3.02.2015

RdV Vineyards

Happy Monday readers!

Did y'all have a good weekend?

Ours was jam-packed, but super fun nonetheless! Erin's baby shower was a huge success (post coming Friday) and last night we had friends over for dinner. Today is definitely going to be a struggle, as I am worn out!

Today I am excited to be sharing our Valentine's weekend visit to RdV Vineyards with you!

As y'all know, we typically keep Valentine's Day pretty low key. We still did that this year, however, Bryce surprised me with a tasting and tour at RdV Vineyards on the day after Valentine's.

We had an 11:00 am tour and enjoyed the scenic, snowy drive.

This was our view upon arrival!

The architect behind the gorgeous building was Neumann Lewis Buchanan. You can see more detail of his work at RdV here. The silo pays homage to the agricultural tradition of the region.


When we arrived we were asked to keep our coats on, as the power was out (if you recall we had also lost power the night before), and were greeted with champagne. I was absolutely in awe of the design of the space. It was obvious that every single detail was purposeful and planned. I especially couldn't get enough of the orange tulips mixed with the rustic cowhides an skull above the fireplace.




While we sipped on champagne, we were told the history of RdV. Named for its founder, Rutger de Vink, RdV first debuted its wine in 2008. Rutger has a background in the marine corps and business, but felt a calling to winemaking in 2000. Shortly after that he "pestered" Jim Law, the father of winemaking in Virginia to take him on as an apprentice. After his apprenticeship and a trip to Bordeaux the next step was finding the perfect place. The biggest factors were a slope, because of the amount of rain we get in Virginia, and a poor soil. Grapes thrive in what would usually be considered terrible growing conditions. You can see the slope in the first picture of the post and I will talk a little bit more about the soil in a minute.


After learning the story of the vineyard and finishing our bubbly, we embarked on the tour. Our first stop was the fermentation room.


Next we headed to the cellars, or "cave." While we were en route, we stopped right by the display you will see below. RdV sits on granite soil, which is key to the poor soil conditions I mentioned above. Here you see a soil sample of the granite. These 7 samples actually comprise one sample that has been broken apart. From left to right you will see the progression of the granite that was closest to the surface to the granite that was deepest in the ground.


Being that the power was out, our cave tour was candlelit, which actually added a romantic touch for Valentine's weekend.


At one end of the cave, they leave the granite "soil" exposed. This is not only for aesthetic purposes, but also provides a good gauge for what is going on in the soil. They can see factors such as moisture by taking a quick peek at this granite.


Our last stop on the tour was this lab-like room where the winemakers taste and make the blends each year. Eric Boissenot, a world-renowned winemaker, was so impressed by RdV that he travels from Bordeaux each year, free of charge, to work specifically with RdV on their blends. 


And finally, our last stage of the tour was actually getting to experience and taste the wine. We returned to the "tasting salon" where a beautiful spread had been laid out.


Rutger set out to make not a world class Virginia wine, rather a world class wine that just so happens to be made in Virginia and he most definitely hit the mark. Their two wines, the Lost Mountain and Rendezvous, are both red blends. The Lost Mountain is Cabernet Sauvignon heavy blend and the Rendezvous is a Merlot heavy blend. Bryce and I both typically prefer cab savs, but were surprised to like the Rendezvous best. 



After RdV we decided to make a stop at Linden, Jim Law's vineyard, and also Glen Manor, a vineyard founded by another of Law's apprentices. 



As you can probably guess, I slept like a baby on the car ride home!

If you are interested in learning more about Virginia wine making, and Bryce's adventures in viticulture, you can read his one and only guest post on the topic here!

Are you a fan of wine?

What vineyards are your favorite?

Have a great day!

14 comments:

  1. I miss Virginia vineyards! It's always so fun learning the history and science behind each one.

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  2. Your cape is so adorable! this reminds me of many Charlottesville vineyards, the Richmond ones are probably just as amazing!

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  3. What a sweet surprise! It sounds like y'all had a blast. I love that you got a mini-history lesson to go with it, that definitely makes things feel more personal. Thanks for sharing!!

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  4. What a romantic day trip - that sounds perfect to me - power is out so they have a fire and candles going... I'm def a fan!

    I love wine... I'm a big fan of the local wineries Barboursville, Jefferson, Prince Michel, and Trump, and then Williamsburg in the Tidewater. I also love Bold Rock's cider! I love Trump's Rose and Barboursville Cab Blanc/Table wine for summer or easy sipping, and then adore all of the other wineries white wines. Barboursville Octagon red is amazing, as is the Barboursville Pinot Grigio. Great post!

    -Whitney

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  5. This sounds like such a fun trip!! He's definitely a keeper :) I'm a huge wine fan. I volunteer to pour tastings at lots of wine festivals around central Virginia. I also have a map of all the wineries in the state and have made it my goal to visit as many as possible!

    Kristin
    thedixiedaisy.blogspot.com

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  6. Sounds like such a fun day!! Every time I visit my bestie who lives in gordonsville I always pass so many wineries. Id love to take a tour of a few of them with her in the future . we would most certainly need a driver though!

    And of course I'm dying over that cape!

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  7. Sounds like such a fun day!! Every time I visit my bestie who lives in gordonsville I always pass so many wineries. Id love to take a tour of a few of them with her in the future . we would most certainly need a driver though!

    And of course I'm dying over that cape!

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  8. What a fun day (and surprise)! It looks like you learned a lot (I did reading your post)! I would have slept like a baby too!

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  9. What a great Valentine's Day gift! My boyfriend needs to take some pointers from Bryce! Haha. I feel like I learned so much just by reading this post :) By the way, I absolutely love your coat!

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

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  10. Aw what a perfect place to snuggle up with some vino. You can't beat the views and snow, either!

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  11. It seems like a great vineyard. How sweet of Bryce! Also, can't wait to hear about how the baby shower turned out. :)

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  12. What a cute place! I always enjoy a weekend that involves a trip to a winery!!
    P.S. you found me--now I'm a new follower! :)

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  13. Great post! We just came back from our winery trip to Barboursville, Early Mountain and Keswick Vineyards. Another few of our favorites are Pippin Hill, King Family and Pollack. Those are all in the Monticello Wine Trail near Charlottesville. Virginia has so many awesome wineries you really can't go wrong!

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  14. What an adorable place and a great date idea too! Xo, Stephanie

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