This past weekend Dezel took full advantage of a sunny, clear, and slightly warm day and paid a visit to Doukénie Winery located in Loudoun County. As most of you probably know, Doukénie Winery was formerly known as Windham, and in 2008 not only does the charming farm winery find itself sporting a new name, but also a new winemaker, vineyard manager, and staff. Change is truly in the air at Doukénie, as even their signature dessert wine, Raspberry Merlot, which visitors cannot seem to get enough of, will have a new name due to rules and regulations regarding titling a wine with the name of a fruit (ex. raspberry) and a wine’s varietal name (ex. Merlot).
Rest assured, however, that change can be a good thing, and from chatting with Sales and Marketing Manager Janette Sawyer, the outlook for Doukénie looks bright. Despite the changes, what remains a constant at Doukénie is the warm and relaxing atmosphere, a friendly and informative staff, samples of Hope’s homemade baklava in the tasting room (best in state !!!), and being greeted at the door by one of the most popular winery dogs in Virginia, Lucy the Lab. Last but not least, let’s not forget about the wine, which have been very drinkable, easy on the palate wines that appeal to a wide spectrum of palates.
Relax by the pond with a glass of wine this spring ...
While visiting, I re-sampled some of the 2005 and 2006 vintages that I enjoyed in the past. Popular selections like the Alsatian styled Riesling 06 and the Raspberry Merlot were sold out; however, their fresh fruit Chardonnay, off-dry Mandolin blend (Traminette, Vidal Blanc, and Chardonnay), tasty Cabernet Franc, and particularly, the Vintners Reserve Bordeaux- styled blend are all drinking well.
Looking forward to 2008, Doukénie Winery expressed excitement about the 2007 harvest and the progression of their young wines. The 2007 vintages will all be made by their new winemaker, Sebastian Marquet, and it will be interesting to see where he takes their wines. The winery wishes to increase its case production, and at the same time retain the quality of their wines, which will take a clever balancing act. The new winemaker, as I was told, is a well seasoned veteran of the trade who has successfully made wine in Burgundy, as well as California’s Sonoma Valley – both of these areas are hot spots for premium Chardonnay (I personally love a good expressive white Burgundy). I said that to say, that to the winemaker’s credit was a score of a 93 from influential wine critic Robert Parker for one of his Chardonnay vintages. Even though I do not personally follow Parker’s picks, that is huge!
Upcoming wine releases at Doukénie will include a Syrah, a dry blush wine made from Syrah grapes, and Riesling 2007. Also, friends of the winery can expect an increase in winery events – almost double! For example, this coming weekend is Baked Potato weekend and Chili weekend follows that on January 26th-27th. Dezel is telling you now that the Cabernet Franc or Vintners Reserve would be a nice match with a bowl of homemade chili. Be sure to check Doukénie’s web site for a list of future events, there is something going on at the winery nearly every weekend.
I'm Dezel, see you on the wine trail friends!
In closing, be sure to bookmark Doukénie’s web page and participate in some of the fun-filled winery events. Doukénie is opened daily from 10am-6pm and tasting fees are $5 per person with a tasting fee waived per bottle purchase. Good deal! When you visit the kind folks at Doukénie Winery be sure to let them know you read about them here on Dezel’s Virginia Vine Spot!
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