With the day now growing old and the sun going down, there was still one winery left on our list to visit. Located in Afton, Virginia and situated amongst the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains sits Cardinal Point Vineyard and Winery.
Cardinal Point was conceived by Paul and Ruth Gorman, who first planted vines some twenty years ago and sold their fruit to local producers. In 2002 a winery was built on the property and children, Sarah and Tim Gorman, who were mere teenagers when this dream originated, are now instrumental in vineyard, winemaking and tasting room duties. As a matter of fact, next to a wonderful family story of pursuit of passion, Tim’s awesome Wine Blog, which details vineyard and winery activities piqued our interest to journey to Afton and visit the winery and taste their wines.
What a Handsome German Shepard
We arrived at the winery and were warmly greeted by staff and a handsome German Shepard named Winston, who was enjoying vacation, since chasing off ‘grape loving’ deer is all but over for the year. Even though we arrived thirty minutes before closing, there was no hurry or rush and I had the pleasure of conversing about Virginia Wine with Sarah, who made us feel welcomed and at home. Sarah recognized us from our blog and called Tim, who was working in the vineyard to join us. Blogs are awesome; they sort of connect the dots of common interest persons to draw a picture of a pretty wine bottle in our case. Tim, Sarah, staff and I had a wonderful time talking about Cardinal Point and other wine related topics. Tim Gorman could definitely teach the subject if he chose to, but for now let’s keep him making those great award winning Cardinal Point wines! After much laughter and chatter it was time to taste Cardinal Point’s offerings.
They did not hear me say CHEESE!!
Wines offered for tasting were the following: Barrel Select Chardonnay 2005, A6 2005 (Viognier and Chardonnay blend), Viognier 2005, Quattro 2005, Rockfish Red 2005, and Reserve Cabernet Franc 2005. All of these wines were quite tasty and we were more than happy to take home a little of this and a lot of that. The Cabernet Franc was one of my top picks, displaying nice fruit flavors, complexity and refined, yet firm tannins. This wine could definitely stand up to a nice red meat dish. The A6 2005 Chardonnay and Viognier blend is nicely done with pleasant aromas and ripe peach flavors and notes of apricot on the palate. Looking for a nice pizza wine, everyday sipper, or even a wine to pair with that tasty 5 Guy Burger? Try the Rockfish Red 2005. This is a fun and fruity Cabernet Franc based wine that is light in body and offers a wealth of nice fruit flavors on the palate. Newly introduced, and released alongside the ever hyped Beaujolais Nouveau 2006, is Cardinal Point’s reasonably priced Red Nouveau 2006. This selection was not released when we visited, but from what I gather it is a fun and fruity Cabernet Franc based wine that would pair well with pizza, and red sauce dishes and other light fare. Not to late for a purple tongue party people!
Following our tasting, we continued chatting a bit, until we all realized that it was well past closing time. I personally had a wonderful time talking with Sarah, Tim and staff, and would like to thank Sarah for making our time spent at Cardinal Point enjoyable.
This man says ... “Come try our wonderful wines”
In closing, Cardinal Point has a nice cozy tasting room with ample space for visitors to gather during the colder months and enjoy nibbles and Cardinal Point’s fine wines. There is also a video for visitors to view documenting year-round activities in the vineyard and winery. Want a little more of Cardinal Point? Dezel suggests you check out this entertaining and highly informative podcast of winemaker Tim Gorman being interviewed by local radio WNRN. Cardinal Point is definitely a must visit if you are on the Monticello Wine Trail. When you decide to visit, give Winston a nibble and let them know you read about them here, on Virginia Vine Spot!
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