12/04/2009

DelFosse Vineyards & Winery: A Fine Symphony of Nature & Wine



Hello Friends,

Following an exceptional and delicious dining experience at the C&O Restaurant on Charlottesville’s downtown mall, we rose bright and early the following morning ready to jump back on the Monticello Wine Trail. Our next stop was to a popular Virginia winery that I have seen at a number of Virginia wine events, but had never visited (I know, shame on me). After visiting with owner Claude DelFosse at the very successful and fun-filled Old Town Alexandria Wine Festival a few months ago, plans were made for a bloggers visit to DeflFosse Vineyards and Winery to do a tasting, tour, and of course, talk a little Virginia wine! Joining me were fellow wine bloggers and friends John Witherspoon of Anything Wine and Frank Morgan of DrinkWhatYouLike.

DelFosse Vineyards and Winery

DelFosse Vineyards and Winery is located in Faber, Virginia, less than twenty-five minutes south of Charlottesville. DelFosse Vineyards and Winery sits at the end of a long winding country road surrounded by gently rolling hills, tall trees, and majestic views. DelFosse Vineyards and Winery reflects the passion of owners Claude and Genevieve DelFosse. Claude hails from Paris, France, but, during time spent out West, he fell in love with California wine country. Yet it was Virginia, in particular the Monticello AVA of Central Virginia, where he found the greatest potential for producing small batches of quality hand-crafted wines. The site Claude selected was a former apple and peach orchard that was also suitable for growing wine grapes. The site is also a fine syphony of nature, suitable for hosting Virginia wine lovers like you and me!

Inside the Tasting Room

The new DelFosse tasting-room is stunning to say the least. The exterior is ultra-modern and light-filled, while the interior is comfortable, boasting double-tall picture windows, a long tasting bar, and natural illumination from the skylights. The tasting-room is back-dropped by European-style terraced vineyards overlooking a tranquil pond, lush greens, and panoramic vistas. Truly, DelFosse is one of the most well thought out and beautiful tasting-room settings in the state, in my humble opinion.

Pours of Joy at the Tasting Bar!

In the tasting-room, we were warmly greeted by winemaker Paul Mierzejewski and vineyard manager Grayson Poats. DelFosse produces about 18 different wines, so there is certainly something for every palate preference - even the pickiest. The wines produced are made from almost 100% estate-grown fruit. DelFosse’s goal is to produce only 100% estate wines. All things considered, DelFosse is a fairly young winery, opening its doors to the public in 2004. Currently they have over 20 acres of vine plantings, and though young, DelFosse wines have garnered many top awards and have a faithful following at Virginia wine events. I suppose it is safe to say that the duo of Paul and Grayson is off to a positive start.

At the Tasting bar w/ John of AnythingWine

Moving to the tasting bar, we were led by Grayson through DelFosse’s full line-up of red and white wine selections. While at the tasting bar, we learned that Grayson uses (some) sustainable farming practices and has implemented other practices to reduce the spraying of insecticides with the end goal of better fruit quality. While talking “wine & vine” with Grayson, we enjoyed swirling, sniffing, and sipping the wines as he poured them. Some of my favorite pours were the round, rich, and mildly toasty Chardonnay Reserve 2006. Another favorite was the Reserve d'Oriane 2007, a nicely scented, bright, and delicious blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Petit Manseng, and Viognier. Of the reds, I enjoyed both the Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 and the Merlot 2006. Both wines display good varietal definition while offering complexity, balance, and structure. Of the two, the Cabernet is what I would call the “red meat” wine, while the Merlot sips nicely with lighter foods or on its own. One of the highlights during our tasting was chatting with Grayson – he is very passionate about growing great wine as shown in the conversation we had with him and the fruit he poured for us (Thanks for sharing your passion!).

One of many Beautiful Views @ DelFosse


In closing, we had a wonderful time at DelFosse Vineyards and Winery and look forward to returning some time soon. The setting is breathtaking and the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine & fine nibbles. The property also features a charming historic log cabin that is available for weekly and weekend rentals. The cozy log home sits high atop a hill overlooking the tranquil valley, the family pond, and terraced vineyards. DelFosse’s 330 sweeping acres also offers hiking and biking trails and historically preserved buildings. Be sure to make a date with DelFosse soon and let the kind folks know you read about them here on Dezel’s Vine Spot wine blog.

Stay tuned friends ...Next winery review: Blenheim Vinyards & Winery!

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