Spring at last! In the vineyard, we are busy assessing the damage done by the harsh winter, especially on our very young Merlot vines. We will probably have to order more vines than usual this spring to replace the ones that did not make it through the winter. We will try and encourage production when we prune the vines in April, knowing that we may have another challenging growing season ahead of us. If we are lucky, we will not get as much of the rain that is already predicted and makes the season rough for all Virginia growers, who are constantly having to battle the various varieties of fungus that are just waiting to attack the vines in our humid climate. And, let’s hope that there will be enough acorns in the forest, so the deer will not risk their lives jumping electric fences in order to eat our grapes, as they did last year!
At the moment, we don’t even have time to worry, because we are busy getting the wine ready for bottling, which at our winery will be April 21st. I have two wines to finish blending this year – our Raven Rocks Red, a Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cab Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, and my new white blend.
I am proud to introduce my first adventure with Zinfandel, which is tasting zesty, fruity and peppery. Another exciting “first” is a new white blend – a luscious combination of Reisling and Chardonnay that I have named “White Nights” after the romantic nights in northern Europe, where it stays daylight until 10 o’clock and even later as you go north. I remember leaving the theater a few years ago in St. Petersburg at 11:00 PM, to find that it was as bright as mid-afternoon in Washington, DC!
I hope you will join us at the winery and while away the long summer days and evenings, enjoying the valley views and drinking our White Nights, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Raven Rocks Red, Cabernet Sauvignon, Norton, Raspberry and Peach wines.
Top of the mountain to you!
-Donna Evers, Winemaker