Friday, November 17, 2017

Discovering the Symphony Grape at Oak Crest Vineyard & Winery

When crossing the Potomac into Virginia on Route 301, theCompass Craft Beverage Finder shows that Oak Crest Vineyard & Winery is the first winery when entering the Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace AVA. It is one of the oldest wineries on the peninsula -- opening in 2002 by Conrad Brandts. Although his family started growing grapes in the 1960s, Brandts planted his vineyard in 1986 with the assistance of grafted Cabernet vines from Gabriele Rausse. Then on a research trip to California he heard about a new hybrid grape developed at U.C. Davis and visited the creator Dr. Harold Olmo. This pioneering viticulturist created more than 30 new grape varieties such as Ruby Cabernet and Symphony - the subject of Brandts' visit.

This crossing of Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache Gris was developed for hot growing regions - more suitable to the humid Northern Neck than the Riesling that Brandts had originally intended to plant. With two decades in the vineyard, Symphony is Oak Crest's signature grape produced as a sweet single varietal Symphony ($17) and in the off dry Moonlight Sonata ($16). This wine is marketed as a German Rhine styled wine and that's close to the mark: a Gewurtz-Riesling combo with muscat-like bouquet, spicy creamy body that combines grapefruit and stone fruit, and a balance between sweetness and acidity. This was a hit at a recent family party. Looking forward to visiting more wineries along the Northern Neck very soon. Cheers.
Post a Comment