tasting A New Grape From Ancient Times Winemaker Luca Paschina plans to expand the Barboursville Vineyards’ highly regarded Octagon label with the potential to introduce an Octagon Bianco. The inspiration started with his fascination with the rare ribolla gialla grapes. This white grape variety, cultivated in Italy since the Middle Ages, stands out with its bold golden hue and unusually high amount of tannins for a white grape. Paschina tasted wine created from ribolla gialla back in the 1980s while visiting his birthplace in Northern Italy. The grape isn’t cultivated in many places, but a long way from its birthplace in Greece, this grape can be found growing on vines in California. Channeling the interest in the grape he developed 30 years ago, Paschina took note of how California nurseries cultivated the grape, and in 2015 he brought ribolla vines to Barboursville Vineyards. The year-old vines arrived on special rootstocks. Now, a year and a half since the vines were planted, they have overcome harsh frost conditions and flourished. Paschina’s dream of a fine white Octagon wine may soon come to fruition.
Governor’s Cup Heralds Successes Thomas Jefferson’s wine legacy was honored at this year’s Virginia Governor’s Cup Gala, when nine of the 12 wines chosen for the Governor’s Cup Case were from The Monticello Wine Trail. The grand winner of the Governor’s Cup was Northern Virginia’s The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards. Their winning wine, a 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, was created by local winemaker Michael Shaps from grapes grown locally at Carter’s Mountain Orchard. This full-bodied wine was aged for 18 months in French and American Oak and has an acidity of 6.6 g/L. Barboursville Vineyards, Horton Vineyards, King Family Vineyards and Veritas Vineyard and Winery all had white wines selected for the Governor’s Case. While Jefferson Vineyards, King Family Vineyards, Michael Shaps Wineworks, Valley Road Vineyards and Veritas Vineyard and Winery had red wines selected. Additionally, all of these wineries won gold medals after scoring highly for their appearance, aroma, flavor, quality and commercial suitability.