Virginia Wines

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John Fagan
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Virginia Wines

#1 Post by John Fagan »

One of my distributors want to start stocking some wines from Virginia and asked me to do some research for him. I quick looks shows a lot of interesting wines being made there, but like Long Island, I didn't see many wines under $30 let alone $20. Any advice and suggestions would be appreciated.
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Re: Virginia Wines

#2 Post by Craig Pichette »

I would use the search function. There are a few threads out there on VA wines in the last few years. I worked in Richmond pre-Covid and sampled a fair amount. They tend to be expensive and not very good qprs.

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Re: Virginia Wines

#3 Post by John Fagan »

I will do that, thanks.
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Re: Virginia Wines

#4 Post by Bob Davis »

As someone who lives near Charlottesville among a number of wineries, I can say that although some wines are good they are almost all overpriced as compared to France and even California. The reds tend to be unripe and many whites are non-descript and generic tasting.

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Re: Virginia Wines

#5 Post by larry schaffer »

I've had a few wines from Horton and enjoyed them, especially their viognier. I think Barboursville and has been mentioned on the board a few times - may want to check.

There is a competition called the Virginia Governor's Cup and here are the 2021 winners (have no idea how the wines are judged etc but figured it's a good place to start):

https://www.virginiawine.org/governors-cup/awards

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Re: Virginia Wines

#6 Post by Brian Gilp »

Under $30. Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay. https://tjwinery.com/our-wines/

I haven’t had this in a few years now. Hopefully, it’s still the same quality as before.

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Re: Virginia Wines

#7 Post by Bob Davis »

Brian Gilp wrote: November 15th, 2021, 8:41 am Under $30. Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay. https://tjwinery.com/our-wines/

I haven’t had this in a few years now. Hopefully, it’s still the same quality as before.
They also make a pretty good sparkling wine.

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Re: Virginia Wines

#8 Post by Matthew Brown »

John Fagan wrote: November 15th, 2021, 5:52 am One of my distributors want to start stocking some wines from Virginia and asked me to do some research for him. I quick looks shows a lot of interesting wines being made there, but like Long Island, I didn't see many wines under $30 let alone $20. Any advice and suggestions would be appreciated.
Seeing that you are in Vermont, I think it’s more of a question of figuring out the short list of wineries that have the volume/ interest to distribute there. Barboursville, Prince Michelle, and Trump would probably be the three most likely, and are definitely the most likely to make them available for anywhere close to their retails here in VA. Most wineries smaller than that are not readily distributed even within the state, and after the incredibly tough 2020 vintage most of them are even more reticent to send much away from the winery.
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Re: Virginia Wines

#9 Post by Matthew Brown »

Bob Davis wrote: November 15th, 2021, 9:09 am
Brian Gilp wrote: November 15th, 2021, 8:41 am Under $30. Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay. https://tjwinery.com/our-wines/

I haven’t had this in a few years now. Hopefully, it’s still the same quality as before.
They also make a pretty good sparkling wine.
They make nothing but sparkling wines.
Needs a make on a white pimpmobile

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Re: Virginia Wines

#10 Post by Bob Davis »

Matthew Brown wrote: November 15th, 2021, 9:54 am
Bob Davis wrote: November 15th, 2021, 9:09 am
Brian Gilp wrote: November 15th, 2021, 8:41 am Under $30. Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay. https://tjwinery.com/our-wines/

I haven’t had this in a few years now. Hopefully, it’s still the same quality as before.
They also make a pretty good sparkling wine.
They make nothing but sparkling wines.
I didn't know that. It was a gift.

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Re: Virginia Wines

#11 Post by Anthony C »

2nd for Barboursville, easily our favorite winery nearby.

Linden makes a great chard.

