Are MountainRose Vineyards' wines really different or special?

During a tour of the vineyards last week, someone asked this question. There are many reasons why our wines are special or different, but geographically speaking, why do our grapes turn out so wonderful? After a little searching, this quote from an article from the Washington Post explains it best. The article explained “as the eastern U.S. wine industry has matured, vintners have realized that the red Bordeaux varieties like cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and petit verdot — perform best on steep, southern-facing slopes with poor soils. The slopes provide protection against spring frost, as the cold air slides downhill, and allow summer rains to drain quickly from the vineyards rather than dilute the grapes. Cooler mountain temperatures let the grapes retain acidity, for balance.”
We are growing many of our grapes on reclaimed mine land which has notoriously poor soil conditions. The mountain soils are naturally thin and poorer. Grapes for wine seem to grow best in poor soils because excess nutrients in the soil can actually cause vine and leaf growth, which interferes with the grape ripening process.  You can add nutrients to the soil but taking it away is difficult to impossible. So our poorer soils encourage fruiting and not foliage growth, making it easier to ripen delicious grapes.
This summer’s rainy weather has been a challenge to grape growers on the East coast. Natural slope drainage has been critical and prevented our vines from drowning. The cooler nighttime temperatures that we have had lately help us maintain acidity to keep our finishes from being flabby. Even California is trying to move from the valley floors and onto the mountain slopes for their best fruity wine grapes.
Wise County was famous for its great tasting apples and the same characteristics: slopes with good drainage, cool nighttime temperatures, adequate but not over rich soil, that made our apples crisp and delicious make our grapes and wines spectacular with fruity flavors and crisp finishes. Our award winning wines are additional proof that our wines are special. Enjoy your favorite MountainRose Vineyard wine this fall.