Wineries

Early Mountain Vineyards; Committed to the Very Best of Virginia, for Virginia

Another AmericanWineryGuide article, this time about the Steve and Jean Case owned winery in Madison, Virginia, Early Mountain Vineyards. A couple of months ago, a large gathering of Virginia Wine bloggers united to tour and taste at Early Mountain, and see what they had to offer to Virginia. Take a peak at just what we concluded…and be sure to check out the Spring/Summer menu below!   “Early Mountain opened its doors in June of 2012 in a newly transformed and renovated building with detailed stone work, airy ambience, open wood raftered barn style ceiling, swanky tile work, vintage farm tables and chairs, and gas fireplaces scattered about the facility. Shortly, after opening the facility, Early Mountain introduced their “Best of Virginia” tasting. Rather than simply offering Early Mountain produced wines, they hand-selected and feature wines they deem as the best wines from around the Commonwealth of Virginia. Wineries such as …

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Barrel Oak Winery; Friends and Family Welcome…Dogs encouraged!

Here is a new review that I wrote for AmericanWineryGuide.com on Barrel Oak Winery in Delaplane. Enjoy! “After a few trips to Barrel Oak over the early days of my blog and progression of my palate, it was time for us to take a trip out to test the latest offerings. Sitting high in Delaplane on a hillside in the gorgeous Piedmont countryside, Barrel Oak presents one of the top family and kid friendly wineries in the United States (according to Wine Enthusiast). The atmosphere at the winery supports this claim with children and dogs roaming the tasting room and stampeding around the property while parents have the opportunity to taste at one of the tasting bars downstairs or upstairs. On sunny Spring days, one would often see children flying kites high up on the hill. Most of the parking is along the road heading up towards the tasting room, …

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Reynard Florence Vineyard; Vines Planted with Family Roots

After a recent trip to Early Mountain Vineyards, a group of us decided to pop by nearby Reynard Florence Vineyard. Recently open to the public, this boutique winery was a  Central Virginia winery that I had not visited yet. Owners Roe and Dee Allison planted their vineyard on the very land they raised their family on over the past thirty or so years. Both attended Piedmont Virginia Community College, where in 2006 the couple received their degrees in viticulture and enology. They are very passionate about maximizing the land’s potential and building a business around it. With consultant Michael Shaps as their winemaker, the husband and wife duo have begun showing Virginia just what this family plot has to offer in terms of yielding high quality wine. The close to three acres of vines consist of Petit Manseng, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and a newly planted plot of Grenache. …

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Rappahannock Cellars; Recent visit(s) and Anniversary Celebration!

Do any of you recall the Governor’s Case winners from last year? It should come as no shock that a bottle of Rappahannock Cellars 2010 Meritage was included in there. What should come as a shock is why there were not more Rappahannock Cellars wines included. Visit after visit, release after release, Rappahannock continues to separate themselves from the rest of the pack of great wine producers in the State of Virginia. With well over 1,000 Wine Club Members, a newly renovated Members section, and glorious perks of being a Member, I think it’s time to ask yourself a question. If you aren’t a Member of Rappahannock Cellars, what is wrong with you? This weekend marks the 12th Anniversary of Rappahannock Cellars and the celebration consists of live musical performances by Marie Miller and Pigs from a Gun on Saturday and Sunday, as well as catered food by Jack Knuckle …

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Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars; My First Finger Lakes Visit

A few months back, a mid-winter celebration with some of my girlfriend’s family in Rochester, New York brought me a golden opportunity to visit the Finger Lakes Region of the country. After speaking to a few other writers and suggestions of other wine enthusiasts, I was without a doubt that Dr. Frank would be the number one visit of the trip.   This man wasn’t just a pioneer for wine in New York, but also for wine in the Northeast and the United States as a whole. Dr. Frank was a professor of plant sciences with his Ph.D. specifically in viticulture. After arriving in this country in 1951, Dr. Frank moved upstate from New York City to take a position at Cornell University’s Geneva Experiment Station. Since then, his years of research paid off as Dr. Frank was the first individual to successfully grow European Vinifera grape in the Northeastern …