But yeah, a lot of nondescript but not bad viogniers and weirdly unbalanced reds. Have to look hard for the diamonds here.
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Re: Virginia Wines

#12 Post by Arv R »

I've been to Barboursville, and the wines are ok. I think their prices reflect that it tends to be sold locally, and to visitors, and the wines can not objectively compete with Loire CF or Bdx cab franc blends on a dollar for dollar basis.
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Re: Virginia Wines

#13 Post by David Fischer »

I would love to read a really insightful article about the economics of this but I think the poor QPR is more a result of the demand and rather than cost/supply. Having lived in this area for 20 years, my impression is that the VA wineries are able to sell virtually all of their wine to people day and weekend tripping via tasting rooms. Sales in this market generate, I think, a higher price than if they were competing in the retail market. (And good for them - far be it from me to object to someone working hard and making money!). Because such a high percentage of the sales are through this channel, it results in higher prices at retail. So that, if my impressions are correct (and Are R above mentioned this too), that helps explain the price.

As far as the quality goes, VA is a fairly humid environment and my understanding is that it is rather hard to grow wine grapes, especially at a volume (even at the volume of medium size Napa or Sonoma estates), is very tough. Just harder (and, to be fair, I think more labor intensive) to grow high quality grapes. As a result, I feel like pretty much 95% of the VA wine is about 40-50% higher than an equally good wine from France, Italy, etc.

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Re: Virginia Wines

#14 Post by Bob Davis »

David Fischer wrote: November 15th, 2021, 4:17 pm I would love to read a really insightful article about the economics of this but I think the poor QPR is more a result of the demand and rather than cost/supply. Having lived in this area for 20 years, my impression is that the VA wineries are able to sell virtually all of their wine to people day and weekend tripping via tasting rooms. Sales in this market generate, I think, a higher price than if they were competing in the retail market. (And good for them - far be it from me to object to someone working hard and making money!). Because such a high percentage of the sales are through this channel, it results in higher prices at retail. So that, if my impressions are correct (and Are R above mentioned this too), that helps explain the price.

As far as the quality goes, VA is a fairly humid environment and my understanding is that it is rather hard to grow wine grapes, especially at a volume (even at the volume of medium size Napa or Sonoma estates), is very tough. Just harder (and, to be fair, I think more labor intensive) to grow high quality grapes. As a result, I feel like pretty much 95% of the VA wine is about 40-50% higher than an equally good wine from France, Italy, etc.
My thoughts exactly. Especially on the day trippers.

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Re: Virginia Wines

#15 Post by Brian Gilp »

I’m not sure about now but ten years ago before the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors passed a winery zoning ordinance that curtailed the number of events wineries may hold on their properties, many of the winery owners stated that such an ordinance would put them out of business and that they needed the revenue from weddings and events to survive. That’s not an argument one makes when selling out their inventory every year. Unless of course, total production isn’t an economic quantity, in which case the business plan was never to be a viable winery. I didn’t follow the aftermath so unsure if it was all talk or if many really did go under or were sold.

Edited to add: I have gone through two workshops that addressed the financial aspect of starting a winery in the mid-Atlantic region. In rough terms, if one has a vineyard and winery it takes 15 years to recoup all the startup costs and truly start making money. Obviously, this differs depending upon a lot of variables.
Last edited by Brian Gilp on November 15th, 2021, 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Virginia Wines

#16 Post by Tom G l a s g o w »

Brian Gilp wrote: November 15th, 2021, 5:01 pm I’m not sure about now but ten years ago before the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors passed a winery zoning ordinance that curtailed the number of events wineries may hold on their properties, many of the winery owners stated that such an ordinance would put them out of business and that they needed the revenue from weddings and events to survive. That’s not an argument one makes when selling out their inventory every year. Unless of course, total production isn’t an economic quantity, in which case the business plan was never to be a viable winery. I didn’t follow the aftermath so unsure if it was all talk or if many really did go under or were sold.
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Re: Virginia Wines

#17 Post by Gary Schulte »

Taste through the selections at Linden, Glen Manor, Veritas, King Family Vineyards, and Barboursville and see what works for quality versus cost. Assuming that the distributor works towards a wholesale price there are probably more wines in play that there would be for retail customers.

