News, Events & Tidbits

We hope we will see many of you come by for wine, fun and music! September brings with it harvest in the vineyard, bottling the 2013 reds in the winery and the fall festival season. We look forward to seeing you!

Constitution Day Celebration

Sunday, 9/21 The Accidentals - swing, jazz band help us celebrate our country’s founding governance document with their swingin’ sounds from the jazz age. We’ll also be offering 10% off on our Viognier/Petit Manseng blend by that same name! The band will play from 2 to 4:30pm.

Live Music at the Winery

Sunday, 9/28 Folk/soft rock duo Jim and Renee Oliphant of Ragtop come back to share more of their mellow sounds from 2 to 5 pm.
Viking River Cruise - Chateaux Rivers and Wine

Châteaux, 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

In the vineyard, I began to sample the earliest maturing grape varieties to see how the flavors and sugars were developing. So far, the Merlot and Pinotage are building up good levels of sugar, and harvest appears likely to begin about 10 days before it was last year. For example, we picked Pinotage on September 10, 2013, but this year we plan on harvesting Pinotage on September 1st or 2nd.

The Pinotage will be the first variety we harvest, followed by an early collection of Merlot for the 2014 vintage of “Dawn’s Light” and a later picking of Merlot for red wines. The Merlot will be taken separately for these wines as the rosé benefits from high acidity, while the reds benefit from higher sugars and riper flavors that evolve when the grapes hang longer on the vine.

For the first time at Democracy Vineyards, we have chosen to put netting up around the Pinotage. Since this variety is earliest to mature, has dark skin, and is located on the top of a hill, it was a prime target for a flock of crows last year. So far, the netting has been an effective deterrent, though I have noticed a few crafty sparrows have taken advantage of small gaps in the netting. We use 4 foot wide hay baling netting. It is clipped to a set of trellis wires at the top and stapled to the ground at the bottom, creating a tent around the fruit zone.

In the winery, we have successfully completed filtration and bottling of the 2013 Forum and 2013 Campaign. The 2013 vintages of Suffrage and Velvet Revolution have been pumped out of barrels into steel tanks and the blending and filtration process is under way with them. Bottling these vintages will begin in early September. Additionally, through an agreement with Tap 26, a Richmond-based company that distributes wine for by-the-glass sales, we have packaged about 50 gallons worth of 2013 Merlot into kegs to be poured at restaurants and wine bars.

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Events and Festivals