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Starting our fourth leaf...

Fourth leaf refers to the number of times our vines have broken bud and leafed out.  This will be our fourth leaf in 2018 and our vines will have been in our soil for three full years.  A milestone that promises better fruit, better harvest, and wine from our own vineyard (in addition to our leased vineyard).  That's what this has been about.  Getting from that to this. As I write this post, I look back and forward.  Since our post mid-2017, we've blended and bottled our first red wines, a 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon and two 2016 Bordeaux style reds, one Cabernet Sauvignon heavy (for a heartier red wine) and one Merlot heavy (for a lighter red wine).   We also had...

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First Bottling; Third Year Vineyard

Our last post, in January 2017, described our first red and white wine production at our (interim) winery from leased vineyard fruit.  This past week, we bottled our first wines, two whites, a Viognier named after my late mother, Alma, and a Viognier-Petit Manseng blend, named after my mother-in-law, Patricia.  Both women preferred off-dry whites.  Our first bottles are dry whites.  I hope Pat will try some of her namesake wine.  If my mother could, she’d try some as well.  I expect she’s looking down, smiling, and musing to herself, “where’s the Riesling?” Bottling is a bit of work.  Here’s our process:  before bottling, we lab tested the wines for final alcohol, acidity, dryness, and other factors.  We also did...

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First Wines

Sorry we haven’t posted in a while. We’ve been very busy with pruning, new construction, harvests from our small leased vineyard, and making, finally, our…first…wines. Let’s tell you about this wondrous experience. With irreplaceable help from family, especially wife/best friend Maureen and oldest son Stephen, the support of friends, timely assistance from the owners of our small leased vineyard, the Malicks, and sage advice from our consulting winemaker, Sebastien Marquet, and his team, we harvested grapes, transported them, and made six new wines for the first time in our interim winery (our barn). Our whites: a fermentation blend of Viognier and Petit Manseng; and a Viognier varietal. Our reds: varietals of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot; and a barrel...

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Year 2

It’s been about 6 months since our last post.  Here’s a progress update and a short term road map. We are now a fully-licensed winery.  We received our federal license in December 2015 and our license from the Commonwealth of Virginia in January 2016.  Yippee.  We won’t be able to produce wine from our own fruit this year because our first usable harvest will be, God willing, in 2017. Not to despair.  We leased small portions of a nearby vineyard and expect to harvest a modest amount of grapes for winemaking this year, beginning in late August to early September and through late October.  Our harvest (and wines) will include Viognier, Petit Manseng, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Merlot.  We hope...

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We made it through Season 1; We’re Preparing for the (Interim) Winery

It’s been awhile since our last posting to this blog (around July 2015).  We’ve been pretty busy; sorry for taking so long. We have a little down time now around the holidays so let’s catch you up. The big news is we got through our first growing season successfully.  We’ve just completed our initial vine inventory (10000+) and most of the little guys had a very good year (excluding the Viognier, the subject of an earlier post).  We’ll be placing an order for some new plantings to expand the vineyard a smidgeon and for some replacement vines, but, all in all, we came through pretty well.  We even got a little (very little) fruit this year (from our Sauvignon Blanc vines...

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