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Stone Tower Winery; No Corners Cut When It Comes to Quality

As many of you may have noticed, the Virginia Winery scene has completely exploded with wineries popping up everywhere you look around the state. The problem with this new trend is that a good portion of these wineries are hasty and either purchase grapes from other vineyards or simply rush their vintages out to start producing in order to pay the bills. I can’t knock doing what you have to to pay bills, but there is a certain degree of time and finesse that goes into producing great wine. Stone Tower Vineyards demonstrates perfectly this time and finesse needed to produce great wines. Stone Tower Winery is located in Leesburg, not far down the road from downtown Middleburg. The property was originally owned by Michael and Kristi Huber’s family, and they purchased over 200 acres of the property from the family’s 1400 acres for Stone Tower Winery. Driving up to …

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Leaves of Grass Vineyards; “More than a winery, it’s an experience.”

My latest write-up on the AmericanWineryGuide breaks down this appointment only experience at one of the newest editions in the Middleburg area of the Northern Virginia Region. “Leaves of Grass is really more than a winery, it’s an experience. It’s about meeting new people, taking pressure off, having one on one with Michael and his family and starting and growing a friendship within the wine community.“ Check out the entire article over at AmericanWineryGuide here… Rating Summary Red Wine: 3.00 / 5 Corks White Wine: 3.00 / 5 Corks Experience: 5.00 / 5 Corks Views/Ambiance: 4.00 / 5 Corks Overall Rating: 3.75 / 5 Corks   Leaves of Grass Vineyards 39060 John Mosby Hwy Middleburg, Virginia 20117 www.leavesofgrassvineyards.com  

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Wolf Gap Vineyard; What exactly is a Chamerlot?

Another stop on the Shenandoah Valley trail brought us to the neighborhood of Wolf Gap Winery. Wolf Gap is a raised ranch house located on a large 50-acre plot in a spread-out neighborhood. Willard and Diane Elledge founded Wolf Gap in 2004 after retiring from the DC Metro area and looking for land with peace, tranquility, and, of course, a place to grow wine grape. A very sweet and humble couple, they operate the tasting room on the second level of the house-like facility. After parking you make your way around the left side of the building, climb stairs to the deck, and enter in to what is basically a small office or foyer. Continuing on, you enter what is basically the kitchen of the house. To your left, there is a dinner table, and straight ahead is the tasting bar (which is the counter top of the island that …

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Chester Gap Cellars; Revisiting a NoVA Gem

Take a peak at my latest review for AmericanWineryGuide.com, as I cover my recent visit to Chester Gap Cellars, including some tasting notes covering the new Cuvée Manseng. “After a five year search for the perfect terroir and an incredible view, Bernd and Kristi Jung started Chester Gap Cellars in 2000. Bernd, a former Olympic water skier from Germany, began to plot out his land to provide what turned out to be the perfect conditions for growing some of the best wine grapes in Northern Virginia. Just off of Route 522 in Front Royal, Chester Gap Cellars sits at an altitude of 1,000 feet, overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains and the hills of Southeast Piedmont. If you are looking for a relaxing and tranquil experience, look no further. Upon reaching the iconic roadside barrel bearing the Chester Gap Cellars sign, visitors follow a narrow dirt road leading through the gates …

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Quick Pour: Lionel Osmin Pied de Perdrix 2009; Partridge Foot the forgotten cousin of Malbec

Producer: Lionel Osmin Region: Vin De Pays; France Price: $8.99 Vintage: 2009 Varietals: 100% Partridge Foot Virginia Pour House Notes: Described as France’s “Forgotten Grape” and cousin to the Malbec grape. Lionel Osmin makes one of the only Pied de Perdrix in the world that sports some Beajoleous like qualities. Lush red fruit (prune), spice, and smoky notes from the nose to the palate, incorporating cinnamon and earthy notes mid palate with round, gentle tannins and a smooth subtle acidity. A long finish concludes with faint, smoky notes to the otherwise fruit forward finish. A great value and impressive price point for a rare, unique wine. Virginia Pour House Rating 85 Points

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