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Winemakers Face Off in the Squared Circle, Everyone Wins

Posted by on May 10, 2012

I’m sure there are lots of super creative ways that I could approach writing posts to share my TasteCamp experiences with you, but I have to admit that I’m having trouble coming up with any of them.  Given that, I’ll leave that to other bloggers and will just take a fairly linear approach.  I’m also not going to try to share every wine tasted and every detail shared.  Instead, I’ve decided to focus on who the VA wine participants were and what stood out to me.  Please know that if I don’t explicitly talk about a wine it doesn’t mean it wasn’t good.  It may be a wine I didn’t get around to tasting, or it may have been a wine that just got lost in the shuffle.  I tried to swirl, sip, spit, and note-take (sorry, I just couldn’t make the alliteration work) throughout the weekend, but there was a lot going on.

Anyway, TasteCamp started off at Boxwood Winery, and the did a wonderful job of welcoming everyone. In fact, it turns out they do things even more seamlessly than I thought since they had to change everything at the very last moment due to a lack of cooperation from mother nature.  Anyway, we were all greeted by Rachel Martin, executive VP, and Adam McTaggart, winemaker, along with a glass of the ’11 rosé.  As I’ve come to expect from Boxwood rosés, it was light, crisp, and refreshing, and I found it enjoyable to sip as I mingled with other attendees as they arrived in advance of lunch.

Over a wonderful lunch catered by Ayrshire Farm, I got to know some of my fellow attendees, and we all learned the big news about Boxwood starting to be open to the public.  Boxwood pulled out the big guns from the library for wines with lunch – they poured both the ’07 Topiary and the ’07 Boxwood.  Both of these wines have integrated well in the years since I first tasted them, and they’r both drinking really well right now if you happen to have any you’ve been hiding from yourself.  I’d say that the Boxwood could still handle another couple of years, but the Topiary is a wine I’m planning to drink within the next year or so.  The 2010s we had at the grand tasting after lunch weren’t doing it for me, however, so I’m glad I’ve got some of their previous vintages to tide me over for a while.

After lunch and a tour of the barrel cave, something we had to miss on our tour of the winery since our visit coincided with the arrival of a hurricane and the winery having to run on generator power (thereby blocking the entrance to the cave), we headed out to the crush pad for the Friday grand tasting.  In addition to Boxwood, the wineries pouring a few of their wines were Ankida Ridge VineyardsAnnefield Vineyards, Barboursville VineyardsBlenheim Vineyards, Gadino Cellars, Glass House WineryHume Vineyards, Pearmund Cellars/Vint Hill Craft WineryRappahannock CellarsVeritas Vineyards, and White Hall Vineyards.  All the winery representatives did a great job of sharing their wines, the stories behind their wineries, and the passion that fuels the VA wine industry.

Hume brought 3 new to us releases, so it was nice to get a sneak peak of them, I particularly enjoyed their new viognier, but we were told that there’d be 1 or 2 more new releases in the coming weeks, so we think we’ll hold off on a visit until then.  I also liked the viognier brought by White Hall (all stainless for those of you who don’t like oak in your viggy) and appreciated the sneak peek at their soon to be released ’10 petit verdot.  My visit to the Annefield station reminded me that we need to get back to southern VA, and since they might be having a non-harvest party since they lost their crop to frost damage, that seems like a perfect time for our visit.  The Blenheim rosé also grabbed my attention, the warm afternoon made it seem particularly refreshing, but I also noticed Kirsty Harmon’s “screwcap” ring – I so want one,and I bet Jordan Harris is jealous!

Barboursville deserves some credit for bringing an ’02 viognier and an ’05 cab franc from their library so that we could see how VA wines are ageing.  The viognier was particularly interesting.  It had darkened in color and become slightly nutty.  Since this was a viggy that saw no oak, I thought it was interesting that they’re exploring how it ages.  Kudos for the experimentation – it also showed me that I do tend to like my reds earthier and aged rather than young and fruity.  I generally enjoyed the offerings from Veritas (’11 sauv blanc, ’11 viognier, ’10 vintner’s reserve, ’10 petit verdot) and learned that they’re doing a lot of planting.  Clearly we need to find a time to catch up with Emily, their winemaker, and learn more about what they have going on.  Finally, the Ankida pinot noir continues to integrate and change as it spends more time in the bottle.  I’m still not quite ready to open the bottles I’ve got on my rack, but I encourage you to check it out if you can find a bottle.

In closing (we’ll have more next week, however), I just want to say that I was amazed at how many owners/winemakers greeted us by commenting on how much they love our post titles.  Kudos to Grape Envy Guy on that one as it’s 100% him.  Of all the ways to make an impact in this world, apparently ours is destined to be titles that break every rule of SEO optimized titles to help blog traffic – I can live with that.


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The Winemakers Face Off in the Squared Circle, Everyone Wins by Swirl, Sip, Snark, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

2 Responses to Winemakers Face Off in the Squared Circle, Everyone Wins

  1. MEL810

    Sounds like you had a smashing time!
    And SEO titles are usually so boring and so commercial that I am super glad for GEG’s wit in his titles.
    Speaking of GEG and titles etc. I know he is a ‘zombie’ lover. Today on the bus, I saw a guy wearing a tee-shirt that said: “Zombie Food Pyramid ” and showed a brain inside of the pyramid!

  2. MEL810

    I don’t know where to add this link so I’m adding it here. But it is VA wine related.
    This story is just beyond odd:

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