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.
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!