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Re: Virginia Wines

#18 Post by J.R. Tr0wbridge »

RdV hasn't been mentioned yet and we've found some of their wines palatable, albeit overpriced.
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Re: Virginia Wines

#19 Post by Joe Heflin »

This is a breathtaking thread for me. Perhaps the most important opinion I can have (after 40 years of VA wineries and well over 100 different ones) is noting a visit to King Family west of Charlottesville several years ago The winery is in the foothills of the Blueridge mountains and like many of the now 325+ VA wineries, a truly beautiful setting. There were twenty tables adjacent to a polo field with the mountains just beyond.

Nineteen of the twenty tables had a bottle of $18 rose. I walked around all of them, almost broken hearted that virtually nobody wanted to try a good VA wine.

They wanted the experience which is extraordinarily beautiful. As cheap as they could get it.

Most people on this thread have no idea of what a good VA wine might taste like.

Glen Manor petit Verdot (two barrels a year in a handful of years-best pv in America)
Veritas Petit Verdot (both of these are among America’s best)
Linden (Jim Law is the father of the VA wine industry)
His Hardscrabble red 2007, 2010 are excellent-his reds need age but after ten years are defining.
Barboursville Octagon 2001, 2009 (single best VA red wine ever made)(I am not a fan of $135 RDV)
Linden Hardscrabble Chardonnay (93, 94 points WA)
Glen Manor and Delaplane petite manseng
Breaux 2007 Nebbiolo (only that year)
Delaplane Williams Gap 2017
Glen Manor Cabernet franc
Pearmond Petit Verdot Reserve 2016
VA also makes excellent tannat.


2010 and 2017 vintages were extraordinary.

Veritas has a very good port like wine called Othello.

Jim Law should have received a Beard award years ago.

Today Linden and Glen Manor define the VA wine industry.

Barboursville, once their equal, now has machines that dispense wine in the tasting room. They discredit their superb winemaker. A visit two weeks ago brought tears to my eyes at how far Barboursville had fallen.

Nearby, Early Mountain now takes it’s place for setting as Veritas, King Family, Afton Mountain and Keswick also do in the greater Charlottesville area.

For many VA wineries (again, among the most beautiful on earth) it is about the day trip and the visit. For several as noted above there are varietals that are also

worth the pilgrimage.

Rose is not one.

Nor are the machines at Barboursville.
Last edited by Joe Heflin on November 15th, 2021, 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Virginia Wines

#20 Post by Tom G l a s g o w »

Joe Heflin wrote: November 15th, 2021, 5:31 pm This is a breathtaking thread for me. Perhaps the most important opinion I can have (after 40 years of VA wineries and well over 100 different ones) is noting a visit to King Family west of Charlottesville several years ago The winery is in the foothills of the Blur ridge mountains and like many of the now 325+ VA wineries, beautiful. There were twenty tables adjacent to a polo field with the mountains just beyond.

Nineteen of the twenty tables had a bottle of $18 rose. I walked around all of them, almost broken hearted that virtually nobody wanted to try a good VA wine.

They wanted the experience which is extraordinarily beautiful. As cheap as they could get it.

Most people on this thread have no idea of what a good VA wine might taste like.

Glen Manor petit Verdot (two barrels a year in a handful of years-best pv in America)
Veritas Petit Verdot (both of these are among America’s best)
Linden (Jim Law is the foundation of the VA wine industry)
Hardscrabble red 2007, 2010. His reds need age but after ten years are defining.
Barboursville Octagon 2001, 2009 (single best VA red wine ever made)(I am not a fan of RDV)
Linden Hardscrabble Chardonnay (93, 94 points WA)
Glen Manor and Delaplane petite manseng
Breaux 2007 Nebbiolo (only that year)
Delaplane Williams Gap 2017
Glen Manor Cabernet franc
Pearmond Petit Verdot Reserve 2016
VA also makes excellent tannat.


2010 and 2017 vintages were extraordinary.

Veritas has a very good port like wine called Othello.

Jim Law should have received a Beard award years ago. Today Linden and Glen Manor define the VA wine industry.

