It was sunny and it was a Sunday and that was all we needed to decide that we should head out to Virginia for some wine tasting. Obviously we were a little nervous given that some wine in Virginia isn’t great, so we took precautions and picked out some wine for our return, but we needn’t have worried. We headed out of the city towards Clifton, VA and after about an hour we made it to Paradise Springs.
Paradise Springs Winery was founded in 2007 and a year later the first estate vineyard was planted, the tasting room was open for business in 2010 and it has been fully operational since then. They have a good selection of wines to taste and obviously we tried all of them and then some.
Their wines tasted young (as they are) but had potential. They lacked a little complexity but that’s not to say that they won’t get there. The wines that we tried are listed below, given their youth it would be unfair to mark them, all we can say is that they seem to be on the right track.
2012 Chardonnay - good but a little too oaky for my liking. The 2009 vintage won the VA Governor's Cup for the "Best White Wine in VA"
2012 Viognier - Nice and melony
2012 Petit Manseng - Too sweet for me and not complex enough for Rachel
2013 Sommet Blanc - Good, my favourite of the whites
2012 Cabernet Franc - Minerally and good, lacks some complexity
2012 Mélange - pretty good, would drink again
2012 Norton - So this is the traditional American grape that has been grown in Virginia since 1830. It’s pretty distinctive, when you’ve tried it once you will recognize it going forward.This wine is a double gold medal winner.
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Pretty good again, would also have another glass or two
And then this happened: Swagger, Edition I. A classic example of if you ask enough questions and show enough interest you often get more wine. My feelings on port are mixed, I’m really trying though. But Rachel was pretty sold on this one. It is aged in Bourbon barrels for 17 months and has a good port taste with a long finish without being overly sweet.
All in all it was a good experience, the staff were knowledgeable, the surroundings were pleasant and the wine has potential. We got a bottle and sat in the vines and spent an entirely enjoyable couple of hours.
Just to note, it’s worth getting there early, it was pretty busy when we arrived and you don’t want to wait too long for your wine!