Simply put, on a rainy or sunny day, this is a fun place to spend your day sipping great wines while looking across the vineyards at the Blue Ridge Mountains!
As the largest producing winery on the Blue Ridge Whiskey Wine Loop, expect exceptional wines of many varieties and spacious, comfortable surroundings. Rappahannock Cellars is open every day of the week and offers numerous special events throughout the year. The staff is professional and friendly.
Recognizing the promise in Virginia wines, we moved our family’s winery from California to the Blue Ridge Mountains in the heart of Virginia. With careful tending of the vineyard and exacting knowledge of the cellar, we strive to create rich, supple, and elegant wines, dedicated to the winegrower’s art.
Our farm was purchased in 1998 and first planted with grape vines in 1999. We originally planted eight varietals: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Viognier, Seyval, Norton, and Vidal. We have since introduced Merlot, Malbec, and Chardonnel to our site; we also planted additional Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Viognier vines. Our vineyards are now comprised of eleven varietals, and total over twenty planted acres.
As time marches on, we have enjoyed the ability to appreciate not only which varietals grow best in Virginia, but also which varietals grow best here at the Glenway Farm; most importantly, we’ve learned which varietals grow best in each unique micro-climate on our farm.
Now armed with some of this information, we’ve embarked on a program to fine-tune our vineyard: last year, we extended our Viognier block; this year, we’re removing our Vidal and Chardonnel vines to replace them with Norton, and we’re removing the lower half of our Cabernet Sauvignon block in favor of Petit Verdot; next year we’ll add additional Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Merlot vines, thereby raising our total grape acreage to approximately 25 acres. It’s an exciting process to be able to fine-tune and grow our vineyard, and to see the results of “years of work.”
The vineyard is nurtured by our vineyard manager, Tom Kelly. Tom spends most days either working or monitoring the vineyard. We are constantly monitoring vine health, fruit condition, and soil health, while trying to tread very lightly on the farm.
We strive for sustainable and environmentally sound practices in the vineyard: we’ve experimented with a number of pest and weed controls, which have allowed us to be nearly pesticide and herbicide free, and we continue to work with various controls to employ the safest methods possible. We also compost our winery waste (grape seeds, skins, and stems) and use them to replenish the soils on our farm.
The results of selecting such a great site, paying extremely close attention to the vineyard, and “babying” each vine, has lead to a consistent pattern of incredible fruit quality each and every year. Growing wine is science; growing great wine is an art …so cheers to the Artist!
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