Barboursville, once their equal, now has machines that dispense wine in the tasting room. A visit two weeks ago brought tears to my eyes at how far Barboursville had fallen.

Nearby, Early Mountain now takes it’s place for setting as Veritas, King Family, Afton Mountain and Keswick also do in the greater Charlottesville area.

For many VA wineries (among the most beautiful on earth) are about the visit. For several as noted above there are varietals that are worth the pilgrimage.

Rose is not one.
Seems like we’ve been waiting a decade for a post like this on VA wine.

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Re: Virginia Wines

#21 Post by Keith St. Germain »

Save that it neglects RdV, which is making the best (and most expensive) red wines in VA by a wide margin on both counts. Jim Dolphin was making excellent wine at Delaplane Cellars, including Syrah (!?) with aging potential. Sadly the vineyard he sourced from was re-planted and he ended up selling the winery to members of his wine club.

The perception that day trippers make up the majority of VA wine sales is probably true, though quality will sell - RdV sells out of its wine to mailing list each year. As Joe notes, Glen Manor and Linden both make excellent wines, with Jim Law of Linden having trained both Jeff White at Glen Manor and Rutger at RdV.

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Re: Virginia Wines

#22 Post by Joe Heflin »

Keith St. Germain wrote: November 15th, 2021, 5:50 pm Save that it neglects RdV, which is making the best (and most expensive) red wines in VA by a wide margin on both counts. Jim Dolphin was making excellent wine at Delaplane Cellars, including Syrah (!?) with aging potential. Sadly the vineyard he sourced from was re-planted and he ended up selling the winery to members of his wine club.

The perception that day trippers make up the majority of VA wine sales is probably true, though quality will sell - RdV sells out of its wine to mailing list each year. As Joe notes, Glen Manor and Linden both make excellent wines, with Jim Law of Linden having trained both Jeff White at Glen Manor and Rutger at RdV.
Jim Dolphin also trained in Jim Law’s program at Linden before he and Betsy started Delaplane.

Do you really believe Rutger is selling out of his Lost Mountain every year? FWIW his ‘10 Roundezvous was excellent even at $80. When he went over $100 for Lost Mountain I stopped buying.

Delaplane was almost a home away from home for me when Jim and Betsy owned it. They had a hard core group of fans snd friends that enthusiastically appreciated what they built.

We actually tasted his ‘13, ‘14 and ‘17 Williams Gap’s side by side a few months ago. He felt the ‘17 might have the most potential with time. (I think it’s $65 at Delaplane today and worth every penny.) Also, Delaplane’s Springlot Reserve was grown by a friend and gentleman a few miles away. The ‘10 of this was amazing. Nobody expected what we poured. When everyone had their first taste there was five or ten seconds of silence. Then we all immediately reached for another sip.

Betsy was superb running the front of the house.

Delaplane is still a beautiful, special winery but for us it is not the same without them.

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Re: Virginia Wines

#23 Post by Karl K »

Michael Shaps.

And, as mentioned, Early Mountain.
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Re: Virginia Wines

#24 Post by Keith St. Germain »

Joe Heflin wrote: November 15th, 2021, 6:37 pm
Keith St. Germain wrote: November 15th, 2021, 5:50 pm Save that it neglects RdV, which is making the best (and most expensive) red wines in VA by a wide margin on both counts. Jim Dolphin was making excellent wine at Delaplane Cellars, including Syrah (!?) with aging potential. Sadly the vineyard he sourced from was re-planted and he ended up selling the winery to members of his wine club.

The perception that day trippers make up the majority of VA wine sales is probably true, though quality will sell - RdV sells out of its wine to mailing list each year. As Joe notes, Glen Manor and Linden both make excellent wines, with Jim Law of Linden having trained both Jeff White at Glen Manor and Rutger at RdV.
Jim Dolphin also trained in Jim Law’s program at Linden before he and Betsy started Delaplane.

Do you really believe Rutger is selling out of his Lost Mountain every year? FWIW his ‘10 Roundezvous was excellent even at $80. When he went over $100 for Lost Mountain I stopped buying.

