Virginia Wine: Pursuing a Dream
October is Virginia Wine Month, and I thought I would share this early post regarding a Virginia winemaker and his story. Rutger de Vink and RdV Vineyard are quickly gaining notice and for good reason: beautiful wines that are a cross between Napa and Bordeaux, characterized by the perfect balance of fruit and minerality. These boutique-style wines are becoming sought-after and collectible, and part of the reason for this success is de Vink’s master blender, Eric Boissenot. Boissenot is one of the most important consultant-enologists in the world. Based in the Médoc, he currently consults and blends for all five First-Growths of Bordeaux as well as other Bordeaux estates. His particular interest is in the influence of soil on wine quality, and because Boissenot thought the terroir of these Virginia wines was so stunning, he volunteered to consult with Rutger de Vink and RdV Vineyard. RdV is the only vineyard in the United States that receives input from Eric Boissenot.
I hope you enjoy this post. Have a lovely day!
The dream of a world class Virginia wine began with Thomas Jefferson. Although Jefferson knew that Virginia had the weather and terroir for grape growing and winemaking, he never saw his dream come to fruition. This is, in part, due to Phylloxera–an aphid-like insect that feeds on the roots and leaves of grapevines. However, Virginia grape growers now understand that to successfully grow European grapes, they must first graft the vine onto phylloxera resistant American rootstock. This was the first major hurdle to realizing the dream of a Virginia wine, the next, proving the viability of grape growing as an agricultural endeavor.
Officially, the wine industry in Virginia began in 1976 with the Zonin family. One of Italy’s largest wine producers, the Zonin’s bought Barboursville in Orange, an area near Charlottesville, with the hopes of starting a vineyard. Underlying this decision was the belief that European grapes could thrive in…
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