Virginia where they previously owned the property as a vacation home. While in Hong Kong, Sandi took online wine making courses at UC-Davis, which would eventually set the groundwork for her role in the family business. Mitchell carries the viticulture knowledge and assists mostly with the vineyard operations, while Jim oversees the overall operation. As of 2013 the vineyard consisted of 3,000 vines, of assorted variety, for use in their 100% estate grown wines.”
- Vidal Blanc 2012 ($12) – nutty oak on the nose with crisp citrus fruit and toast on the palate, finishing clean, smooth, and refreshing
- Chardonel 2012 ($14) – smooth crisp citrus and minerality dominate this white, adding light toasty notes to the slightly acidic finish
- Viogner 2012 ($18) – light floral notes on the nose while dried apricot and honeysuckle make up most of the palate giving way to hints of spice on the soft crisp finish
- Blush 2012 (Vidal Blanc & Chambourcin / $12) – dry herb and light fruit waft upward while a semi-sweet strawberry flutters across the palate finishing supple and smooth
- Sweetwater 2012 (Traminette Sweetened / $12): ginger and lime combine on the nose while light sweet flavors of sprite carry into the tart finish
- Syrah 2012 (Unoaked / $16) – Not sure what to make of it as soft spice and dark fruit battle on the nose leading to soft round dark fruit that finishes smooth – not my style
- Chambourcin 2012 ($12) – Berry, oak and leather aromas clash with smoked wild berries on the palate finishing with a touch of leather and soft tannins
- Cabernet Franc 2012 ($18) – Blackberry character dominates this Cab Franc leaving little of anything else detectible with the exception of a touch of oak towards the finish and a bit sweet for a Cab Franc
- Blackwater 2012 (Cab Franc & Chambourcin / $12) – lush berry and cherry mingle with a fresh semi-sweet finish
Ramulose Ridge Vineyards
3061 Hendricks Store Road
Moneta, Virginia 24121