With all the wineries near Charlottesville it could take a month or more of entries to summarize all their wines. Here are highlights of King Family Vineyards (Crozet) and three wineries on the Appellation Trail: Grace Estate, Stinson Vineyards and White Hall Vineyards.
Stone Tower Winery and Willowcroft Vineyards: Loudoun Wine Country Contrast and Three “Wines of the Week”
On a nasty, rainy Saturday (5/21) I met Lindsey Parris, a fellow judge in the Virginia Wine Governor’s Cup contest (and student in the Master of Wine program) to check out a couple of wineries we thought might be off the beaten path. Given the weather and the month of May, I thought a lot of Northern Virginia outdoorsy professionals would probably opt to find a cozy winery and get—well, even more cozy with some wine, and who could blame them? I wanted to find as few of them as possible.
Now that we’ve gone from 55 F and rain for days on end to 90F and no clouds in the sky here in Virginia, it’s time to change gears and start shining the light on white wines, but we will have some notable red wine highlights to wrap up from the dismal weekend of 5/21-22 shortly.
Hermit Woods Winery in New Hampshire is one of the cutting edge wineries of the East. They make no grape-based wines at all, but offer a cornucopia of original and thoughtfully blended wines from local fruits and honey.
With cool wet weather this week I enjoyed two of their dark fruit-based wines. They were fresh, fruity but dry and zesty and a fun, original departure from regular grape-based wines. See my tasting notes from April 2nd for their Hermitage and Red Scare Oak wines also.
Virginia wine lovers now have two excellent vintages for white wines: 2014 and 2015. The 2014 vintage was cooler and drier than most, yielding white wines with marked freshness, delicacy, vibrant fruit and fine natural acidity. They will continue to bring refreshing drinking pleasure through this summer and fall.
The 2016 growing season for Virginia vintners had hardly begun when it took a hit from up to three different freeze and frost events that reportedly have hit the early-budding white winegrapes like chardonnay and viognier.