This post marks the start of a new feature I’m adding to the Virginia Vine Spot blog called “Getting to know your local industry.” What I have found touring Virginia wine country is that behind every bottle of Virginia wine are some very down to earth and passionate people. My plan with this new feature is to periodically have a Q&A session with some of the industry locals, and post it to the blog, so you, my wonderful readers and friends, can get to know your local industry a little better.
I begin this new feature with Kent Marrs of Village Winery in Loudoun County. I have had the pleasure of meeting Kent in the tasting room several times and he is one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. The tasting room, where Kent can be found on weekends, is housed in a renovated farm building, which sits next to a historic eye-catching barn. Welcomes are always warm and friendly, and from personal experience, all of my tastings have been informative and satisfying. Picnics are welcomed, so put this one on your calendar for a sunny weekend day. Enjoy the Q&A session with Kent Marrs of Village Winery, friends.
Dezel: Was there one special bottle that initially got you into wine? If so, what was this serendipitous find?
Kent: Linden Vineyards Cabernet Franc (click here to visit Linden Vineyard site)
Dezel: From wine connoisseur to winemaker, what and / or who inspired you to start growing wine grapes and making wine here in Virginia?
Kent: Jim Law (owner, grape grower, and winemaker at Linden Vineyards)
Dezel: As a grower, what vineyard techniques do you employ? Secondly, as an East coast grower, do the climatic variations make it difficult to maintain consistency in the quality and style of your wines from vintage to vintage?
Kent: We like the GDC trellis system – less disease pressure and less labor during the summer months. We also get pretty good consistency, except for 2007, which was very dry. 2007 was a great year for our wines.
Dezel: As a small farm winery, where do most of your wine sales come from?
Kent: The Tasting Room.
Dezel: Is it from Virginia wine lovers visiting your winery?
Kent: Some – Currently, I do not track those stats as I should.
Dezel: You did something rather innovative last year by setting up a wine booth outdoors at the Leesburg Outlet Mall for the holidays. How did this work and how well did it work out for you?
Kent: It worked well to promote our wines and increase sales. This year we are only at the Outlet Mall November and December. Sales are increasing at the tasting room and I want to maintain a good customer relationship by being at the winery more.
Images of Village Winery from past visits
Dezel: Your elderberry wine is a crowd favorite. Whenever I visit Loudoun wine country and start chatting about wine in tasting circles your elderberry wine always comes up. I believe out of the 130+ wineries in the state you are the only producer making an elderberry wine. Is this also your favorite wine, and did you know it would have such appeal when you started making it?
Kent: Elderberry is my favorite fruit- We also make a food product, elderberry syrup, which has become very poplar as well. We should release a new elderberry water beverage this fall. These are healthy products and our goal is to develop new products which will make consuming elderberry a daily benefit. My favorite wine is Petit Verdot
Dezel: You also offer a varietal Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, etc. Is there a particular style you are after with your classic European varieties (ex. Old World, New World)?
Kent: Old World style - The most important item to remember is “Great wines start in the Vineyard.” I went to a number of wine making classes, which Jim Law gave. He continually talked about the soil and site. Ten years later I understand what he was trying to tell us. It is not what we do in the winery.
Dezel: Has there been a wine that you are most proud of as a winemaker?
Kent: Petit Verdot- not because of what I do, but the grape itself and the site we have it planted on.
Dezel: Outside of your own wines filling your glass, tell us at least three other Virginia producers whose wines you thoroughly enjoy?
Kent: Jim Law’s wines are my all time favorite. Unfortunately, I have not been able to taste other wines due that I’m somewhat of a one man shop. I’m trying to change that. I do know, based on the customers that visit the tasting room that we have a great selection of wines and wineries here in Loudoun County and other parts of Virginia.
Village Winery Visuals
Dezel: Loudoun County wine country is one of my favorite places to visit on the weekends. There are so many good wineries, great restaurants, and unique shops out that way. If you had to tell someone why they should visit Village Winery what would you tell them?
Kent: If people enjoy historic areas and a wide variety of wines and new elderberry products – come by and visit us.
Dezel: Any new spring time releases or winery news that you would like to share with readers?
Kent: We have released our Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Merlot 2006. A special note on the Merlot- for the first time I’m picking up a light tobacco aroma. The 2007 Viognier will be released in a month.
Thanks for your time and appearing on Virginia Vine Spot Q&A, Kent. Readers wanting to learn more about Village Winery and their wines can click here to visit the Village Winery web site.
Contact Info: Village Winery, 40405 Browns Lane, Waterford, VA20197, 540.882.3780
- Stay tuned friends ...More on Village Winery, Loudoun Valley, Tokaij, Cellaring, and more to come !!!
Happy Sipping Friends - Thanks for your support and kind emails !
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