Tag Archives: virginia

Berry Hill Vineyard; Could this be our last visit to Berry Hill?

A few weeks back, I was going through my wine cellar and noticed a bottle of Berry Hill Cabernet Franc from 2010. I remember it being palate shocking and absolutely outstanding from the nose to the finish, and it got me thinking that it has been a while since we all visited Dave at the vineyard. Coincidentally, I received a note from Kurt at WineAboutVA explaining that Dave was selling his house and vineyard so we needed to plan a final visit. Kurt put in the call to Dave and, voila, our last trip to Berry Hill Vineyards was planned. As I mentioned in last year’s visit, Dave Hilty is retired and started making wine as a hobby and for gifts until the tremendous success erupted into a full blown winery operation out of his garage. With just about 2 acres of grapes on the property, a portion of which is …

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Quick Pour: Sunset Hills Sunset Red Blend; A Vertical of the 2010 & 2011

Producer: Sunset Hills Vineyards Region: Shenandoah AVA, Middleburg AVA, Virginia, United States Price: $28 Vintage: 2011 Varietals: 39% Petit Verdot, 36% Cabernet Franc,  21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, Estate Vineyard #1 , Estate Vineyard #2, Estate Vineyard #3, Maggie Malick Vineyard; (13% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Pepper, raspberry, and rose petal notes greet the nose, while juicy fruit forward flavors of strawberry, cherry, and wild berry jam across the tastebuds with very tuned down tannins (faintly present), and a short, stunted finish with very light notes of oak and floral notes craving for some last minute attention. Average.   Producer: Sunset Hills Vineyards Region: Middleburg AVA, Virginia, United States Price: $28 Vintage: 2010 Varietals: 62% Cabernet Franc (Berry Hill Vineyard & Benevino Vineyard), 17% Nebbiolo (Berry Hill Vineyard), 12% Merlot (Sunset Hills Vineyard), 9% Petit Verdot (Waterford Vineyard) ; (13.5% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Rich chocolate notes enveloped by light tobacco notes …

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Quick Pour: Rappahannock Cellars Chardonnay 2012

Producer: Rappahannock Cellars Region: Northern Virginia, Virginia, United States Price: $24 Vintage: 2012 Varietals: Chardonnay Virginia Pour House Notes: The nose boasts classy floral notes, while citrus and apple nuances mingle with smooth vanilla highlights to introduce you to the beauty that makes up the palate.  The flavors start with a soft and creamy texture bearing some toasted coconut, oak, creamy vanilla, banana and some tropical hints. This wine is perfectly balanced with enough oak to smooth out and weight the bodies profile, but not drench the palate with butter. Nice, medium bodied structure and smooth acidity. Overall, a great representation of well made Chardonnay.   Producer: Rappahannock Cellars Region: Northern Virginia, Virginia, United States Price: $24 Vintage: 2012 Varietals: Chardonnay Virginia Pour House Notes: The nose boasts classy floral notes, while citrus and apple nuances mingle with smooth vanilla highlights to introduce you to the beauty that makes up the palate.  The flavors …

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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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2014 Virginia Wine Blogger Petit Verdot Blind Tasting at Casanel Vineyards

Since my first Blind Tasting years back, I have developed a love for this unbiased format of tasting your way through multiple varieties of the same wine from various producers. Blind tastings really provide tasters the ability to try wine without judging based on producer, price, or reputation because, well, it’s blind. My goal is to assemble groups of fellow bloggers, industry folks, and wine enthusiasts to take part in multiple blind tasting events to assist in unbiasedly pointing out some of Virginia’s standouts. During certain blind tastings, we may toss a couple of wild cards in there from other viticultural areas outside of Virginia to see where Virginia stands blindly against other producers throughout the world. One of the first events we held this year  was this blind Petit Verdot tasting, which was graciously hosted by Katie and the wonderful folks at Casanel Vineyards in Leesburg, Virginia. We originally …

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VA Wine in My Pocket App for FREE for a LIMITED TIME!

To help kick off Love by the Glass: Virginia Wine & Dine Month, the Virginia Wine in My Pocket—Wine Country Travel Guide—invites you to Eat, Sleep, Drink Virginia Wine for free! Their popular mobile travel guide–normally $4.99–will be free for a week in iTunes, starting on March 1 and continuing until the end of MARCH! The app works on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Hop on over to the iTunes store during the month of March for this limited time offer now at the link below! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/virginia-wine-in-my-pocket/id423107812?mt=8 For more information on the VA Wine In My Pocket App and Website, click here to learn more. *The app is also available for Android, but to my knowledge this is an iOS only special

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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: Sunset Hills Winery Petit Verdot 2011

Producer: Sunset Hills Winery Region: Middleburg AVA, Northern Virginia, Virginia Price: N/A; Club Only Vintage: 2011 Varietals: 90% Petit Verdot. 10% Merlot Winemaker Notes: In many ways, Petit Verdot was a savior of the 2011 red harvest.  While the heavy rains of the season made it difficult for most reds to ripen as fully as we’d prefer, Petit Verdot, which is naturally quick to ripen very fully, made it through the rains with style.  Additionally, with its small, tough berries and heavy pigment, what was not used in this varietal blend became a very important blending piece for our other 2011 red wines.  The best Petit Verdot of the season, however, was saved for this blend.  We don’t always make a varietal Petit Verdot, but when the quality is high enough, and when the wine is interesting enough, we’re excited to bottle it.  The 2011 is no exception to the characteristics we’re coming …

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