Friday, December 29, 2023

Sweet Wine From Virginia Grapes

The Now And Zin Wine Country series started in 2011, with Virginia wine. In the dozen years since then I have sampled wines from 46 states. The last four - Mississippi, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming - have proven to be tough nuts to crack, for a variety of reasons. There are fewer opportunities in those states and shipping restrictions, to name two. I'll press on to find wines from those states, but when I get a chance to revisit a previous stop, I'll jump at the chance. Especially when it is Virginia. 

The Old Dominion State has 291 wineries, by Wine America's count. That's good enough for 6th place in the winery count. As far as wine production goes, Virginia lags a little more behind, in eighth place. 

Rockbridge Vineyard and Brewery is in Raphine, VA, not far from Charlottesburg, Lynchburg and Appomattox, in the Shenandoah Valley. Winemaker Shep Rouse became interested in wine while in Germany. He has a Masters Degree in Oenology from UC Davis and has crafted wines in Germany, California and his home state of Virginia.

The 2019 Rockbridge V d'Or is an award-winning dessert wine, made in the style of ice wine from Vidal Blanc, Vignoles and Traminette grapes. Alcohol sits at 13.7% abv and it sells for $31 for the 375ml bottle.

This wine has a lovely, rich, copper color. The nose bursts forth with honeyed apricot and orange aromas, with a trace of caramel. The palate has medium viscosity and very lively acidity. The sweetness is not cloying, but balanced with a beautiful tartness. It is dessert all by itself, but it pairs wonderfully with other desserts or a cheese plate.

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