The vineyard was founded in April 2004 with the planting of a small research vineyard of 72 vines. The purpose of this original planting was to evaluate the suitability of different varietals and rootstocks in our soil. This small experiment confirmed much of the research we performed during our initial feasibility studies. These vines were eventually pulled up and the rows re-aligned, but we did save the very first vine that we planted and moved it to the corner of the vineyard closest to the house. It continues to thrive.
The first major planting took place on April 16, 2005 - you can read about it on the blog.
Given the learnings from the previous year's research and emerging market conditions, we decided to found our vineyard with an acre each of Viognier and Cabernet Franc. Nursery stock was purchased from Vintage Nurseries as follows:
Steve Fox, Wine Educator at The University of Richmond, echoed the opinion that Virginia wines are on their way to achieving wider acclaim. "I was of the opinion that the top two wines of Virginia – red and white respectively – were Cabernet Franc and Viognier – and now it has been confirmed by 14 judges – they are in first and second. There is a real possibility that in years to come – just as Oregon is known for Pinot Noir, Long Island’s North Fork for Merlot, Napa for its Cabernet – Virginia may well become known nationally and internationally for its Cabernet Francs and Viogniers."
Our second major planting took place on April 21, 2006 and consisted of just over an acre of viognier, and about an eighth of an acre of petit verdot. Captured on the blog, this was also the first day of the HGTV shoot for the series "Dream House". Planting day and the day before were fraught with difficulties, but in the end we got the vines installed, which completed the first phase of the vineyard establishment and brought the total planted acreage to 3.25.
In May of 2007 we planted more "research" vines, which we believe are the first of their kind planted in Virginia. We're not letting the cat out of the bag yet, but we are watching their progress closely and are very hopeful we can introduce a new varietal to the Virginia wine portfolio - stay tuned!
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