Thursday, February 9, 2012

Can You Recommend an Exceptional Virginia Winery?

I had such a good time putting together my first book Craig’s Grape Adventure – Loving Life with a Skillet and a Corkscrew, I am already hard at work on my second book featuring recipes, stories and wine pairing with Virginia wines.  To date, I have stumbled across some great wines, and have experienced vino nirvana resulting from recommendations by good friends.  As I press on, I would love to hear from you.  Do you have a favorite Virginia wine or winery?  Let me know.

The challenge and fun with this second book is finding exceptional Virginia wines to highlight.  I am already finding wineries that are true gems.  I have also tasted a number of disappointments.  In a third group, I have found nice wines that standout from an otherwise unremarkable winery portfolio.  Here are several wineries that impress me across their lineup:

To date, these wineries are those I can highly recommend – without reservation.  Across their portfolio, you will find exceptional wine sure to please.  Each of these wineries is based on a strong philosophy of wine making, focus on full expression of terroir, and take pride and care in the making of great wine.

Based on my preliminary research, here are a couple of observations that contribute or detract from the winery and their product:

  1. The best wineries have a philosophy of wine making that keeps them steadfastly pointed in the right direction.
  2. The best wineries focus on expression of terroir leading to a clear identity for their wines.
  3. Serious wineries, don’t make fruit wines. 
  4. Labeling is a direct reflection of the winery.  Glossy labels, animals, catchy names, and highly stylized labels often foretell the story of a flawed wine.  Traditional, simple, straightforward labels are more commonly associated with good wine.  A label has nothing to do with the quality of the wine.  However, it is a reflection of dedication to making great wine.
  5. The best wineries focus on what they do best.  It is not necessary for a winery to produce every conceivable grape…and they shouldn’t.  The best wineries have a focused portfolio.

I will continue to do the tough work (ok, not really that tough) of tasting wines until I hit my goal of 75 wines suitable for pairing and inclusion in my next book.  If you have a suggestion for either a specific wine, or an exceptional winery such as those listed, I would love to hear from you.

If you are a winery, and would like me to consider your wine…I am all ears.

In vino veritas, buen provecho.


1 comment:

  1. That's great observation. Thnks of for sharing great experience this is nice and really helpful.
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