Just down the road from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, a vineyard was planted in 1774 by Filipo Mazzei. Jefferson’s dream was to produce a quality Virginia wine. On that same site today, Jefferson Vineyards, a family farm winery, produces 6000 to 8000 cases of wine annually. Virginia’s wine industry today more than fulfilled Jefferson’s dreams. Virginia wines are respected and recognized as some of the best made in the United States, winning awards at many competitions and often being recognized in national magazines.
Any wine lover will find something to love at Jefferson Vineyards. Ben, our host for the tasting, was knowledgeable and friendly. Their offerings are mostly dry, but have enough residual sugars to appeal to even those who prefer sweet wines. Pinot Gris, Rosé, Chardonnay, and Viognier are their white offerings and each one was pleasing to taste, even though those are not my personal choices of white wines. They offered exceptional dry reds. The Cabernet Franc was excellent and had a tasting surprise; there was a big of Lemberger in the blend. The Petit Verdot was also enjoyable with hints of espresso and blackberry. Their Meritage, a red blend, was especially tasty with a blending of Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
We enjoyed our visit, even though it began with a dash through the rain to get to the tasting room. After all, if it’s raining, a winery is a nice place to wait it out.
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