Breaux Vineyards: Gumbo, Wine, and Good Times!

Hello Friends

I recently hopped on the Loudoun County wine trail to pay a visit to Breaux Vineyards in Purcellville, Virginia. Breaux Vineyards sits on over 400 acres with over 100 acres of vine plantings, and is one of the largest grape growers in the region. And yes, they have the wine selection to prove it – something for every palate preference - even yours!

Breaux Vineyards

Being a native New Orleanian, Breaux Vineyard’s Cajun theme is a major attraction for me – I mean, Mardi Gras events, an annual Cajun Festival and Crawfish Broil, Gumbo Day’s, zydeco music - what more could a crazy Cajun ask for? Who knows, a little wine and gumbo perhaps? You betcha!

The Gumbo at Breaux is Yum-O!

We strolled into the attractive and modern tasting room and was warmly greeted by Jennifer Breaux, who oversees the family-owned operation. After chatting with Jennifer, we were introduced to winemaker David Collins. We happily agreed to take a tour of the facility with David and sample the developing wines in barrel and tank and come back and taste through the finished wines with Jennifer.

Barrel Tasting with Winemaker David Collins

Before the conception of Breaux Vineyards as a grape grower or wine producer, winemaker and vineyard manager David Collins was part of a small collection of adventurous Virginia growers in the mid 80’s who was planting a little of this and that to see what was best suited for Virginia’s soil and climate type. About ten years later, Paul Breaux purchased the property where these vines had been planted and sought David out, who was fortunately working in the area, to ask about the vines he had planted. The three to four acres of vines had been neglected over the years and in need of some serious attention. To make a long and special story short, the vines were repaired and the first harvest took place in 1996. David produced small batches of wine from this fruit and it was served at a dinner party, and you guessed it, David’s wines were a big hit. The rest is history, not to mention a lot of sweat and hard work. Today, Breaux Vineyards is one of Loudoun County’s premier winery destinations, offering a full spectrum of red and white wines and spectacular views of the Blue Ridge and Short Hill Mountains, as well as sweeping vineyard views.

Having a Great Time Tasting with Jennifer Breaux

We followed David to the back where we started off with a lively, fresh, and clean Sauvignon Blanc 2008 tank sample. This wine is more reminiscent of a Loire Valley example, as opposed to the zing and zip of the popular New Zealand style, and should be ready for spring time sipping. We moved to the barrel room where we sampled two Chardonnay 2008 wines, one aged in American oak, and the other in French oak. The first sample had not gone through secondary fermentation and retained good natural acidity, offering mellow oaky flavors and hints of spice. The latter was rounder, creamier, with a full mid-palate texture and toasty oak notes – very nice. Moving to the reds, we tasted through barrel samples of a nicely structured Cabernet Franc 2007 that offered good red fruit flavors with hints of spice and a medium length cocoa finish. Next, we moved to an inky and mildly spicy fleshy Petit Verdot 2007 and a rustic, earthy, and tasty Malbec 2007. Last but not least, we sampled a wine that is going to be a big hit at Breaux Vineyards, the Nebbiolo ice-styled dessert wine. This sweet sensation is not overly cloying and makes for a delicious and lip-smacking sweet ending. Although it is still in the tank developing, fresh mixed berries and jolly ranchers came to mind when sniffing and sipping this wine. We had a great time tasting with David and talking about the barrel and tank samples tasted, as well as chatting about the Virginia wine industry and David’s winemaking philosophy. David is first class and is all about the wine; just visit Breaux Vineyards and taste for yourself.

Vine Spot Chocolate Platter (Thanks, Breaux!!!)

After tasting the developing wines, which was a blast, we stepped into the tasting room to taste through Breaux Vineyards’ full line-up of finished wines with Jennifer Breaux. Breaux Vineyards has over twelve wines to sample as part of their basic tasting, which ranges from dry, off-dry, to downright sweet and savory. Even the most discriminating of palates will find something enjoyable. We were treated to some of the Reserve and Library wines during our visit, which included a vertical tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon from the 1999 through 2003 vintage, as well as a 1999 through 2002 Merlot Reserve. Yummy! Perfectly paired with these wines was a delicious bowl of Breaux’s delicious gumbo and a chocolate plate with “Vine Spot” written in a tasty raspberry drizzle (Thank You, Breaux Vineyards!). Also, during our visit, we bumped into Charlie Adler of Taste D.C., who joined us at the tasting bar. We all agreed in the end, that the wines were pretty darn good, and really enjoyed the vertical aspect of our tasting.

We had a great time tasting at Breaux Vineyards!

Vertical tastings are designed to taste the vineyard and vintage, and Breaux Vineyards offers a few opportunities every year to partake in a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Nebbiolo vertical tasting, so check out their events page for the next tasting event. Speaking of tasting, we had a chance to taste the new Jen’s Jambalaya. Now for my fellow New Orleanians, jambalaya is a classic, spicy Creole dish usually made with rice, spices, sausage, chicken, shrimp, tomatoes, celery, etc. At Breaux Vineyards, the Jambalaya is an easy drinking white wine blend with a pinch of sweetness that would pair well with the New Orleans classic dish for which it is named.

Enjoy yourself this spring on Patio Madeleine

In closing, and as always, I had a great time at Breaux Vineyards and I know you will too. Spring is a great time to visit, friends. Look for new wine releases including the Nebbiolo Ice, and several fun-filled family friendly events. It is always a party at Breaux, in and out of the glass. Dust your picnic baskets off and hit Patio Madeleine – I guarantee you will have a great time. When you visit, tell the kind folks that you heard about them on Dezel’s http://www.myvinespot.com/ wine blog.

Stay tuned friends ...more Monticello Wine Trail to come!

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