News, Events & Tidbits

HELLO FRIENDS OF DEMOCRACY! Our bistro furniture finally arrived, providing better seating arrangements for visitors. And – we also installed some fans out on the patio which should offer some extra breezes during the warmer months. Our Birth of Democracy Festival takes place on Saturday, July 4, with many special guests and we’ve got two more events in July certain to be informative and entertaining. JULY NEWSLETTER (PDF)

Birth of Democracy Festival

Saturday, 7/4
Noon to 6pm
In between parades and fireworks, come join us and our friends from DelFosse Winery, Lazy Days Winery and Mountain Cove Vineyards at our July 4 mini-festival.
Taste wines from some of central Virginia’s finest vintners, check out offerings from local vendors - including New Forest Earth – products made from sustainable forest materials; Art Tiles by James; Scentsy candles, soaps and aromatics; Gibson Cottage gifts. Have a picnic overlooking the vineyard and enjoy music from Ragtop and Paulo Franco.
$20 paid in advance/$25 at the gate ($5/non-tasting/designated driver; under 12 free).
RESERVATIONS: Call 434-263-8463 or reserve online. If you would like to volunteer for the festival, please email us with "BOD Volunteer" in the subject line.

Voices of Democracy: After Hours

Saturday, 7/11
5:30 to 7pm
Special Presentation by Wintergreen Adaptive Sports. In recognition of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Democracy Vineyards is pleased to host Dave Shreve, Executive Director of WAS for a discussion about the work of his organization and its importance to people with disabilities. Established in 1995, Wintergreen Adaptive Sports is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to providing outdoor sports and recreational opportunities for persons with disabilities, of all ages and with all types of disabilities. Come learn more about this valuable part of the Nelson community and enjoy a taste of Dave’s special Jambalaya. Democracy Vineyards will donate 10 percent of wine sales to WAS during this event. Please RSVP to 434-263-8463.
Spring in the vineyard at Democracy Vineyards

Update from Ben Marguiles,Winemaker & Vineyard Manager

Early in June, I attended the Virginia Vineyards Association at Ingleside Vineyards. There were presentations about disease management, the use of drones and aerial mapping for viticulture, automated vineyard tools, and leaf-pulling. The beginning of the month was fairly wet, but luckily for the grapes, things have warmed up and dried out.

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 their vertical growth. June is also a crucial time for managing diseases, insects and weeds in the vineyard.

During June, the different trellis systems assume different shapes. This year, the Pinotage and Petit Manseng at Orchard House are 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. Viognier and the Estate grown Petit Manseng are trained to a ballerina system with shoots growing upwards as well as outwards. Having three fruiting zones is beneficial for small-clustered varieties, so we can maintain optimal levels of vine balance. The Petit Verdot has one set of shoots growing outward and down, along with some growing up (a one-legged ballerina or solar-collector system). A portion of the Merlot is on a Southern-sprawl, which is similar to the high-wire system used for the Chambourcin.

We are often asked how many grapes go into a bottle or a case of wine so I crunched the numbers from the 2014 harvest to come up with some conversions specific to our vineyard.

1 glass = 1.5 grape clusters
100 grapes = 1 cluster
7.5 clusters = 1 bottle
30 clusters = 1 vine
2250 clusters = 1 barrel
1 barrel= 60 gallons = 25 cases
1 vine = 4 bottles
3 vines = 1 case
75 vines = 1 barrel
600 vines = 1 acre
1 ton = 50 cases
150 vines = 1 ton

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At the The Winery

Events & Festivals