Tag Archives: central virginia

Ankida Ridge Vineyards; The “Little Burgundy” of Virginia

The year 2014 brought plenty of opportunities to expand our knowledge and palate in wine. One such opportunity was our honeymoon to Burgundy, which gave us a greater appreciation for the region and the Burgundian style of wine. While Burgundy is a bit of a trip, there is an incredible opportunity to regularly experience  Burgundy right here in Virginia.  Subsequently, we have taken multiple visits to Ankida Ridge Vineyards to visit with the Vrooman Family and their “Little Burgundy” venture as consultant, Lucie Morton, likes to put – and we certainly agree. Since first appearing on the scene in 2010, the Vrooman family, a wine loving duo keen on Burgundian style wines, have made a giant footprint on the wine scene in the state of Virginia and the world, for that matter. Many may not be familiar due to the tough regulations and unfair quantity standards of the much publicized …

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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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Quick Pour: Lovingston Winery Petit Manseng 2013

Producer: Lovingston Winery, Lovingston, Virginia Region: Monticello AVA, Virginia, United States Price: $19.95 Vintage: 2013 Varietals: 100% Petit Manseng; (12.5% ABV) Winemaker Notes: Returning to our off-dry version of this varietal, the 2013 Petit Manseng carries a nose of pineapple and orange peel, and the bright acidity balances well with the slightly sweet finish. Fermented and aged in stainless steel. Lovely to pair with creamy goat cheese or a spicy dish. 200 cases made Virginia Pour House Notes: Crisp, tropical fruit, honeysuckle, and mineral aromas give way to a nice, weighted palate of honey-drenched pineapple, fuji apple, honeysuckle, and orange zest. Crisp, but fresh and balanced sweetness, with just a hint of residual sugar peaking out mid palate tapering off while approaching the finish.   Producer: Lovingston Winery, Lovingston, Virginia Region: Monticello AVA, Virginia, United States Price: $19.95 Vintage: 2013 Varietals: 100% Petit Manseng; (12.5% ABV) Winemaker Notes: Returning to our off-dry version of …

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Wisdom Oak Winery; Raise your glass to peace and quiet in Charlottesville (Yes, REALLY)

A fall review from AmericanWineryGuide as I covered Wisdom Oak Winery (Formerly Sugarleaf Vineyards) in the Charlottesville area. “As you spot the new Wisdom Oak Winery sign, planted where the former Sugarleaf Vineyards sign stood, you will find yourself traveling up a gravel, single lane road that appears to be the road to nowhere. As the trees clear and the farm house converted to tasting room, outlined by the 4 acres of vines in the background, appears, you instantly release a sigh of relief and can truly take a step back to admire the beauty of the Wisdom Oak grounds. Owner Jerry Bias purchased the property over a decade ago then under the Sugarleaf banner, but changed the name early in 2013 to commemorate the opening of the new tasting room. The property sits at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and presents guests with gorgeous views and the …

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Pippin Hill Farm and Winery; Gorgeous Views for a Relaxing Afternoon or Blow Out Event

This past fall offered several great opportunities to taste our way through Charlottesville, Virginia. One of the most gorgeous wineries in the area (that I have attempted to visit multiple times, but narrowly missed the opportunity due to private events) is Pippin Hill Farm Winery. Nestled at the mouth of the Blue Ridge Mountains that seem to open up at the front steps of the Farm Winery presenting gorgeous panoramic views outlined by the most gorgeous landscapes in and around Charlottesville. I honestly can not recall a day that I have stopped by the winery where there was not a wedding being set up or underway. The grounds feature hillsides lined with vines, gorgeous gardens, and impeccable landscapes surrounding the winery and events center welcoming each patron with a tranquil and scenic tasting experience. As you pull into the rotary style parking lot, cars, buses, and often limos crowd all …

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Ramulose Ridge Vineyards; A New Venture on Smith Mountain Lake

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 …

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Cooper Vineyards; Green Has It’s Advantages in Virginia

A new review on Cooper 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! “Cooper Vineyards first opened its doors in 1999, producing a whopping 250 cases of wine. During the last fifteen years, the winery has expanded production to almost 6,000 cases and has increased its property from 36 acres to 150 acres – 15 of which are covered with vines. Approximately half of winemaker Graham Bell’s wines are produced from estate-grown grapes with the rest being produced from grapes obtained from other nearby vineyards. Cooper Vineyards relies almost exclusively on Virginia Oak wine barrels and has finalized and opened their new Gold/Platinum LEED Certified tasting room and events facility. This gorgeous facility contains a 35 foot, curved, concrete tasting bar (think classy polished concrete), wood pellet fireplace for those winter …

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Quick Pour: DelFosse Grand Cru Olivier 2011

Producer: DelFosse Vineyards and Winery Region: Central Virginia, Virginia, USA Price: $22 Vintage: 2011 Varietals: 38% Merlot, 25% Petit Verdot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc Additional Notes: Aged 8 months in French oak barrels. Bottled in July 2012. Released in November 2012. Virginia Pour House Notes:  Copious amounts of oak and black cherry on the nose laced with powdered chocolate while bearing plenty of depth and excellent structure. Notes of fresh red fruit, currants, black cherry, and plush tannins on the palate, and nuances of vanilla and oak appear as the fruit recedes towards the finish while concluding with medium length and even balance.       Producer: DelFosse Vineyards and Winery Region: Central Virginia, Virginia, USA Price: $22 Vintage: 2011 Varietals: 38% Merlot, 25% Petit Verdot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc Additional Notes: Aged 8 months in French oak barrels. Bottled in July 2012. Released in November 2012. Virginia Pour House Notes:  Copious amounts of oak and …

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Gabriele Rausse Winery; If you’re not familiar, you need to be

When holding a casual conversation with anyone who has a hand or two in the Virginia Wine Industry, you can inquire as to their opinion of who are the big names when it comes to producing good wine in the state. Many will ramble off names such as Jim Law, Luca Paschina, and Michael Shaps due to their respective reputation of either producing good wines or consulting for a large portion of new vineyard startups in Virginia. However, there is a name missing in that list – Gabriele Rausse. Many people do not realize that when Gabriele first came to the United States, he landed his first vineyard job stateside with fellow countryman Gianni Zonin and his new startup, Barboursville Vineyards, in April of 1976. Prior to that, Gabriele had completed his University studies in his home country of Italy and began working for Santa Margherita until he enlisted in …

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Jefferson Vineyards; A Monticello Dream Come True

Jefferson Vineyards was first planted on land brokered by Thomas Jefferson to Florentine Viticulturist Filipo Mazzei with the hopes of Filipo’s assistance to help progress Jefferson’s dream of native grown wine grape in 1774. Following the Revolutionary War, no vines were seen on the property until 1981 when Jefferson’s dream became a reality. Now with 30 years of experience and a yearly production of roughly 6,000 to 8,000 cases, this modest farm winery produces around 9 varieties supplied by close to 23 acres of vines in the Monticello area of Central Virginia. This quaint property leads you to their tasting room by the paved road leading to the gravel drive and displays some of their oldest plantings to the right of the dirt entrance. Straight ahead, there is a large barn that holds their production facility and events room. After we exited the vehicle, we snapped a quick picture by …

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