“Three winemakers, three vineyards, three varietals, one wine” is the unique tagline for a unique Virginia wine named “3”. A triumvirate effort from winemakers Emily Pelton, Jake Busching and Matthieu Finot was born over a friendly beer and a what-if statement. ‘”Wouldn’t it be fun if…’”.
The three winemakers decided that this would be an opportunity not only to work together and show the collaborative nature of the industry, but also to highlight the creative process of sharing and learning from one another. The winemaking industry is distinctive, in that it is a wonderful combination of artistry, science and vintage expression. Each of the three winemakers’ personal style joins forces in a product that reflects the blending of terroirs and personalities.
“3” is a Bordeaux blend of three varietals in equal one-third portions from the 2009 vintage.
The Merlot was crafted by Matthieu Finot from King Family Vineyards, the Petit Verdot by Emily Pelton from Veritas Winery, and the Cabernet Franc by Jake Busching from Pollak Vineyards.
With more than 30 years of combined winemaking experience, these 3 winemakers carefully selected two barrels from their cellars that they felt would highlight their colleagues’ wine. The resulting product is a wine with perfect proportion and balance. This wine is a limited edition crafted in friendship and bottled to show the unity of the industry. The expansion and quality of Virginia wine is mirrored in the growth of these three young winemakers’ careers.
The premiere introduction of “3” will be at Pollak Vineyards on Thursday, March 3 from 3:33 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. Tastings of this limited production will only be available at this release event and at the three participating wineries all day the following Sunday, March 6. Each winery will have 45 cases for sale at $33.33 per bottle.
Matthieu Finot was born in Crozes Hermitage in the Rhone Valley. From a family of viticulturists and wine lovers, Matthieu was predisposed to continue his family's pursuit of winemaking and enjoying. He first studied viticulture and oenology at Beaune, in the heart of Burgundy. After graduating in 1995, Matthieu worked in many different wine regions around France including Rhone Valley, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Provence, and Jura. Matthieu then wanted to gain world-wide experience. He worked in Italy and South Africa before settling in Virginia. Since arriving in 2003, Matthieu has worked with wineries throughout the state. He enjoys working in the Monticello Appellation most because he likes the excitement of the region’s growth and being close to Charlottesville. When not at the winery, or with his brand new son, Matthieu likes to play rugby, snow board, rock climb, cook, and drink wine with his friends.
Emily Pelton graduated from Emory University with a B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, and a focus in Infectious Diseases. She happily moved to Virginia from Atlanta in 1999 to take a year off, and work alongside her parents in the development of Veritas Vineyard and Winery. It didn't take long for her to realize that she was not going back to her original field of study. After completing her Masters in Oenology at Virginia Tech, Emily joined the family venture full-time. Focusing primarily on allowing the Virginia terroir to show through in her wines, Emily is emphatic about being true to the grape. Elevated by a strong family business, Emily has grown up making wine solely for Veritas Vineyard and Winery. Outside of wine she has an extensive orchid collection and two beautiful girls.
Jake Busching began growing wine grapes in the Monticello region in 1997. Having grown up as a cattle farmer, the transition into winegrowing was a natural step. Pollak Vineyards has been his home as winemaker and general manager since 2003. Having learned viticulture and winemaking through mentors and hands on application, Jake believes that wine is an expression of the soil on which it is grown. Beyond the world of wine Jake plays bass guitar, thinks about playing golf, and has 2 sons that keep him very busy. In 2011 Jake will release a very limited amount of his own wine under the label Pythias.
Photographs, Courtesy of Jack Looney