May Fourth Friday at Breaux Vineyards

We visited Breaux Vineyards for the May "Fourth Friday."  Breaux stays open until 9:00 PM on the "fourth Friday" of the month. They have wine specials, some kind of food to enjoy, as well as live musical entertainment.  We have been to two Fourth Friday events now.

The May fourth Friday gave us an opportunity to do a quick cellar club tasting and pick up too. There were two white wines in this shipment.  These are winemaker Heather Munden's first white wines and we were quite pleased with both of them.

The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc is a blend of tank fermented and barrel fermented wine, with 95 percent done in tank and 5 percent done in used French and American oak. We enjoyed this wine a lot and purchased an additional bottle to enjoy outdoors. The familiar Sauvignon Blanc grassy taste was present, but subdued, in this nicely balanced citrus flavored wine.

The Stone Barn White is a blend of the following: 45 percent Vidal Blanc, 28 percent Seyval Blanc, 20 percent Chardonnay, and 7 percent Sauvignon Blanc. It is named after one of the original structures at Breaux Vineyards. (I think if I was doing the tasting menu, I would have poured this first).
Although breezy, this fourth Friday was held outdoors to let folks enjoy the sunshine. We were with several Breaux Vineyards regulars this evening.
Chris Blosser on the sax.
Jen Breaux Blosser with friends.
Small world. Some friends from our church.
The view from our table.

One of Breaux's cellar club selections, a white blend named "Reflection"
We left a bit early as it was getting chilly once the sun started to set.  While we often cannot make it to Fourth Friday due to my schedule, we seem to have a good time when we can make it out to Breaux Vineyards.  If you can attend, tell them you read about fourth Friday at Wine About Virginia.

Breaux Vineyards 
36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane
Purcellville, Virginia 20132
Phone Number: (540) 668-6299
E-mail: info@breauxvineyards.com


April visit to Glen Manor Vineyards

It was late April.  We wanted to visit a good Virginia winery, but wanted to go somewhere we hadn't visited in a while. After visiting a few Virginia winery web sites of locations directly west of the DC area, we decided to visit Glen Manor Vineyards.
I checked the Glen manor website. Glen Manor Vineyards lists the wines currently available for tasting on one of their website pages. With the exception of the 2012 T. Ruth, a Bordeaux-style red blend, all of the wines were new vintages for us. The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc was not on the list.  We found out when we visited the tasting room that this wine will not be released until June.

Glen Manor's tasting room wasn't crowded when we arrived.  We found a place at the tasting bar and started tasting the wines. The wines on the tasting menu were the 2014 Morales Rosé, 2012 Cabernet Franc, 2012 T. Ruth, 2012 Hodder Hill, and the 2014 Petit Manseng. All were good to great. We especially liked the 2012 Cabernet Franc ($30). Jeff White has posted all the details of growing and making this wine here.

I loved both red blends. Carol preferred the Merlot-Cabernet Franc dominant blend named T.Ruth ($35), but I preferred the flagship blend, the Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant Hodder Hill ($48). Both are premiere examples of what is currently Virginia's best expression of red wine, the Bordeaux-style blend.  Our last wine tasted was the 2014 Petit Manseng ($30). This a particularly fine example of Petit Manseng.  It was a little sweet, but balanced with pronounced acidity and fruit.

We asked for an extra taste of the Petit Manseng while we decided on purchases.  While we wanted to renew our case club membership at Glen Manor Vineyards, we really wanted to include the somewhat famous Sauvignon Blanc in that case.  Sauvignon Blanc is a tough variety to make well in Virginia, but Glen Manor seems to have very good spot in the vineyard for it.  We decided to delay our case purchase until the Sauvignon Blanc is released.

In the meantime, we purchased a bottle of the 2012 Cabernet Franc and a bottle of Raepheus, Glen Manor's late harvest Petit Manseng ($22/375 ml).  Though not on the menu, we were able to purchase a bottle for our upcoming Va dessert wine tasting party.  We needed a few more examples of white dessert wines from Virginia.  Glen Manor's Raepheus is great example of one.

Glen Manor Vineyards is making some of the best Virginia wines available. When you visit this favorite of ours, please be sure to mention you read about Glen Manor Vineyards on Wine About Virginia.

Glen Manor Vineyards
2244 Browntown Road
Front Royal, Virginia 22630
Phone: 540 635-6324


A revised edition of Beyond Jefferson’s Vines is released

From the VAWine.org press release:

Richmond, VA (April 28, 2015)  — Wine writer Richard Leahy today presented and autographed copies of his newly released second, revised edition of Beyond Jefferson’s Vines to Secretary of Agriculture Todd Haymore at the Patrick Henry Building today along with copies for Governor and Mrs. McAuliffe.

“Wine industries in many other Eastern states are envious of the strong, enthusiastic support the Virginia wine industry receives from Richmond,” says Leahy, noting that there is a chapter in the book explaining the difference that financial and political support has made to the industry over 30 years, and features a photo of First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe cutting the ribbon to open Loving Cup Vineyards in July 2014. Secretary Todd Haymore is also quoted in this chapter.

Beyond Jefferson’s Vines was published through CreateSpace and is currently available on amazon.com and at designated Virginia wineries The newly released second edition is the complete story of Virginia wine from the Jamestown settlement to the present, focusing on the last decade and explaining how, despite many natural challenges, vintners in Virginia today are making world-class wine that Jefferson had foreseen would come to pass 200 years ago.

Originally published in 2012, Leahy explained, “Forty wineries having opened in the three years since the first edition.  The book has been revised and expanded with a new chapter on craft beverages focusing on cideries, and additional resources including a vintage chart and a grape glossary. Now in paperback format, the new edition includes tasting notes through November 2014 and many new winery entries.

“This autographed copy is my thanks to Secretary Haymore for the difference his support and the support of the Governor and First Lady have made for the Virginia wine industry,” says Leahy.

The rapid growth of Virginia's vibrant wine industry has made it one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors in the state.  In 1979, there were only six wineries in Virginia. Today, there are over 385 vineyards that cultivate over 3,500 acres of grapes and over 250 wineries in Virginia.  The state’s wine industry’s growth is escalating as fast as the state's advancements in wine quality and reputation.  For further information about Virginia wines, wine events, tours and tastings, please visit the Virginia Wine Marketing Office’s website at http://www.virginiawine.org/ or call 18043448200.