10/21/2009

Mountfair Vineyards: Where Bordeaux-Style Blends Take Center Stage

Hello Friends,

This past weekend I hit the Monticello Wine Trail with fellow wine bloggers John & Megan Witherspoon of Anything Wine and Frank Morgan of DrinkWhatULike. The Monticello Wine Trail consists of twenty-four wineries, and this time of year, autumn's colorful brilliance, combined with narrow and twisty country roads and spectacular mountain scenery, makes this one of the most popular wine destinations in Virginia. Our plan was to visit three wineries per day so we could spend some quality time at each talking to the winemakers and staff, tasting their wines, and learning more about their respective operations.

Country Roads Leading to Destination

Our first stop, or shall I say our ‘Inaugural’ stop, leads us to a new winery I discovered at last month's 34th Annual Virginia Wine Festival. I was fairly impressed with their red wine blends, Bordeaux in style, as well as a nice sipping Virginia Riesling they were pouring. After the group of wine bloggers I was with all came away purchasing the exact same two bottles (Composition 07 & Stick Dog Riesling 08), we said, “Let’s go check them out sometime soon.” So a few weeks later we found ourselves in the tasting room of one of the Monticello Wine Trail’s newest members – Mountfair Vineyards.

MountFair Vineyards


Mountfair Vineyards is located on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of Charlottesville in Crozet. The winery and tasting room is housed in an old horse barn, which is currently a work in progress that is coming along nicely. The ride leading to the tasting room, if you decide to take the scenic route as I did (Thank You GPS), takes you through lush rolling greens, horse and dairy farms, and rural country back roads dotted with tall shade trees.

Mountfair Vineyards Inaugural 2006

We were warmly greeted by winemaker Fritz Repich in the tasting room and were eager to talk a little wine, as well as to taste. Talking to Fritz we learned that he is a full-time IT professional who is living out his passion of being a Virginia winemaker. Fritz draws inspiration from both Virginia and California’s popular Paso Robles wine region. It is no secret that Paso Robles is well known for Bordeaux-style blends, and this is where Mountfair really shines in the glass. Mountfair specializes in Bordeaux-style blends - that is all they do. The exceptions on the tasting sheet are two white wines, the Stick Dog Riesling 2008 (very good example) and Virginia Chardonnay 2008 (nice apple, pear, and spice flavors), that are made by well-known Virginia winemaker Brad McCarthy and carried in the tasting room.

At the Tasting Bar with Winemaker Fritz Repich

Mountfair currently has five acres of red wine Bordeaux varieties under vine and also source fruit from nearby vineyards. One vineyard in particular where fruit is sourced is Mount Juliet in Albemarle, which is an established and sought after fruit source for a number of Virginia producers. After enjoying samples of the two white wines, we moved on to the tasty Bordeaux- style blends. We started off with the Inaugural 2006, a Cabernet Franc-based red wine blend with percentages of Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. This wine is silky smooth with inviting red fruit, spice, cracked pepper and lite toast aromas. The Inaugural was followed by the Composition 2007, my personal favorite, which is a Cabernet Sauvignon based wine with percentages of Merlot and Petit Verdot, offering delicious dark cherry, plum, and spice aromas with a soft tannin structure in a medium-bodied wine. The next wine, the Wooloomooloo 2007 (try saying that fast), is a Petit Verdot-based wine with percentages of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. This wine offers crushed berry fruit (blueberry & blackberry) and earthy aromas and round medium tannins that fill out the palate with a nice lingering finish. The Petit Verdot definitely gives this wine an attractive deep purple color too. Conclusion: Mountfair Vineyards is making some pretty delicious Bordeaux-style blends with depth and complexity - no doubt. Additionally, it is good to see a fairly new winery, unique in personality (Bordeaux red blends only), come out the gates with a number of delicious wines.

Up Close & Personal

In closing, I recommend a scenic drive to Mountfair Vineyards if Mother Nature delivers another sunny autumn weekend. Enjoy the fall foliage, charming country setting, and tasty wines. Tastings are complimentary and the staff is friendly and Mountfair is in close proximity to other wineries on the Monticello Wine Trail. While the tasting room is not currently set up for indoor seating, if the weather is nice you can pack a picnic and sit on the patio that overlooks the pond and vineyard and waste the day away. When you visit Mountfair Vineyards please let Fritz and company know you read about them here on Dezel’s Vine Spot Wine Blog. Happy Sipping!

Enjoy the Views at Mountfair Vineyards!



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