FOODS THAT LOVE VIRGINIA WINES
Celebrate the splendor of spring while tasting Virginia’s best selection of wines during the Wine Festival at Monticello on Saturday, May 12, 2012! Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the restored vineyards and Jefferson’s home and experience Monticello in the evening— a rare treat! For more information, visit virginiawine.org and virginia.org/wine
Viognier possesses an exotic perfume of fresh fruit and flowers. While this suggests a sweet wine, Viognier is typically a dry or slightly off-dry wine. Virginia Viognier is lighter and crisper than Viognier grown in many other regions. Winemaker Dennis Horton (Horton Vineyards) is credited with putting Virginia Viognier on the national map in the early 1990s. “The beauty of Viognier is that the clusters are wide open, which allows the air to circulate among the individual berries, preventing mildew and rot,” Dennis says. “And we find that, despite Viognier’s temperamental reputation, it’s actually one of the easier varieties to deal with.” PAIR WITH lobster, veal, cheese, pork, and rich sauces
Viogniers to Taste
2010 Blenheim Vineyards Viognier
2010 Chateau Morrisette Viognier
2010 Crysalis Viognier
2010 Horton Vineyards Viognier
2010 North Gate Viognier
Cabernet Franc is fruitier, more herbal, and lower in acidity than its genetic offspring, Cabernet Sauvignon. Since Cabernet Franc ripens a bit earlier, it does well in Virginia’s climate. In fact, several wine experts consider Cabernet Franc to be among Virginia’ s best red wines. Winemaker John Todhunter (Three Fox Vineyards) is very pleased with the way Cab Franc grows on his land. He typically lets it hang until the middle of October, allowing notes of black cherry and chocolate to develop. “I think it could be Virginia’s leading red grape, and there are a lot of people who grow it well,” John says. Some winemakers use Cabernet Franc as a blending wine, and others create a single varietal Cabernet Franc. John does both. “How you use it depends on how it grows in the vine- yard,” John says, “But it is very good for Virginia conditions in general.” PAIR WITH pastas with red sauces, beef stew, and hamburgers
Cabernet Francs to Taste
2008 Barboursville Cabernet Franc
2008 Breaux Vineyards Lafayette
2009 Jefferson Cabernet Franc
2009 Sunset Hills Cabernet Franc
2010 Three Fox Alouette Cabernet Franc
Norton delivers big fruit aromas and flavors from fruity to robust. It is the oldest North American grape variety and has been used to make wine since pre–Civil War days. A Virginia native and said to be America’s only indigenous wine grape, Norton is cold hardy and disease resistant. The variety is seeing an increase in popularity, thanks in great measure to winemakers like Jennifer McCloud (Crysalis Vineyards), who is leading the charge to restore Norton’s prominence as a winemaking grape. “I really like it. I think it’s really different,” Jennifer says, citing its history, wild grapey character, and age-worthiness. “And growing a native grape where it was born is a sustainable concept.” Jennifer has more than 40 acres planted to Norton. PAIR WITH red meat, smoked meat, wild game, rock fish, and many cheeses
Nortons to Taste
2008 Crysalis Locksley Reserve
2009 Cooper Norton
2010 New Kent White Norton
2008 Rappahannock Red Dessert Wine
Petit Verdot creates an inky, purplish, medium-bodied red wine characterized by perfumes from fruity and spicy to herbal. The variety was rare in Virginia until 2008, when Dr. Tony Wolf, professor of Horticulture at Virginia Tech and the state’s cooperative viticulturist, reported to Virginia winemakers that Petit Verdot had great potential in their climate. Planting occurred statewide, and in 2010, 5 of the top 15 wines earning Gold medals in the Virginia Governor’s Cup contained Petit Verdot. Traditionally used as a blending grape, Petit Verdot flavors and tannin structure blend nicely with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, and it can be an influential addition to many blended Bordeaux- style red wines. PAIR WITH steaks, rich sauces, Italian foods, barbecue, and strong cheeses
Petit Verdots to Taste
2008 Barboursville Reserve Petit Verdot
2009 Blenheim Petit Verdot
2007 Ingleside Reserve Petit Verdot
2005 Jefferson Reserve Petit Verdot
2009 Rogers Ford Farm Petit Verdot
With 16 wine trails in 9 regions across the state, an endless list of fun things to do, exciting special events, and wonderful places to stay, the Commonwealth of Virginia deserves a spot at the top of every wine tourist’s list.
Virginia is easy to get to. If coming from out of state, you can fly into Washington D .C. ’ s Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport or Washington Dulles International Airport, or one of nine other airports located across the state. You can also arrive by train, bus, ferry, or car. No matter how you get there, you’ll be delighted with how easy it is to get around and how much there is to do in every direction.
A day of wine touring should always include stops between wineries. In Virginia, you have countless options. Just let your interests guide you.
History and Heritage
More major Civil War battles took place in Virginia than in any other state. Plan a Civil War tour! The Virginia Civil War Tour program provides interpretive markers at Civil War sites throughout the state, and driving tours with helpful maps are available. There’s a host of museums to choose from across the state, plus battlefields, historic homes, and cemeteries. Visit Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Monticello, where Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States and America’ s first viticulturist distinguished planted his own vineyards.
Virginia gives you many opportunities to applaud. There are many theatres, retro drive-ins, and a nonstop music scene stretching from the Appalachian Mountains to the shores of Hampton Roads, playing everything from bluegrass to opera. Check out the Virginia Arts Festival offerings from April to June, or the many annual festivals that take place over a few days or weeks. Many wineries have concerts, inviting you to enjoy their wines—and tunes—as you while away an afternoon.
What do kite flying, gardens, hot glass, tattoos, coal, outer space, seafood, Jamestown, and guns and knives all have in common? They’re all festivals planned in a Virginia wine region during the spring of 2012. Virginians are always finding a reason to celebrate. As you plan your visit, check out the many festivals on the calendar and see what appeals to you.