News, Events & Tidbits
HELLO FRIENDS OF DEMOCRACY! September brings one of the busiest seasons for Democracy Vineyards. Festivals return with increasing frequency and we need volunteers at many venues. Vintage 2015 is underway with the beginning of harvest and several special events are scheduled during the month. SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER (PDF)
Labor Day Weekend
|September 5-7||Mark summer’s end with a Labor Day Weekend full of music and events. From 2 to 5 pm every day, you’ll find:
September 5 - John Tracy on guitar
September 6 - Soft rock and blues with Ragtop
September 7 -Paulo Franco on guitar
On September 6th, we will hold the Annual Blessing of the Harvest at 6:00 pm officiated by Rev. Debbie Powell of Nelson United Methodist Church.
On September 7th, weather permitting, we’ll conduct the first of two fall tastings in the vineyard at 1:30 pm. For $10 per person, enjoy tastes of our traditional menu of wines plus two we don’t usually offer in the tasting room – the 2010 Emancipation Merlot and 2012 Petit Manseng dessert wine, Alabaster. Call 434-263-8463 for more details or to reserve your space.
|Wednesday, 9/16||We’ll hold special open hours beginning at 6 pm on September 16 for the second GOP Presidential Debate. Have a glass (or a bottle) of wine and settle in for Round Two of Decision 2016.|
|Sunday, 10/4||Folk and Americana classics with Sue Harlow – 2 to 5 pm|
|Sunday, 10/11||Blues and originals with Jon Spear – 2 to 5 pm|
|Monday, 10/12||Tasting in the vineyard - 1:30 pm|
|Tuesday, 10/13||Democratic Presidential Debate watch on CNN (special late hours at the tasting room)|
|Saturday, 10/17||Soft rock, blues with RagTop – 2 to 5 pm|
|Sunday, 11/1||Ragtop returns from 1 to 4 pm and hot wine around the fire pit begins from 4:30 to 6 as Daylight Savings Time ends|
Update from Ben Marguiles,Winemaker & Vineyard Manager
The main goals in both the vineyard and the winery during August are to get ready for harvest. We began picking Merlot grapes for the 2015 vintage on August 26th. The vines need to be trimmed and the fruit exposed to make picking easier. For several weeks leading up to harvest, we sample berries from throughout the vineyard block to track sugar accumulation and monitor the flavors that develop in the grapes. Despite the wet weather in June and July, a warm, dry stretch of August weather put our grapes on schedule to be harvested as a similar time as they were in 2014.
In the winery, we finished bottling all of the 2014 reds, clearing up our steel tanks and oak barrels for the new juice and wine. The last wine that we bottled was a single-barrel lot of “Freedom,” the 2014 vintage of our Pinotage varietal. This batch was bottled with a single-spout bottle filler and a hand-corker. Supplies of Freedom will be limited with only 21 cases available of this unique varietal.
When we process the first rosé fruit at the very end of the month, we will follow a similar procedure to the 2014 vintage. The grapes will be crushed and allowed to sit overnight along with some enzyme before pressing the juice from the skins. That juice ferments with a carefully chosen yeast, with temperature control in a jacketed steel tank.
First week of September will bring the Pinotage harvest.
Events & Festivals
- Savor & Sip Wine Festival
- Neptune Wine Festival
September 12 & 13
- Virginia WINE Festival
September 12 & 13
- Taste of Freedom Wine Festival
- Stratford Hall Wine & Oyster Festival
September 19 & 20
- Fluvanna Wine Festival
- Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival
Smith Mountain Lake
September 26 & 27