News, Events & Tidbits

October is Virginia Wine Month! We’ve got a series of great musicians coming to the tasting room. Our 2013 Velvet Revolution will be ready for release this month and we think you’re going to find our latest – fully estate grown and produced - red blend enticing! However, if your schedule doesn’t permit a trek to Nelson County there are plenty of festival opportunities to grab some of your favorite vintages.

At the Tasting Room

Monday, 10/13 Ragtop, the Roanoke based duo of Jim and Renee Oliphant, has just released a new CD featuring many of their favorite folk and rock, new country, blues and other American standards. They will join us on Columbus Day Monday. 2 to 5 pm.
Saturday, 10/25 Guitarist/singer John Tracy draws on influences from folk, blues and acoustic rock to “make music that is relevant to all of us on this human journey.” 2 to 5 pm.
Sunday, 10/26 The Free Radicals feature many of the members of The Accidentals, but offer up a foot-tapping, honky-tonk sound sure to enliven a Sunday afternoon 2 to 4:30 pm.
Saturday, 11/1 Linda Nay & Jimmy Catlett 2 to 4:30 pm.
Sunday, 11/2 Paulo Franco 2 to 4:30 pm.

Special Event: Step Into Mystery

Saturday, 11/15
4 to 7pm
Become a character, solve a mystery, enjoy the wine! Upon entering, you will become a character in the event. You don’t just watch the action, you ARE the action. Talk to others and find out what they know. Bribe them if you have to…. Maybe they have the critical piece of information, maybe they don’t… you’ll never know unless you find out what they know… and then you must try to collaborate what they have to say, because they may be lying… and if they are, then WHY are they lying. Do they have something to hide?

It’s part acting • It’s part puzzle • It’s part deductive logic • It’s ALL fun • It’s unlike anything else you've ever done

Download the Event Flyer (PDF)

Admission includes 1 glass of wine & light fare

Reservations are required for this event.
Call the winery at 434-263-8463 or reserve now online.

Châteaux, Rivers and Wine

Viking River Cruise - Chateaux Rivers and Wine
Join Friends of Democracy, as well as Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery and Lazy Days Winery on an exciting Viking River cruise from August 8 to 15, 2015! This river cruise travels through some of the loveliest wine country in France from Bordeaux to Pauillac, Libourne [home of St. Emilion], Cadillac [famous for Sauternes] and back to Bordeaux. Prices for the cruise range from $2555.50 to $3755.50 per person and include 6 guided tours, all meals and local wines, and port charges. Pre- and Post- packages can be added on for Paris and Loire Valley. A $500 deposit is required.


For more information, contact Susan Lineberry, Cruises Inc. at 434-263-6011 or 866-952-7700 or via email.
Harvest 2013

Update from Ben Marguiles,Winemaker & Vineyard Manager

September is a time of early mornings, late nights, and facial hair. This year, I’ve decided to grow a handlebar mustache through harvest. Although we picked some early Pinotage in August, and Petit Verdot and Petit Manseng remain on the vine into October, September is when everything else comes in. Pinotage, Merlot, Viognier, and Chambourcin have all been harvested.

Some smaller lots of grapes we harvest with our regular staff, while we contract with a crew of pickers from Vineyard Services of Central Virginia for the larger lots (generally over two tons). This year has been sufficiently fruitful to provide us not only with the grapes for the 2014 Democracy wines, but also several tons to sell to other producers such as the wineries at Crosskeys, James River, and Virginia Wineworks.

As I write this, Democracy Vineyards has already harvested over 14 tons of grapes, of which over 10 tons are being vinified in our winery for the 2014 vintage. Reds are fermented in 1-Ton heavy plastic bins. They are punched down by hand before being pressed into tanks or barrels. Whites can be fermented either in oak barrels or in steel tanks.

The winemaking process is an excellent opportunity for experimentation. The variety of yeast, the yeast feeding schedule, addition of oak chips, and the skin-contact time (in case of reds) can all be varied to alter the profile of the final wine. This year, in cooperation with the Monticello winemakers’ research exchange, I am performing some trials using new tannin products their effectiveness in stabilizing the characteristic purple color of Chambourcin.

Taking a break from the wines, I took Noah Adamo, a student in Plant Pathology at Virginia Tech out to vineyards to sample for Botrytis. He didn’t find anything interesting, which is a good thing when a pathologist comes to visit the vineyard.

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Events and Festivals