Wineries

Lovingston Winery; A Virginia Pinotage, again, Pinotage (AmericanWineryGuide)

The HISTORY “After browsing through the last couple editions of Wine Enthusiast, I came across multiple Virginia wineries posting 87+ point rated wines. I also noticed an unfamiliar name with several wines that ranged from 89 to 91 points, including a Pinotage. A Pinotage? In Virginia? In the United States, there are maybe 60 acres of Pinotage grown total, and 2 of those 60 just so happened to be planted at Lovingston Winery in Lovingston, Virginia (just south of Charlottesville). After reading about their wines, I made it a point to visit this winery on my next trip, and this past weekend seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so. After grabbing a quick bite to eat in downtown Charlottesville, we made the trek down Route 29 and onto state road 653. Just about a mile up the road, on our left, was the vineyard entrance to Lovingston Winery. Up …

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Rappahannock Cellars; A celebration of great wine, an a new addition (AmericanWineryGuide)

A couple of weeks ago, Rappahannock Cellars opened up their newest addition to the winery – their Barrel Room! During our visit we were also able to taste the super limited, club only 2013 Viognier, and let me tell you, it is a treat to be had! As a follow up to that experience, I think it was timed appropriately to share with you all, my readers, the last Rappahannock Cellars review that I contributed to AmericanWineryGuide. This review is very in-depth and provides insight on just how this powerhouse Virginia winery got its start. Be sure to check out photos from the mid-Summer opening of the new Barrel Room (hint hint: that is now booking events and weddings!), as well as some of my photos from past visits. Enjoy! The HISTORY “The Delmare family moved from California in the late 1990s with the hope of raising their family in …

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Halter Ranch Vineyard; A touch of Rhône, Ranch style (AmericanWineryGuide)

Paso Robles has some of the finest Rhône style wines in not only California, but the United States as well. Our latest AmericanWineryGuide contribution covers yet another gem that Paso Robles has to offer. Do not sleep on Paso, especially if you are a fan of small family-style wineries.   The HISTORY “Halter Ranch is located in the Paso Robles Westside Adelaida District and produces Bordeaux and Rhône-style wines made from 100% sustainable, estate-grown grapes. The ranch itself has been around since the late 1800s when it was originally owned by businessman Edwin Smith, who was a dealer in produce and livestock and was part of 3,600 acres of land he owned. Edwin built a Victorian farmhouse that later burned down, but was rebuilt and utilized until his business collapsed. In 1943, about 1,200 acres were purchased by the MacGillivray family and was farmed for over 50-plus years until the …

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Orin Swift Cellars; The former Prisoner pioneers’ latest offerings (AmericanWineryGuide)

Part of our Napa trip a couple of months back included a stop in downtown St. Helena. So I guess it’s safe to say, that we ‘stumbled’ upon Orin Swift when Jaymie screamed out “There’s Orin Swift, WE HAVE TO GO!”, nearly knocking me to the ground across the street. Being familiar with the Prisoner Blend, and reading about Orin Swift Cellars in one of the newer wine magazines, I felt it was time to give some of the other offerings from Dave Phinney a try. The results were to be expected, and with that I give you the latest submission for AmericanWineryGuide. The HISTORY “The origins of Orin Swift as a brand dates back to 1995 when David Swift Phinney accepted a friend’s offer to study abroad in Italy. He instantly fell in love with wine and everything surrounding it. After graduating, David worked as a vineyard hand during …

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Two Twisted Posts; Nothing twisted about this operation in Loudoun County (AmericanWineryGuide)

After a recent win in the Governor’s Cup competition, there was a new spotlight focused on this new venture and required a visit to see what they were all about. What they provide visitors in terms of wine quality, atmosphere, and overall experience is something that few in Loudoun County have been able to match in a long time. Take a peak at what Two Twisted Posts Winery is all about in our latest contribution to AmericanWineryGuide. HISTORY “After purchasing property nestled in the valley along Harpers Ferry Road in Purcellville in 2008, Brad and Theresa Robertson were looking for a way to provide a winery where people can get away from the city to truly relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy some wine. The couple had some orchard farming experience and decided to give growing wine grapes a try. They initially planted 3 acres of vines along their …

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Lava Vine Winery; A couple of regular folks making excellent wine (AmericanWineryGuide)

