Other vintners now realize what we have known about sloped land and wine since we first began making our wines. The Washington Post carried an article stating that “as the eastern U.S. wine industry has matured, vintners have realized that the red Bordeaux varieties, such as cabernet franc, 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.”
Joseph A. Fiola, a University of Maryland viticulturist, acknowledges that the day-night temperature swings also favor mountain grapes. California vineyards have been moving from the valley floors to the mountain slopes as well. Who knew that the poor soil, sloping land, and cool nighttime temperatures that are so characteristic of our mountains would have such potential for fine grapes? Well, as they say, the proof is in the pudding…or “the wine.” Check out our most recent award for Best of Virginia Fruit at the 2016 Wines of the South Competition-Blair White. Come and try it for yourself and mention this article to save 15% off a bottle!