Delaplane was almost a home away from home for me when Jim and Betsy owned it. They had a hard core group of fans snd friends that enthusiastically appreciated what they built.

We actually tasted his ‘13, ‘14 and ‘17 Williams Gap’s side by side a few months ago. He felt the ‘17 might have the most potential with time. (I think it’s $65 at Delaplane today and worth every penny.) Also, Delaplane’s Springlot Reserve was grown by a friend and gentleman a few miles away. The ‘10 of this was amazing. Nobody expected what we poured. When everyone had their first taste there was five or ten seconds of silence. Then we all immediately reached for another sip.

Betsy was superb running the front of the house.

Delaplane is still a beautiful, special winery but for us it is not the same without them.
I should have mentioned that Jim Dolphin also trained with Jim Law. Most Delaplane reds are ageworthy, particularly the Left Bank and Williams Gap. Have had both back through 2010 (hey, some think these wines can't make 10 years) and still have the syrah from 2007/ 2010. Agreed that Delaplane isn't the same, though will say I don't miss the song and dance necessary to buy their wine in case quantities. Always required a call to Betsy if she wasn't on premises.

FYI Lost Mountain is now $195/btl, and sells out.

This is one of the many times I wish that Frank Drew were still with us. His knowledge of VA wines was encyclopedic. He sadly passed away about three miles from both Delaplane and RdV.
Last edited by Keith St. Germain on November 16th, 2021, 6:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Virginia Wines

#25 Post by Victor Hong »

John Fagan wrote: November 15th, 2021, 5:52 am One of my distributors want to start stocking some wines from Virginia and asked me to do some research for him. I quick looks shows a lot of interesting wines being made there, but like Long Island, I didn't see many wines under $30 let alone $20. Any advice and suggestions would be appreciated.
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Re: Virginia Wines

#26 Post by Joe Heflin »

Victor Hong wrote: November 16th, 2021, 6:37 am
John Fagan wrote: November 15th, 2021, 5:52 am One of my distributors want to start stocking some wines from Virginia and asked me to do some research for him. I quick looks shows a lot of interesting wines being made there, but like Long Island, I didn't see many wines under $30 let alone $20. Any advice and suggestions would be appreciated.
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Re: Virginia Wines

#27 Post by David Fischer »

Keith St. Germain wrote: November 15th, 2021, 5:50 pm The perception that day trippers make up the majority of VA wine sales is probably true, though quality will sell - RdV sells out of its wine to mailing list each year. As Joe notes, Glen Manor and Linden both make excellent wines, with Jim Law of Linden having trained both Jeff White at Glen Manor and Rutger at RdV.
I have seen RDV for sale at retail. For example, the local wine shop closest to me here in Arlington VA sent out an email about 2 months ago hawking several newly released RDV wines. Plus, I see RDV on a fair number of restaurant wine lists (or I did pre-pandemic; I have not seen many wine lists period the last 18+ months). That said, I don't it a lot (nor many other VA wines) at retail much. I suspect that retail is, by far, the smallest sales channel for VA wineries (which makes sense given fairly small volumes; plus the profit margin is certainly higher for direct sales (tasting room is probably highest, followed by mailing list) and for restaurant sales).

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Re: Virginia Wines

#28 Post by Anthony C »

This thread reminds me of all the ones I need to visit (King and Early Mountain to be specific). Sadly I only have a few weekends free to do such things anymore :(

I had a bad experience at Delaplane, but it was rude staff (to the point that I never actually got to try the wines). Might have just been an off day, but still . . . We didn't enjoy Horton either, but they have a ton of wines and the staff just took our tasting sheet (you picked your own) without any help and gave us plastic shot glasses to take outside to drink. No help, information, guidance. It was weird, and the wines we picked were not good. Maybe the whites would have been if chilled (which they weren't).

