News, Events & Tidbits
Latest NewsHarvest is finished and the 2013 vintages are underway as you can read below in Ben Margulies’ column. Note: Instead of closing on Sunday December 1 as previously posted, we will be open under our regular schedule through Dececember 15th DECEMBER NEWSLETTER (PDF)
Extended HoursThe tasting room will be open into December with hours from Noon to 6 pm on Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8, Saturday, December 14 and Sunday, December 15.
December Pourings at Virginia Retailers
|Friday, 12/6||GRAPES OF TASTE | Ladysmith | 5pm to 8pm|
|Friday, 12/6||WESTOVER MARKET | Arlington | 5pm to 8pm|
Voices of Democracy ~ After Hours ProgramGeoff Skelley, a political analyst with the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia will join us on Saturday, December 14 at 5:30 pm for a presentation on the 2014 elections. Please RSVP as seating is limited.
In the Winery -
Nearly all of the wines that began malolactic fermentation were finished with this step by November. The Petit Verdot is still not complete as this was the latest of the red varieties that was harvested. At this point, I move the remaining reds from stainless steel tanks to neutral oak barrels. The oak flavors at this point are very subtle, but the barrel provides slow evaporation and oxidation of the wine.
Ben Marguiles, Winemaker/Vineyard Manager
At this point, several red wines required acid adjustment. Even though the cool nights in late September and October resulted in high malic acid levels at harvest, this acid was consumed during the malolactic fermentation. The levels of tartaric acid were low in the juices, so this was added to the wines. A red wine with too-low acidity tastes flat and is at a higher risk of spoilage. A well-calculated addition of tartaric acid frequently has the effect of “perking up” some of the red fruit flavors in the wine as well.
Susan and the two Jims tasted some blending trials I put together earlier in the month. Pinotage and Merlot wines had different levels of tartaric acid added to them, and we arrived at a decision of how much to add. We tasted a preliminary blend of Chardonnay, Petit Manseng, and Viognier to get a preview of the 2013 Declaration. Grapes from the two different vineyard blocks of Merlot were tasted to determine which wine would make a distinctive ’13 Emancipation, and which would provide bright cherry fruit in the blends of Forum and Velvet Revolution.
In addition to wine production, November is a good opportunity for continued education and networking in the wine industry. Earlier this month, I attended the Southeastern Wine and Grape Symposium at Surry Community College in North Carolina. Vineyard and winery professionals came from as far off as Alabama and New York State to learn about topics including lab analysis, better winery practices, vineyard water management and marketing. At the end of November, I’ll be attending a meeting in Charlottesville about the effect of small mammals and wild turkeys on grape crops in Virginia.
Wine Makes a Great Gift!Remember - you can order Democracy anytime right here on our website! We offer discounts starting at 3 bottles so you can stock up, order some gifts for friends and family, and save money all at the same time! Order Now»
- Voices of DemocracY: After Hours
With Geoff Skelly ~ UVA Center for Politics
December 14 | 5:30pm
- Vicky Lee - Harpist
December 15 | 1pm to 4pm
- Travis Book
February 1 | 2pm to 5pm
- Holiday Open House
December 7, 2013 | 2pm to 5pm
Great Falls, VA
We are extremely grateful to Virginia Glenn who is lending her home in Great Falls, Va. for this event! We do ask that – if you plan to attend – please RSVP and indicate any particular wine you would like to purchase so that we can make sure to bring sufficient inventory. The address is 11120 Rich Meadow Drive, Great Falls, Va. and, if you get lost, call 703-444-0841.
- COASTAL VIRGINIA WINE FESTIVAL
Virginia Beach Convention Center
January 25-26, 2014