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Early Mountain’s lush vineyards


4 Fine Vines

By Carly Roesen

Photo courtesy of Early Mountain Vineyards


This month marks Virginia Vineyard Month, and Old Dominion’s top wineries have bottles ripe for the picking.

Early Mountain Vineyards
Jean and Steve Case’s gorgeous destination does wine tasting right. In its tasting room, its vinos can be paired with local produce and cuisine—there are expansive picnic tables out back as well, for sunning yourself while snacking and savoring. Its 55 acres of vineyards include new addition Quaker Run, featuring nine different varieties of grapes ranging from merlot to malvasia bianca. And EMV’s love for its state is full-bodied this month. The label is uncorking two bottles that represent the state well—2017 Madison County Chardonnay ($30) and 2017 Shenandoah Valley Cabernet Franc ($34). The chardonnay is perfect for Virginia’s mild weather with flavors of pear, apple, citrus and cream. The latter is meant to reflect the cool growing climate and higher elevation of the Shenandoah Valley with its aromatic density and a silken texture. 6109 Wolftown-Hood Road, Madison, Va., 540.948.9005

Lightwell Survey
See the world through rosé-colored glasses with this label from DC culinarian Sebastian Zutant and his crew of good grapes. Its mission is to explore the lesser-known vineyards around the state and to produce new, delicious blends. The gents at the helm hope to create a new wave and community of local vintners who are part of a region with considerably less resources than other locations, such as California. The latest release has us blushing, just in time for warmer temps. Lightwell Survey describes the 2018 Blaufrankisch "Dark Days" Rosé ($23) from Ox Eye Vineyard, Shenandoah Va., as “a deep, dark and mean rosé with a bright, fresh side, great for all year long.” 200 W. 12th St., Unit D53, Waynesboro, Va., 434.293.6082

Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards
You’ll find a bit of Virginia roots at the must-visit Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards along the Monticello Wine Trail. Lynn Easton and Dean Porter Andrews’s charming destination captivates enophiles, gourmands and nature enthusiasts, with everything from flower-cutting classes, live music, the signature Vintner’s Table (complete with a four-course meal paired with wine) and, of course, the star of the show—the bottles. The 2016 Easton Blue ($40) is a red blend that’s rich with bay leaf, red currant and hints of cedar. It’s finished off with a label created by artist Whitney Kreb that celebrate the custom chicken coops recently installed on the grounds. Memberships $100 per quarter, 5022 Plank Road, North Garden, Va., 434.202.8063

RdV Vineyards
Located on the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, 60 miles west of DC, this destination is made for the ultimate wine lover with a taste for luxury. The 16-acre vineyard grows cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet Franc and petit verdot all to create an iconic Bordeaux-style blend. After two decades of looking for the perfect blend, RdV released it signature vino, the 2008 Rendezvous. Now, the label is pouring a new vintage of that beauty. RdV’s team even says the new 2016 Rendezvous ($75) is its best yet. Memberships $900-$1,350, 2550 Delaplane Grade Road, Delaplane, Va., 540.364.0221