If you’re a fan of wine, you’ll definitely want to put Virginia Wine Country to your list of places to visit. I have visited the region twice but have not been recent. (It is on my to-do list). I was in possession of a case of 2022 Virginia Governor’s Cup Wine Winners and invited my neighbors over for a wine tasting. None of them even knew Virginia had wines, let alone the fantastic quality of these wines.
Located just an hour outside of Washington, D.C., Virginia’s wine country is a hidden gem that is quickly gaining recognition as one of the best wine regions in the country.
Virginia has a long history of winemaking, dating back to the early days of colonization. Today, the state is home to more than 300 wineries, producing a wide range of red, white, and sparkling wines. Virginia has something for every wine lover from dry whites and fruity reds to bubbly sparkling wines.
Its diverse terroir sets Virginia wine country apart from other wine regions. The state is home to a range of micro-climates and soil types, which means that winemakers can grow a wide variety of grapes. As a result, Virginia wines are known for their unique character and complexity.
Each of the wineries has its unique character and style. During the tasting, that showed. When asked what wines they liked best, Mike said “They were all really good. Some stood out more than others because that was my taste.”
For 2023 put Virginia Wine Country on your list. No matter where you go in Virginia wine country, you’ll be sure to find some amazing wines. Watch the above video to get views on the wines from first-timers tasting Virginia Wines.
Here are tasting notes from the wines we tasted.
Trump Winery 2015 Brut Reserve, Charlottesville, Monticello AVA SRP $75 – 100% Chardonnay. The wine had nice bready notes and fresh acidity accompanied by minerality. Nice hints of green apple ad citrus on the palate.
Maggie Malick Wine Caves 2020 Albarino, Hillsboro SRP $34 – This was a really nice Albarino, crisp and clear with the essence of tangerine, lemon and lime. Dry with nice minerality and tangy acidity.
Barboursville Vineyards 2020 Vermentino Reserva, Barboursville, Monticello AVA SRP $23 – Spring in a glass! Fermented with natural yeasts and aged on the lees for 10 months, then another 8 months in bottle before being released. Lots of lychees and lemon aromas, followed by a palate with nice minerality and notes of grapefruit and lime.
Michael Shaps Wineworks 2019 Chardonnay, Charlottesville, Monticello AVA SRP$30 – Aged in 36% new and 64% used French oak barrels. Lovely aromas of caramel apple, pear, melon, and brioche. A nice full-bodied wine on the palate that is nicely balanced with hints of minerality, melon, lemon and lime zest.
50 West Vineyards 2019 Ashby Gap, Middleburg AVA SRP $30 – This wine was Nancy’s favorite. A blend of 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon Lots of brambly fruit aromas. The palate full of black cherry, tobacco and a burst of soft tannins. Paired very well with Brie topped with raspberry jam.
Shenandoah Vineyards 2019 Reserved Red, Edinburg, Shenandoah Valley AVA SRP $38 – A blend of 38% Cabernet Franc, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Petit Verdot. Fermented separately in stainless steel then moved to 60% new and 40% used French oak barrels for 10 months.The wine is then blended and aged for 12 more months in barrel. Nice aromas of blackberry, dark cherry and cassis. A complex palate of leather and earth with hints of red and black fruit, vanilla and mouth-drying tannins
Cana Vineyards & Winery of Middleburg 2019 Le Mariage, Middleburg AVA SRO $48 – A blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot 14% Malbec 14% Petit Verdot and 7% Cabernet Franc.Aged for 17 months in barrels with 30% New French oak. A complex wine with lots going on. Some menthol aromas with black cherry and blueberry. The palate is soft and shows some chocolate, dark fruit and supple tannins
Stinson Vineyard 2017 Meritage, Crozet, Monticello AVA SRP $38.99 – Another blend of 50% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot. Aged by varietal for 6 months in 20 -50% new French oak. Blended, then returned to the barrel for 15 months. Aromas of vanilla, violet, red currant and a hint of blue fruit. The palate showed nice structured tannins and well-integrated fruit.
Wisdom Oak Winery 2019 Nineteen, North Garden, Monticello AVA SRP $38 – A blend of 50% Petit Verdot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet Franc was aged in new Virginia oak the rest were aged in neutral oak. Notes of blue fruit, plum and cinnamon spice.
Pollak Vineyards 2017 Meritage, Afton, Monticello AVA SRP $50 – Aromas of blackberry, spice and vanilla lead to a nice palate full of cassis, and plums with a long finish.
Cana Vineyards & Winery of Middleburg 2019 Unite Reserve, Middleburg AVA SRP 65 – 65% Petit Verdot, 29% Cabernet Franc and 6% Merlot. The wine spent 17 months in new French oak. Lots going on in this wine. Aromas that are savory with back olives, vanilla and black plum. Complex palate with plum, blackberry, lots of dark fruit and well structured mouth-drying tannins.
Rockbridge Vineyard 2018 V D’OR, Raphine, Shenandoah Vally AVA SRP $25 – Now it’s dessert time with dessert wine. This is a blend of 39% Traminette, 36% Reisling, 19% Vignoles and 6% Vidal Blanc. It has 11% residual sugar. A nice dessert wine that is sweet, but not overly sweet, with a bit of toffee and citrus. This paired very well with the Dulce de Leche cake and carrot cake.