To kill sometime in Napa before our next tasting appointment, we stumbled upon this hidden treasure of a winery right off of the Silverado Trail. Check out what we found within our latest post for AmericanWineryGuide.   HISTORY “In 2000, Joe Cabral purchased property containing a 4 acre vineyard in Franz Valley and began reworking the steeply sloped vineyard and produced his first port style wine. Four year later, after teaming up with a winemaker friend, Lava Vine was created. That same year, the two friends grafted the vineyard with Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2007, Joe and his wife Jill purchased a winery property on the Silverado Trail and opened the doors in 2008. The Knights Valley Estate vineyard they purchased has steep slopes, loose rocky soils, and tight row spacing; all of their vines have to be tended by hand. The vineyard is also organically farmed …

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Storybook Mountain Vineyards; One of Napa’s (and the world’s) best Zinfandel Producers (AmericanWineryGuide)

Another vineyard review from our recent trip to Napa/Sonoma/Paso Robles a month ago. This vineyard was hands down one of the highlights of our trip, and has been listed as one of the world’s top Zinfandel producers for over ten years by some highly noted Wine publications. Please enjoy this AmericanWineryGuide.com contribution! HISTORY “The original estate was purchased in 1883 by Adam Grimm. Mr. Grimm’s family had grown wine in Germany, and he began planting Zinfandel on some of the 405 acres of land sitting just above Calistoga. His brother Jacob would later join him and assist in directing laborers to dig the three wine caves about 100 feet deep into the mountainside and establish Grimm’s Vineyard and WineVault. Nearly 20 years, the brothers decided to go in separate directions with Adam moving to San Francisco, and Jacob producing “sacramental and medicinal” wines. The property was subsequently abandoned and finally …

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Scribe Winery: Gorgeous views, great history, and a one-on-one experience! (AmericanWineryGuide)

Last month, we were fortunate enough to hop around wineries in Napa, Sonoma, and Paso Robles. Of the nearly 20-something wineries we visited, a bunch we decided to contribute reviews for AmericanWineryGuide.com. Here is one of our most unique, that just so happens to have ties to one of the best wineries in Virginia, Rappahannock Cellars. Please enjoy! HISTORY “When most visitors arrive at a winery, the last thing they really focus on is the history of the land… unless they are visiting Scribe Winery. Most wineries also have tasting rooms where large groups flock around a small bar, jam through the doorways, litter the grounds with blankets, or stand outside until there is room for them to enter. Scribe has none of any of this; in fact, you are required to make an appointment to visit, and a fee of $25 is required. Scribe provides visitors with a truly …

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Revisiting Ingleside Vineyards; A Stay at the Ingleside Rental Property & Oysterfest

A couple of weekends ago, Jaymie and I headed out to the Northern Neck and  Ingleside Vineyards to enjoy their Oyster Crawl event and to stay at one of the Ingleside Plantation properties, specifically the Pointe. We arrived at Ingleside just after noon and quickly headed inside the tasting room, just past the Denson and Sewansecott oyster folks and crowds of people enjoying the warm, inviting courtyard. As we entered in, we recognized the familiar smiling faces and immediately got the ball rolling on a tasting. We started off our tasting with the 2012 Albarino ($19.95), which boasted some apricot and lemongrass aromas to prime your palate for what is about to come. Bright acidity lays out the framework of apricot and citrus notes that  explode on the palate with a light, zesty finish. Moving onto the next white, we get a try of the 2012 Chardonnay ($15.96). It offers …

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Tasting Event: Chester Wine Society’s Virginia Wine Vertical Tasting and Exploration

This past weekend, I was invited to pour and lead a discussion in Richmond, Virginia at a Chester Wine Society gathering. My fiance’s mother, Cindi, helped start the wine loving group as a way to explore and expand their knowledge of wines from all over the world, as well as bring together great people. We drove down from DC fresh off of our flight from California wine country and brought two vertical tastings: Chester Gap Cellars Viognier Reserves from 2010-2012 and 2011 Cabernet Francs from Rappahannock Cellars, Fabbioli Cellars, and Berry Hill Vineyard. I also included a bottle of the Rappahannock Cabernet Franc Reserve from 2010 to compare and contrast how vastly different vintage years could be. We all took part in open discussion, enjoyed some great finger foods, and voted on our favorites from the group. We begin first with the vertical tasting of Chester Gap Cellars Viognier Reserve, …

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