Cabernet Franc vines

Cabernet Franc

Historically sought out for blending, Cabernet Franc is becoming more popular as a wine all its own. Aromatically pleasing, light, elegant with floral and spice notes, Cabernet Franc is often described as the feminine side of Cabernet Sauvignon yet the hearty vines and fruit’s thicker skin also make it less risky for wine growers. Cabernet Franc is almost perfectly suited for Virginia and has become one of the most widely grown grapes through out the state.

Originally developed in France in the 17th century and used to develop the Cabernet Sauvignon variety of grape, Cab Franc’s aromas of plum and blackberry hints of pepper pair well with meats and goat cheeses prepared with rosemary, tarragon and sage. Those grapes grown in the mountains of Virginia can also attain an added “mineralty” to the wine, possibly bearing similarities to the grape’s early development and enjoyment in the Loire Valley region of France.

Petit Verdot

Petit Verdot has also come into its own as a star varietal in Virginia. At the 2018 Virginia Governor’s Cup, one of the most stringent wine competitions in the country where hundreds of area wines are judged by a panel of experts, three 100% Petit Verdot bottlings were among the 12 wines that earned honors.

The dark, purple, full-bodied red wine is characterized by dense, dark fruit flavors, including blackberry, black cherry and black plum. Spicy notes of leather, coconut, smoke and dark chocolate commonly mark this wine, which offers bold tannins and ages beautifully. Blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other Bordeaux reds, Petit Verdot can balance out a perfect Meritage, but don’t overlook the stand-alone Virginia Petit Verdots; they are beautiful, dark, weighty wines perfect for a winter’s night. Pair with steak, rich sauces, barbecue and strong cheeses to showcase both wine and food to their maximum potential.

Chardonnay Grapes


Chardonnay is the great white chameleon of the wine world, and can be used to make a variety of wines, from dry to sparkling. The grape’s capacity for different wines has contributed to a wide and growing appreciation in Virginia. As the most planted grape in the Commonwealth, it is made in a myriad of styles, but often highlights flavors of lemon, apple, pear and melon. Winemaking styles vary widely for this versatile and well-loved grape, even within Virginia, although it is typically dry. It is often aged in oak, giving it luscious buttery notes, but it can also be lean, fresh and steely. Chardonnay wine pairs well with an astounding range of food, from chicken and turkey to white mushrooms and asparagus. It works beautifully with Virginia’s abundant seafood, including crab, clams, and oysters, and goes well with any soft or semi-soft cow’s milk cheese.