Adventure Farm on Earlysville Road (you can see their vineyard from CHO) recently opened its winery tasting room, but is actually a multi-faceted working farm dating to 1950 that raises cattle and sells some of it from the tasting room.
The cozy tasting room, sitting at the edge of a pond and with a shady outdoor wine garden, seems a Shangri-La being almost walking distance to the CHO runway, and feels a world away from Forest Lakes Shopping Center and Rt. 29.
The branding of Adventure Farm’s 60 year-old history is featured on its wine labels, which show color photos from when the farm began. Whites include a chardonnay and a viognier, with a very juicy yet dry and quaffable summertime red, called “Gigi’s blend” after the young woman (now 89) who came to the farm with her new husband in 1950, featuring a photo of this charming lass smiling and sitting on a rail fence.
Adventure Farm’s wines are made by industry veteran Michael Shaps, and three of his signature red wines are for sale there. My favorite is the 2010 cabernet sauvignon, which is actually exclusively sourced from Adventure Farm’s own vineyard, designated as the single vineyard on the label. The wine was rich but surprisingly smooth and round with soft tannins and juicy black currant fruit, though with lots of vanilla and coconut on the nose.
Wines of the Week 7/20/14
Adventure Farm Gigi’s Red Blend 2012: A wonderfully juicy, dry and drinkable 50/50 blend of chambourcin and cabernet franc. The nose is seductively juicy with bramblefruit, and just enough tannin from the cabernet franc for balance and structure. The perfect red for summertime slightly chilled, full of flavor and very versatile. www.adventurefarm.net
Cooper Vineyards Chardonel 2013: This wine proves there’s no reason for “grape racism.” This hardy, prolific hybrid from Cornell University is 50% chardonnay, the rest from French hybrids, but on the palate there’s no way you can tell it’s not chardonnay. This wine has a delicate citrus nose with the pleasing fat mid-palate of chardonnay, ending with fresh pleasant pinot blanc-like lemon cream. A most excellent summer white especially for seafood, kind of like a ramped-up pinot grigio crossed with steel chardonnay. www.coopervineyards.com
Lovingston Winery Seyval Blanc 2013: This is another wine that proves there’s no reason for “grape racism.” South African winemaker Riaan Rossouw has been excelling with this old French white hybrid for years; this is probably his best yet. If you like the dry tang of Marlborough sauvignon blanc but don’t like the “cat pee”, this is the wine for you. On the nose, loads of ripe, fresh pink grapefruit set your palate salivating. On the palate, the pink grapefruit is followed by ripe passion fruit, and lots of zesty citrus acidity. Probably the best all-around summertime dry white wine from Virginia. www.lovingstonwinery.com