For Barboursville, the cab franc is our least favorite of theirs. The Italian varietals always seem to be at a good price point and the Octagon impresses and is not expensive at all. I didn't mind the machine-pour tasting room, mostly because there were employees milling about that chatted us up about all the wines, asked what other styles we liked, gave us extra pours so we could try other things we didn't consider. It was weird to get the wine that way, but the overall tasting experience was still really informative and enjoyable.
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Re: Virginia Wines

#29 Post by Bob Davis »

Anthony C wrote: November 16th, 2021, 12:49 pm This thread reminds me of all the ones I need to visit (King and Early Mountain to be specific). Sadly I only have a few weekends free to do such things anymore :(

I had a bad experience at Delaplane, but it was rude staff (to the point that I never actually got to try the wines). Might have just been an off day, but still . . . We didn't enjoy Horton either, but they have a ton of wines and the staff just took our tasting sheet (you picked your own) without any help and gave us plastic shot glasses to take outside to drink. No help, information, guidance. It was weird, and the wines we picked were not good. Maybe the whites would have been if chilled (which they weren't).

For Barboursville, the cab franc is our least favorite of theirs. The Italian varietals always seem to be at a good price point and the Octagon impresses and is not expensive at all. I didn't mind the machine-pour tasting room, mostly because there were employees milling about that chatted us up about all the wines, asked what other styles we liked, gave us extra pours so we could try other things we didn't consider. It was weird to get the wine that way, but the overall tasting experience was still really informative and enjoyable.
Horton makes too many wines to be any good at any of them. I’ve never understood the love for Barboursville wines. We did the regular machine-gun tasting and were unimpressed. The reserve tasting was hardly much better.
The wines brought no joy at all and were tough to get through. Tannic, bitter wines with little fruit. But that’s just my opinion.

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Re: Virginia Wines

#30 Post by Joe Heflin »

Barboursville does a once a year historic Octagon tasting which may include six, seven or more earlier vintages. It is done in their cellar and is an exceptional experience.

I have a lot of older Octagon and the chance to taste a number of these vintages side by side is worth an overnight trip to Charlottesville (a Great university and wine town!).

Again, including RDV, I sincerely believe 2009 Octagon is the best red wine ever made in Virginia. ‘01, 07 and ‘10 were exceptional and ‘17 has a great deal if promise.

I simply believe there is a truly limited market for $195 VA wine no matter what RDV claims it is selling to a small list of regulars. This is almost double the price of Cayuse Bionic Frog and most Saxum, similar in price to Sine Qua Non. But I have not had an RDV Lost Mountain since the exceptional ‘10 vintage. I should note their Friends and Family which is, amazingly, an excellent value but not typically thought of as an RDV wine. Friends and Family through the ‘17 vintage was $39 or $40.

Many of those reading this would sincerely appreciate the annual Octagon tasting. Well worth contacting the winery and being included in the mailing when they announce the date.

It justifiably sells out quickly.

Note: Jim and Betsy sold Delaplane two years ago. We have not been back but this is not a comment on the new owners. We are just close to its founders and, for us, would not be the same. Delaplane Cellars is an extraordinarily beautiful winery.
Last edited by Joe Heflin on November 16th, 2021, 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Virginia Wines

#31 Post by Victor Hong »

Bob Davis wrote: November 16th, 2021, 2:29 pm
Anthony C wrote: November 16th, 2021, 12:49 pm This thread reminds me of all the ones I need to visit (King and Early Mountain to be specific). Sadly I only have a few weekends free to do such things anymore :(

I had a bad experience at Delaplane, but it was rude staff (to the point that I never actually got to try the wines). Might have just been an off day, but still . . . We didn't enjoy Horton either, but they have a ton of wines and the staff just took our tasting sheet (you picked your own) without any help and gave us plastic shot glasses to take outside to drink. No help, information, guidance. It was weird, and the wines we picked were not good. Maybe the whites would have been if chilled (which they weren't).

