News, Events & Tidbits

HELLO FRIENDS OF DEMOCRACY! We are open Thursday through Monday from noon to 6 pm. Upcoming events include live music at the winery, lots of festivals including our Birth of Democracy Mini-Festival. Be sure to read our July 2016 Newsletter to get all the latest news!!

Music in the Tasting Room

All shows are 2:30 to 5:30pm unless otherwise noted
Saturday, 7/16 Pete Farnham | Shenandoah Valley singer/songwriter on acoustic guitar
Sunday, 7/17 Marie Anderson | returns with more rock, folk, pop and blues
Saturday, 7/23 Singer/songwriter Renee Ruth Peckham plays pop and rock on keyboard
Sunday, 7/24 Jason Burke | Charlottesville singer and songwriter plays guitar music informed by the 1960s and 1970s
Sunday, 7/31 Ray Van Wagner plays easy listening tunes of yesteryear on keyboard from 2 to 4pm.
Ben Margulies

Update from Ben Margulies, Winemaker & Vineyard Manager

June is always a busy month in the vineyard. The beginning of the month has us pulling leaves, opening up the fruit zone to morning sunshine and fresh air, improving the quality of the fruit. The grapes have grown this month from pin-head size through BB-size, pea-size and now the bunches are beginning to close up. The heat this month encouraged vigorous growth of the vines, and we’ve started to trim back the vertical growth of the vines. June is also a crucial time for managing diseases, insects and weeds in the vineyard. I just saw my first Japanese beetle yesterday, but hopefully they won’t become a major problem.

During June, the different vine training systems assume different shapes. This year, the Pinotage is trained to a VSP, or Vertical Shoot Positioning system. All the plant growth aims upward, and shoots are either removed or pushed up during June. Petit Manseng, Petit Verdot, and Viognier are all on a ballerina system, where there are shoots growing upward and also outward. Most of the vineyard is on a one-legged ballerina system, though there are a few particularly vigorous areas of Viognier, Petit Manseng and Petit Verdot which necessitate a two-legged training system. A portion of the Merlot is on a Southern-sprawl, which is similar to the single high-wire system used for the Chambourcin.

In the winery, we have been topping the barrels of the 2015 red wines. Throughout the aging process, some water and alcohol are lost to evaporation through the barrel staves. Periodically, a few quarts of wine need to be added to the barrels to avoid the generation of too much headspace. We have already sold eight barrels of red wine to other Virginia wineries, and still have some Chambourcin, Petit Verdot, and Red Blends available.

This is a milestone column for me; it will be my last as Vineyard manager/ winemaker at Democracy. A new opportunity became available for me in July, at Horton Vineyards, and it was a good time to take it. For any of you who will be attending the Birth of Democracy Festival, I’ll still be there as usual. After July 4th, I’ll be leaving Democracy in capable hands. Thank you all so much for your dedicated readership, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the words I’ve shared along with the wines I’ve made.

Best Wishes for a Fruitful Future,

Join Democracy Vineyards Wine Club Watch the Democracy Vineyards Video

Red Wine photo

Special Events & Festivals

Democracy Vineyards Presidential Straw Poll

Balloting continued through June with Donald Trump consolidating his support for the GOP nomination with 70% of all votes cast. There were some holdouts on the Republican side with 27% of voters choosing “Other”, one vote was cast for “Don’t Know” and Cinderella got a write in vote.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton also seems to be corralling the support of Democratically-inclined voters, garnering 53% of all votes cast for the nomination. Bernie Sanders had a respectable showing, nonetheless with 47% of the vote.

Of all votes cast, the Libertarian Party received 8% and the Green Party received 3%. Three folks just couldn’t bring themselves to vote for any of the candidates or parties, choosing instead “Other party”, “Undecided” or “None”. There was a write-in vote not associated with either major party for “Susan B Anthony”.

Voting will continue through the November election because democracy is about choices! – in our case, red, white, or apple wines!l

Voting will continue through the November election because democracy is about choices! – in our case, red, white, or apple wines!l