This past year, my in-laws purchased a new home on the middle peninsula of Virginia, and it’s location is a mere 20 minute car ride across the Rappahannock to Good Luck Cellars. After exploring Irvington a bit, we decided to take a short drive to Good Luck Cellars as it has been a couple years since my last visit. Located in nearby Kilmarnock, Virginia, Paul and Katie Krop’s Good Luck Cellars is a venture that started from backyard wine making to finding the perfect parcel to grow a business. Sand and gravel based vineyards allow this couple to cultivate great wines with Virginia flare that really shows off the terroir of the area. With outstanding white offerings and a couple red surprises, their winery is a must visit when visiting the Northern Neck of Virginia. All of their wines are crafted from Estate grown grapes that are grown on 23 acres of land purchased several years back.
After entering the gravel driveway surrounded by vineyards, we pulled up to the tasting room that is surrounded by a 360 degree covered porch covered by gorgeous tin roof. Perfect for enjoying a glass of wine while listening to the rain hit the roof above. Unfortunately, the temperature wasn’t playing nice – after all, it was almost Winter. As you walk into the tasting room, visitors will notice similarities to a Ski Chalet with tall arched ceilings and gorgeous wood floors. The center of the room is highlighted by a roaring fireplace surrounded by leather couches. For those looking to enjoy the views, there are tables lining the several foot high windows looking out over the property. The back of the tasting room was setup for a wedding and is used for event space. We took a trip downstairs to view the basement that had large windows overlooking the production facility. Wine was being pumped over and barrels tended to as we peered into the production room, and it was a nice display portion to show off what is going on behind the scenes and openly available for visitors looking for a quick glimpse.
We headed back upstairs and decided to hop in for the tasting. You can chose from the white or red flights for a few dollars. My wife and I ended up sharing both tastings so that we could cover all of the wines. Now I would love to break down all of the wines that I tasted, but that would take away the fun of visiting for yourself. What I will do is highlight my top selections, beginning with the 2013 Vidal Blanc ($20). This clean and approachable white packs lush, white stone fruit flavors that are backed by medium acidity and tapering off to a crisp, citrus lined finish. It’s a solid white to pair with a white flaky fish and a great price point. The next wine that brought excitement is the 2013 Vignoles. I first encountered Vignoles when visiting Missouri a few years back, and this Virginia version does not disappoint. Vignoles is another hybrid grape that can withstand those frigid temperatures and most commonly produces high sugar with high acidity and often used to make ice wines or sweet whites. Don’t be deterred by its sweet history as there are plenty of vineyards that produce dry and off-dry versions, and Good Luck Cellars is one of those places. Juicy and vibrant, this white packs lush peach flavors from front to back with a hint minerality and brush of citrus while finishing rich with a touch of sweetness. A step outside the comfort zone, but a great pairing for some spicy Thai dishes this Winter.
Hopping over to the reds, which consisted of a two year vertical of Cabernet Sauvignon and three year vertical of Chambourcin. I found two big standouts from each sub-flight. First up was the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon ($28), which is aged 20 months in French oak. This Cab boasts jammy, black cherry and blackberry that dominates both aromatics and flavor from start to finish. It is a big bodied red from the Northern Neck that concludes silky smooth with subtle juicy tannins and would be perfect to stand on its own or paired with some grilled burgers. On the Chambourcin side, it was a tough choice between the Radiant Red Chambourcin 2010 ($16) and the Oak Aged Chambourcin 2013 ($22). The Radiant is aged in steel, and obviously its counterpart aged for 20 months in French oak. I was actually shocked with which one I preferred. The Radiant Red really showed off the Chambourcin’s true character – rich and earthy showing a supple soft mouth feel bursting with bing cherry and plum as it concluded with tapering notes of dried fruit and light spice. After finishing up our tasting, I snagged a bottle of the Vignoles, and we hit the road back to Saluda. A nice visit and still showing it’s a must visit when down on the Northern Neck. Be sure to stop by and mention you read about them on the Virginia Pour House blog.
Good Luck Cellars
1025 Goodluck Rd
Kilmarnock, VA 22482