For Barboursville, the cab franc is our least favorite of theirs. The Italian varietals always seem to be at a good price point and the Octagon impresses and is not expensive at all. I didn't mind the machine-pour tasting room, mostly because there were employees milling about that chatted us up about all the wines, asked what other styles we liked, gave us extra pours so we could try other things we didn't consider. It was weird to get the wine that way, but the overall tasting experience was still really informative and enjoyable.
Horton makes too many wines to be any good at any of them. I’ve never understood the love for Barboursville wines. We did the regular machine-gun tasting and were unimpressed. The reserve tasting was hardly much better.
The wines brought no joy at all and were tough to get through. Tannic, bitter wines with little fruit. But that’s just my opinion.
They showed fine...........by not showing foxyness. You just have to re-calibrate your taste buds, to accentuate the relatively positive. cheesehead
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Re: Virginia Wines

#32 Post by AndrewH »

Matthew Brown wrote: November 15th, 2021, 9:53 am
Seeing that you are in Vermont, I think it’s more of a question of figuring out the short list of wineries that have the volume/ interest to distribute there. Barboursville, Prince Michelle, and Trump would probably be the three most likely, and are definitely the most likely to make them available for anywhere close to their retails here in VA. Most wineries smaller than that are not readily distributed even within the state, and after the incredibly tough 2020 vintage most of them are even more reticent to send much away from the winery.
The third one should sell well in Vermont!
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Re: Virginia Wines

#33 Post by Ben M a n d l e r »

Joe Heflin wrote: November 15th, 2021, 5:31 pm This is a breathtaking thread for me. Perhaps the most important opinion I can have (after 40 years of VA wineries and well over 100 different ones) is noting a visit to King Family west of Charlottesville several years ago The winery is in the foothills of the Blueridge mountains and like many of the now 325+ VA wineries, a truly beautiful setting. There were twenty tables adjacent to a polo field with the mountains just beyond.

Nineteen of the twenty tables had a bottle of $18 rose. I walked around all of them, almost broken hearted that virtually nobody wanted to try a good VA wine.

They wanted the experience which is extraordinarily beautiful. As cheap as they could get it.

Most people on this thread have no idea of what a good VA wine might taste like.

Glen Manor petit Verdot (two barrels a year in a handful of years-best pv in America)
Veritas Petit Verdot (both of these are among America’s best)
Linden (Jim Law is the father of the VA wine industry)
His Hardscrabble red 2007, 2010 are excellent-his reds need age but after ten years are defining.
Barboursville Octagon 2001, 2009 (single best VA red wine ever made)(I am not a fan of $135 RDV)
Linden Hardscrabble Chardonnay (93, 94 points WA)
Glen Manor and Delaplane petite manseng
Breaux 2007 Nebbiolo (only that year)
Delaplane Williams Gap 2017
Glen Manor Cabernet franc
Pearmond Petit Verdot Reserve 2016
VA also makes excellent tannat.


2010 and 2017 vintages were extraordinary.

Veritas has a very good port like wine called Othello.

Jim Law should have received a Beard award years ago.

Today Linden and Glen Manor define the VA wine industry.

Barboursville, once their equal, now has machines that dispense wine in the tasting room. They discredit their superb winemaker. A visit two weeks ago brought tears to my eyes at how far Barboursville had fallen.

Nearby, Early Mountain now takes it’s place for setting as Veritas, King Family, Afton Mountain and Keswick also do in the greater Charlottesville area.

For many VA wineries (again, among the most beautiful on earth) it is about the day trip and the visit. For several as noted above there are varietals that are also

worth the pilgrimage.

Rose is not one.

Nor are the machines at Barboursville.
Well, I was going to come here and give my opinion on Virginia wines but Joe’s post is almost exactly what I would have written, except his is better and more informed [cheers.gif]

I lived in Virginia 2016-2019, tasted at a lot of wineries and I have very little to add to this post haha. I will say that if you’re looking for value, Flying Fox (Veritas’ kids) sells some good wine for $20, though I do think it is a step down from what others are doing at $30-40, and their loud, spartan tasting room makes this 33-year-old feel like an old man.

Those Delaplane Williams Gaps are outstanding. I likewise haven’t been back since the sale.

