Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vincent's Vineyard - Lebanon Virginia

While attending the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, I noticed one winery present among the various craft vendors: in Vincent's Vineyard from Lebanon Virginia. The vineyard is located on a 6 generation family farm that previously cultivated tobacco. In 2001 vines were planted (mostly hybrids, Traminette, Chardonel, Chambourcin) and the fruit sold to neighboring wineries. In 2008, a winery was constructed and completed so that the estate fruits could now be converted to wine on the premise.

In Bristol, their booth was usually busy as festival goers wither sampled the wines or lounged in recliners after purchasing a bottle. We started with the 2009 Cabernet Franc - yes a very young wine, but one they wanted to get out early. It was a little light, but had enough cherry flavor to make it drinkable. And for fruit grown in that location, it probably is a very good wine. The hybrids are the winery's strength. The Angler's Choice is an off-dry wine made from Chardonel. It is flavorful,which isn't the case with most wines made from this grape. The Traminette was even nicer, slightly spicy but with even more fruit flavor. This may have been my favorite. Even though its made semi-sweet, you can't really tell. You can tell with the semi-sweet, Chambourcin based Make Me Blush. Lots of cherry flavor, but too sweet for my taste. The sweetest wines are the Shepherd's Red and Shepherd's White. The later is a blend of Chardonel and Vidal, while the red is pure Chambourcin. And that one was quite good - not over the top sweet. For a young winery and for making wines to fit a sweeter palette, these were decent wines. And nice to see them in Bristol.

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