Harvest Reports The 2016 harvest proved to be another successful year for the vineyards of Virginia. Whites and reds alike did particularly well with praise for Viognier, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. The Taste of the Monticello Wine Trail Festival on April 13-15 is a great way to experience some of the local varietals. Many local winemakers are excited about upcoming varietals and blends as much as with those currently in the aging process. They hope the weather will be kind to the vines. “Once the buds open, the tender tissue can only survive through temperatures just around freezing, so anything colder can kill the new growth,” says Nathan Vrooman of Ankida Ridge and Stinson Vineyards. Local winemakers also shared some insights on what to look out for this season. Winemaker Stephen Bernard with Keswick Vineyards says, “We have bottled our 2016 vintage of Verdejo, and it is such a bright, acid-based wine with lots of apple, lime and gooseberry flavors. Very similar to a Sauvignon Blanc, it is meant for early consumption but will age for 3-4 years.” He is enthusiastic about sharing this wine, as the Verdejo grapes did very well last harvest. Aside from the early frost in 2016, Winemaker Michael Heny from Horton Vineyards says, “We were fortunate enough to have a ‘second season’ last year with cooler temperatures. It allowed for a ripening streak for reds, and there has been huge excitement about Petit Verdot in particular.” Horton’s 2013 Tannat (now released) produces a rich, fullbodied flavor with a strong tannic backbone, leathery fruit flavors and a long spicy finish. It’s always a busy time of the year in the vineyard and we cannot wait to see what comes of the 2017 harvest.
New & Noteworthy BALD TOP BREWING CO near Walden Hall Bed & Breakfast in Madison is Virginia’s First Historic Farm Brewery.
DRAFT TAPROOM in Charlottesville has
the largest collection of local taps in the state, with about 60 different beers, 30 of which come from Virginia.
HARDYWOOD PILOT BREWERY & TAPROOM on West Main Street opened in February.
RANDOM ROW BREWING CO in
Charlottesville opened in September 2016.
REASON BEER, a new brewery and tasting room, opens this summer in Charlottesville.
RUTH SAUNDERS OF SILVER CREEK ORCHARDS was named the Virginia Vineyard Association’s 2017 Grower of the Year.
STINSON VINEYARDS was named
one of the “South’s Best Vineyards” in Southern Living and “Top Picks for Best Wines” in The Washington Post.
WILD WOLF BREWING COMPANY received the Virginia Green Brewery award for the second year in a row.
16 OF THE 23 2017 VIRGINIA GOVERNOR’S CUP GOLD Medalists
VIRGINIA WINE’S ECONOMIC IMPACT grew to $1.37 billion between 2010
were from our region, including Barboursville Vineyards (2 wines), Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery, CrossKeys Vineyards, Horton Vineyards, Jefferson Vineyards (2 wines), King Family Vineyards (3 wines), Michael Shaps Wineworks (2 wines), Pollak Vineyards, Valley Road Vineyards and Veritas Vineyard & Winery (2 wines).
VITAE SPIRITS DISTILLERY opened in
6.6 MILLION BOTTLES OF VIRGINIA WINE were sold in 2016 according to Governor
and 2015, according to a Frank, Rimerman + Co. report, commissioned by the Virginia Wine Board and released earlier this year. March 2017.
Terry McAuliffe’s office.
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