Michael Shaps’ wines, both under his own label and at the Barns at Hamilton Station, are well worth seeking out. My favorite of the many good Petit Mansengs made in the state.

Stone Tower also makes surprisingly compelling Bordeaux blends from a relatively young estate vineyard near Leesburg, but the pricing is not competitive ($70) and they seem to be leaning heavily on their proximity to DC to sell good but overpriced wine to wealthy day trippers.
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Re: Virginia Wines

#34 Post by B. Davies »

As a Virginian myself ... wines here are good not great. I think the VA sparkling wines might be the thing that is showing best for my palate.
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Re: Virginia Wines

#35 Post by John Fagan »

My thanks to everyone. This is all very helpful. Got caught up in regular OND biz and will now start digging deeper.
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Re: Virginia Wines

#36 Post by Joe Heflin »

Ben M a n d l e r wrote: November 17th, 2021, 8:12 am
Joe Heflin wrote: November 15th, 2021, 5:31 pm This is a breathtaking thread for me. Perhaps the most important opinion I can have (after 40 years of VA wineries and well over 100 different ones) is noting a visit to King Family west of Charlottesville several years ago The winery is in the foothills of the Blueridge mountains and like many of the now 325+ VA wineries, a truly beautiful setting. There were twenty tables adjacent to a polo field with the mountains just beyond.

Nineteen of the twenty tables had a bottle of $18 rose. I walked around all of them, almost broken hearted that virtually nobody wanted to try a good VA wine.

They wanted the experience which is extraordinarily beautiful. As cheap as they could get it.

Most people on this thread have no idea of what a good VA wine might taste like.

Glen Manor petit Verdot (two barrels a year in a handful of years-best pv in America)
Veritas Petit Verdot (both of these are among America’s best)
Linden (Jim Law is the father of the VA wine industry)
His Hardscrabble red 2007, 2010 are excellent-his reds need age but after ten years are defining.
Barboursville Octagon 2001, 2009 (single best VA red wine ever made)(I am not a fan of $135 RDV)
Linden Hardscrabble Chardonnay (93, 94 points WA)
Glen Manor and Delaplane petite manseng
Breaux 2007 Nebbiolo (only that year)
Delaplane Williams Gap 2017
Glen Manor Cabernet franc
Pearmond Petit Verdot Reserve 2016
VA also makes excellent tannat.


2010 and 2017 vintages were extraordinary.

Veritas has a very good port like wine called Othello.

Jim Law should have received a Beard award years ago.

Today Linden and Glen Manor define the VA wine industry.

Barboursville, once their equal, now has machines that dispense wine in the tasting room. They discredit their superb winemaker. A visit two weeks ago brought tears to my eyes at how far Barboursville had fallen.

Nearby, Early Mountain now takes it’s place for setting as Veritas, King Family, Afton Mountain and Keswick also do in the greater Charlottesville area.

For many VA wineries (again, among the most beautiful on earth) it is about the day trip and the visit. For several as noted above there are varietals that are also

worth the pilgrimage.

Rose is not one.

Nor are the machines at Barboursville.
Well, I was going to come here and give my opinion on Virginia wines but Joe’s post is almost exactly what I would have written, except his is better and more informed [cheers.gif]

I lived in Virginia 2016-2019, tasted at a lot of wineries and I have very little to add to this post haha. I will say that if you’re looking for value, Flying Fox (Veritas’ kids) sells some good wine for $20, though I do think it is a step down from what others are doing at $30-40, and their loud, spartan tasting room makes this 33-year-old feel like an old man.

Those Delaplane Williams Gaps are outstanding. I likewise haven’t been back since the sale.

Michael Shaps’ wines, both under his own label and at the Barns at Hamilton Station, are well worth seeking out. My favorite of the many good Petit Mansengs made in the state.

Stone Tower also makes surprisingly compelling Bordeaux blends from a relatively young estate vineyard near Leesburg, but the pricing is not competitive ($70) and they seem to be leaning heavily on their proximity to DC to sell good but overpriced wine to wealthy day trippers.
Thank you, Ben.

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